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Doctor of Philosophy

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Understand and improve policies that shape the most pressing problems in education, such as school choice, high poverty schools and access to higher education.

Prepare to be a scholar leader in educational evaluation and policy analysis through this Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development program area of study designed to help you evaluate and improve educational policy and undertake research that addresses complex questions, reflects bold thought and results in educational policies that support effective schooling for all students.

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Application Deadlines:

December 1

Fall Enrollment

Receive More Info on Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Complete this form to have the program coordinator contact you about the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development program area of study in educational evaluation and policy analysis.

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Why educational evaluation and policy analysis at NC State:

  • Learn from faculty engaged in active research related to issues of diversity, equity and effectiveness
  • Gain rigorous training in research methods
  • Extensive opportunities for partnerships with local districts, state agencies and nonprofits
  • Study in Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city and one of the best places to live in the U.S.

Program Details

The doctoral program area of study focused on Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) is a multidisciplinary program whereby students and faculty examine educational problems from different traditions, including economics, political science, sociology, history and organizational studies. Additionally, students are required to take coursework in advanced research methods which allows them to develop strong data analysis skills and conduct rigorous policy research that advances knowledge and practice.

The EEPA doctoral program utilizes a mentorship model that emphasizes research collaboration with faculty. Faculty work closely with students to foster reflection, planning and development. In addition to providing guidance, support and encouragement to students as they navigate the program, faculty assist students with developing their methodological skills and establishing their program of research. Students also have access to a dynamic, vibrant and collaborative community of peers that supports their intellectual, social and professional development.

In consultation with their academic advisory committee, students develop a tailored program of study and professional development plan. Students are encouraged to create a challenging and meaningful learning experience that emphasizes developing and applying disciplinary knowledge and a comprehensive methodological skill set to carryout innovative and high impact research.

All doctoral degrees in the College of Education require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Most doctoral programs in the College of Education require a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours beyond an approved master’s degree.

Doctoral Curriculum (revised for Fall 2019 and after cohorts):

All doctoral students in EEPA are required to complete

  • two college-wide Scholar-Leader courses
  • two ELPHD core courses
  • four courses in the qualitative and quantitative research sequence
  • an advanced research course–which is selected in consultation with the student’s advisor/chair
  • a research practicum (independent study or dependent study under the supervision of a faculty member that may involve collaboration with a local educational agency, The Friday Institute, College of Education faculty member, local non-profit, etc.) and
  • Courses in the specialization core (Courses selected to complete the specialization core vary depending upon a student’s scholarly interests, background, and career goals. Specialization core courses must be selected in consultation with the advisor).

Research Core (15 credit hours)

  • ED 710 Quantitative Research
  • ED 711 Quantitative Research-Advanced
  • ED 730 Qualitative Research
  • ED 731 Qualitative Research-Advanced
  • ED/ELP Research Methods Elective

College-Wide Scholar Leader Courses (6 credit hours)

  • ED 795 Scholar Leader: Diversity and Equity in Schools and Communities
  • ED 795 Scholar Leader: Systemic Change in Education and Society

Core Scholar Leader (6 credit hours)

  • ELP 892 Research Projects in Educational Leadership and Program Evaluation
  • ELP Approved Elective

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Specialization (18-30 credit hours)

Courses are selected in consultation with the advisor.

Sample courses include:

  • ELP 728 – School Law
  • ELP 729 – Education Finance
  • ELP 735 – Policy Research in Education
  • ELP 751 – Politics of Education
  • ELP 780 – Evaluation Theory & Practice in Education
  • ELP 795 – Implementation Research and Evaluation

Students can also enroll in courses in other programs and departments.

Dissertation (9 credit hours minimum)

The Graduate School outlines basic requirements for admission.

  • Official GRE scores from within the last 5 years
  • Personal statement of interest and desired career goals
  • Professional resume or CV
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three reference letters detailing relationship to applicant and discussing your work ethic/potential as a doctoral student
  • Completed application to the NC State Graduate School
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students

Provost’s Fellowships

Provost’s Fellowships are one-year awards with a stipend level to be determined by the Fellow’s respective college. These Fellowships are designed to help in college and departmental efforts to recruit outstanding new doctoral students to NC State University. Prospective students cannot apply directly for these fellowships, but are nominated by their respective colleges.

