Department of Educational Policy Studies


The UW–Madison Department of Educational Policy Studies is home to a new undergraduate degree program as well as a highly ranked graduate program dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching. We analyze educational policy in its many manifestations, steeped in our foundational knowledge of the history, philosophy, and global context of education.

Guided by award-winning faculty members, our students leave prepared for a variety careers in academia, government, and the private sector, with concentrated expertise yet a wide breadth of proficiencies in the field. Areas of focus for the doctoral program include social sciences and education, history of education, and comparative international education and global studies.

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Our mission is to contribute scholarship and teaching intended to deepen and expand understandings of educational policy and practice, past and present, at local, national, and international levels. The department’s faculty and students examine educational policies, movements, outcomes, dilemmas, and controversies — as well as the forces shaping them — using modes of inquiry associated with an array of scholarly fields and disciplines. These include history, sociology, anthropology, political economy, philosophy, policy analysis, and international comparative education.

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MIssion and Vision

The Department of Educational Policy Studies contributes scholarship and teaching intended to deepen and expand understandings of educational policy and practice, past and present, at local, national, and international levels.


The Department of Educational Policy Studies only has fall admission. The application deadline is December 15, with applicants notified by letter before March 1. Accepted students must respond in writing by April 15.


Every graduate student must have an advisor from the major department. This professor advises on courses, supervises research, and acts as a channel of communication within the major department, to other departments and to the Graduate School.

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Policies & Resources

Visit the Policies and Resources page for EPS policies, procedures, and forms.

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Funding Resources

Explore departmental, School of Education, and UW–Madison Graduate School funding resources.

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Faculty & Staff

Meet and contact EPS faculty, staff, and leadership.

Undergraduate Programs

Education Studies, B.S.

The education studies degree program addresses urgent questions related to domestic and global education policy and practice. Graduates will become well-informed leaders who can engage critically, thoughtfully, and ethically in the educational policy debates in Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.


Graduate Programs

Educational Policy Studies, Doctoral Minor

For doctoral students in other departments with education policy interests, a doctoral minor in Educational Policy Studies is the ideal opportunity.


Educational Policy Studies, Ph.D

The doctoral program is a disciplinary approach to the study of educational policy in its various manifestations and to the study of traditionally defined fields such as history of education, philosophy of education, comparative and international education, and sociology and anthropology of education.



Educational Policy Studies, Certificate

The educational policy studies undergraduate certificate program was designed specifically for students from different programs with a special interest in education policy.


Educational Policy Studies Research Topics

Comparative and International Education

Research opportunities in comparative and international education prepares researchers, teachers and planners who are interested in education across nations and cultures.

History and Humanities

The study of history helps us understand past educational policies and practices in the context of their times, while providing a unique perspective on modern developments.

Social Sciences & Education

This research explores how social studies schooling influences students’ civic participation, critical and disciplinary thinking, and understanding of democratic values and practices.

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