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Doctor of Philosophy

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Gain in-depth knowledge of theory and research methods in this doctoral program that will prepare you for leadership and research positions in educational agencies and academic settings.

This multidisciplinary Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis program will expose you to a wide range of theoretical traditions and methodologies that address critical issues in education like school choice, high poverty schools and access to higher education.

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Application Deadlines:

December 1

Fall Enrollment

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Why Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis at NC State:


Learn from faculty recognized as national leaders in educational research that influences local, state and national education policies


Study alongside other doctoral students in a collegial environment that values equity and social justice

Data Points

Develop a mastery of theoretically-driven, empirical high impact research that informs educational policy and programs

Program Details

The Ph.D. in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis program will elevate your current academic background and engage you in theoretically-driven, empirical high impact research that informs educational policy and programs in both formal and informal settings where individuals learn across all sectors, levels and ages. Faculty and students focus on issues of effectiveness, efficiency and equity.

Our curriculum incorporates research and practical principles and requires you complete a minimum of 60 hours of coursework. All doctoral students in this department are required to take three foundational core courses, four courses in the qualitative and quantitative research sequence, and one applied research course.

Research Core (15 credit hours)

  • ED 710 – Quantitative Research
  • ED 711 – Quantitative Research-Advanced
  • ED 730 – Qualitative Research
  • ED 731 – Qualitative Research-Advanced
  • ED 795 – Research Methods Elective

Scholar Leader Courses (12 credit hours)

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Specialization (24 credit hours)
Courses are selected in consultation with advisor. Sample courses include:

  • ELP 728 – School Law
  • ELP 729 – Education Finance
  • ELP 735 – Policy Research in Education
  • ELP 751 – Politics of Education
  • ELP 753 – Data Based Decision Making
  • ELP 756 – Organizational Leadership & Management
  • ELP 780 – Evaluation Theory & Practice in Education
  • ELP 795E – Economics of Education
  • ELP 795I – Implementation Evaluation
  • ELP 795C – Methods of Economic Evaluation: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Dissertation (9 credit hours minimum)

The doctoral dissertation must present the results of the student’s original investigation in the field of primary interest. It must represent a contribution to knowledge, adequately supported by data, and be written in a manner consistent with the highest standards of scholarship. Student must also pass their final comprehensive oral examination (dissertation defense).

Note: For doctoral students either part-time or full-time who are working on their dissertation

Writing the dissertation requires a major commitment of time and effort on both the part of the doctoral student and the faculty advisor. There should be consultation between the student and the dissertation chair about what is expected to be accomplished, and how much time is to be invested before the student registers. The College of Education strongly recommends that students who are registering for dissertation research (895) or preparation (899) register for at least 3 semester hours per semester, when appropriate.

The Graduate School outlines basic requirements for admission.

  • Official GRE scores
  • Statement of interest and desired career goals
  • Professional resume or CV
  • Transcripts* from all institutions attended
  • Three professional/academic recommendations
  • TOEFL scores for international students

* Applicants currently attending or who have previously attended NC State are not required to provide an NC State transcript. Official transcripts will be required once an admission decision has been made by the Graduate School. Copies of transcripts should be uploaded directly into your online application or sent directly to the Graduate School at:

The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
Research Building III, Room 240
1005 Capability Drive, Box 7102
Raleigh, NC  27695

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.

Lisa Bass
Assistant Professor

Brooks Bowden
Assistant Professor

Tim Drake
Assistant Professor

Anna Egalite
Assistant Professor

Bonnie Fusarelli
Professor, Educational Leadership Coordinator, EEPA Program Co-Coordinator,
Director of NC State’s Leadership Academies

Lance Fusarelli
Professor, Interim ELPHD Department Head

Peter Hessling
Teaching Assistant Professor, Program Co-Coordinator

Tamara Young
Associate Professor

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

When you join the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis program at the NC State College of Education, you join one of the nation's top research-driven colleges of education home to world-class scholars.

Top 12%

Nationally in Scholarly Research Activity by Education Faculty (Academic Analytics)

Top 8%

Nationally in Active Grants Among Public College of Education (U.S. News)

Top 12%

Nationally Ranked Graduate College of Education in U.S. (U.S. News)

Contact Us

Dr. Peter Hessling
Teaching Assistant Professor
Program Co-Coordinator
Bonnie Fusarelli
Dr. Bonnie Fusarelli
Program Co-Coordinator