Only doctoral students are eligible to receive a Provost’s Fellowship. Fellowships cover tuition and health insurance. The out-of-state portion of tuition (where applicable) also is covered by the fellowship. Tuition and health insurance associated with the Fellowship will be covered in accordance with Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) guidelines.

Graduate Research Assistantships (RA)

Research assistantships are awarded by an individual faculty researcher to doctoral students who are interested in working on research projects in the faculty member’s area for which the researcher has external funding. Research Assistantships are either 9 or 12 month appointments; have a stipend award which varies depending upon funding source; and includes tuition, fees, and health insurance

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Most teaching assistantships are granted from a pool of applicants who have received a recommendation from a faculty member who has agreed to advise the applicant on their research. These assistantships are skill-based and granted based on the background information each TA applicant submits via their Graduate Application and Application for Doctoral Support. Proficiency in spoken English is required for all teaching assistantships.

Teaching Assistantships are 9 month appointments (August 16 – May 15); have a stipend award which varies depending upon department; and includes tuition, fees, and health insurance.

For more information on the financial aid options open to you:

Explore the fellowships, traineeships and grants available to NC State graduate students.

About Our Program Faculty

Our renowned faculty are engaged in groundbreaking research that draws on different disciplines and utilizes rigorous methods to understand the greatest challenges in education. 

They are experts in the the following areas:

  • School choice
  • School desegregation
  • Ethics and equity 
  • Implementation of reforms
  • Principal and teacher effectiveness
  • Leadership in high need schools
  • The politics of education

Jenn Ayscue
Assistant Professor

Lisa Bass
Assistant Professor

Tim Drake
Assistant Professor

Anna Egalite
Assistant Professor

Bonnie Fusarelli
Professor, NC State University Faculty Scholar, Director of NC State’s Leadership Academies

Lance Fusarelli
Director of Graduate Programs

Peter Hessling
Teaching Assistant Professor

Tamara Young
Associate Professor, EEPA Program Coordinator

When are applications due?

Applications are due on December 1st. Only applications with all of the required components are reviewed.

What scholarships or fellowships are available?

Select students are awarded department-sponsored graduate student assistantships. Students who receive the assistantships are typically eligible for the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP), which provides tuition and health insurance in addition to the stipend funded by the assistantship. All applicants are considered by program faculty for nomination for departmental, college and university fellowships. Some students have also been funded by faculty research grants and assistantships with other units on campus. Review our tuition and fees information and see how establishing residency in North Carolina can significantly reduce your expenses. Apply to become an NC resident for tuition purposes or review information on and procedures for becoming a North Carolina resident.

How is my application evaluated?

Program faculty undertake a holistic review of applicant’s materials. Broadly, our review involves an evaluation of the applicant’s potential for graduate work. Program faculty consider your GRE score, academic record (coursework, GPA and GPA in your junior and senior years), professional experience and accomplishments, match between your professional goals and research interests and program’s mission and curriculum and letters of recommendation. In the personal statement, students should identify which professors’ interests and research activity best align with your research interests and career goals.

Where can I find additional resources for international students?

For more information about international student admissions, read The Graduate School Handbook’s (section 2.4). Also, visit the Office of International Services (OIS), which assists students with immigration regulations and University policies and procedures. OIS also sponsors social and networking opportunities.

Whom shall I contact for additional information?

For general information about EEPA, please email the program coordinator, Tamara Young, PhD. For assistance with the application process, please contact The Graduate School. If you have been admitted into the program and have questions, please contact your initial academic advisor or Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Sharon Walker.

I can’t overstate the importance of the Ph.D. program in my development as an academic leader. First, the set of core courses provides a deep and meaningful grounding in the historical, organizational, and financial systems that undergirds our colleges and universities. I can’t count how many times this deep understanding of higher education has allowed me to make better decisions.

David English

David English, ’12PHD, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Provost

Prepare to be a scholar leader at one of the leading colleges of education in the nation.

Top 6%

in Educational Research Funding in the U.S.


in Education Research Funding in N.C.


Ranked Public College of Education in the U.S.

Sources: U.S. News and World Report and Academic Analytics

Contact Us

Tamara Young, Ph.D.
Associate Professor