Undertake research that addresses complex questions, reflects bold thought and results in educational policies that support effective schooling for all students.
The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) program area of study is a multidisciplinary program of study 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.
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Why Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis at NC State:
My NC State Ph.D. was life changing. The program’s coursework, mentoring and support provided me with the foundation, experiences and tools I would need for building and advancing my career as a faculty member, higher education administrator and state government executive. Even now as a college president, I continue to use skills gained as a doctoral student, and NC State faculty have continued to support me throughout my career.
– Wayne D. Lewis Jr., ’09PHD
Houghton College President and Former Kentucky Commissioner of Education
Area of Study 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.
We utilize a mentorship model that emphasizes research collaboration with faculty, who 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.
Our renowned faculty are engaged in groundbreaking research that draws on different disciplines and utilizes rigorous methods to understand the greatest challenges in education. Faculty are experts in educator diversity, school desegregation, ethics and equity, implementation of reforms, principal and teacher effectiveness, leadership in high-need schools, early childhood education, school choice, and the politics of education.
Students who apply to this program seek to evaluate and improve educational policy and have a passion for research. This program is ideal for students who want to make an impact, collaborate with faculty and community partners in research projects that involve field studies or large scale data analysis and aspire to become the next generation of researchers, policy analysts and faculty who focus on the study of P-12 education policy.
COURSE OF STUDY
All doctoral degrees in the College of Education require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Upon the recommendation of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee, a maximum of 12 hours of relevant graduate credit from the master’s degree may be applied toward the 72 credit hour minimum.
In addition to completing required coursework, doctoral students must demonstrate their ability to undertake scholarly research by writing a dissertation reporting the results of an original investigation, by passing a series of written and oral preliminary examinations in the field of specialization and related areas of knowledge and by successfully defending the dissertation.
Doctoral Curriculum (revised for Fall 2019 and later 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 – selected in consultation with the student’s advisor
- 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 (OR another advanced qualitative course, such as Mixed Methods, Case Studies, or Action Research)
- ED/ELP Research Methods Elective
College-Wide Scholar Leader Courses (6 credit hours)
- ED 755 Scholar Leader: Diversity and Equity in Schools and Communities
- ED 756 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)
Note: Writing the dissertation requires a major commitment of time and effort on both the part of the doctoral student and the faculty advisor. Students must register for at least 3 semester hours per semester for (ELP 891, 895 or 899).
The Graduate School outlines basic requirements for admission.
- Official GRE scores from within the last 5 years
*Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the requirement for GRE scores is being waived for applicants for 2021-2022 (Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2022).
- Personal statement focusing on your academic and professional background (See FAQs)
- 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
FINANCING YOUR DOCTORAL PROGRAM
Graduate Research Assistantships (RA)
Graduate Research Assistants directly participate in the research mission of a program area of study in the design of studies, data collection, analysis or reporting of research results in the student’s field of study, where research may, but is not required to, (a) contribute directly to the student’s thesis or dissertation; or (b) provides general support to the research mission of the program area of study. 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.
Provost’s Fellowships are one-year awards with a stipend level to be determined by the Fellow’s respective college. These Fellowships, which are very limited in number, 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. These very limited 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.
For more information on the financial aid options open to you:
- Review our tuition and fees information and see how establishing residency in North Carolina can significantly reduce your expenses.
- Apply to become an N.C. resident for tuition purposes or review information on and procedures for becoming a North Carolina resident.
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:
- Educator diversity
- School desegregation
- Ethics and equity
- Implementation of reforms
- Principal and teacher effectiveness
- School choice
- Leadership in high need schools
- The politics of education
When are applications due?
Applications are due on Dec. 1. 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 (including prior coursework, GPA in your master’s program, if applicable, and GPA in your junior and senior years), professional experience and accomplishments, the potential match between your professional goals and research interests and our program’s mission and curriculum, and your letters of recommendation.
What should I write in the personal statement?
Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis program area of study? Why is our specific program a good fit for you? What about your academic and professional background makes you an exceptional applicant for this Ph.D. program? What are your research interests? What larger questions are you trying to answer? Which professors’ interests and research activity best align with your research interests? To answer this last question, applicants should closely review faculty profiles and recent publications. If applicable, include a brief history of past or current research activities. (750 words maximum)
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 coordinator, Anna J. Egalite, Ph.D. For assistance with the application process, please contact The Graduate School. If you have been admitted into the program area of study and have questions, please contact your initial academic advisor or Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Ann Van Elsue.
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