EdM in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Changes to this program will take effect in the 2015–2016 academic year.

The Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Program is a graduate-level program with three options:

  1. No subconcentration
  2. Higher Education Administration
  3. Pre-K–12 Educational Administration

Student programs may include, but are not limited to, preparation for licensure as educational leaders in public school systems, as well as school leadership positions in independent and international schools. Other programs cover educational work in universities, government agencies, or community organizations. These would seldom require licensure, but often have much in common with educational leadership in schools.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

(No Subconcentration)

The Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Program with no subconcentration is for students who plan to work as leaders or policy specialists in education. This program seeks to develop a broad understanding of education at all levels, administrative skills valuable in many capacities, and an understanding of the principles supporting responsible leadership.

Core Coursework (8 cr)

  • SED AP 662 Strategic Planning and Implementation (4 cr)
  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)

Elective Coursework (24 cr)

Students complete 24 credits of graduate-level courses. Courses are selected in consultation with an academic advisor and may be completed at any school within the University.

Higher Education Administration

The Higher Education Administration specialization is for students seeking to enter or advance their careers in higher education administration. The program prepares graduates to work in a wide variety of professional roles in higher education including, but not limited to, student life, financial aid, admissions, career advisement, academic administration, pre-college advisement, and development and alumni relations. The emphasis is on giving students a broad foundation in higher education including insight into the background, prospects, and social and personnel functions of higher education as well as governance and policy issues.

Core Coursework (20 cr)

  • SED AP 550 Perspectives on Higher Education (4 cr)
  • SED AP 551 Issues in Higher Education Administration (4 cr)
  • SED AP 662 Strategic Planning and Implementation (4 cr)
  • SED AP 755 Legal Issues in Higher Education (4 cr)
  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)

Elective Coursework (12 cr)

Students complete 12 credits of graduate-level courses (approximately three courses). Courses are selected in consultation with an academic advisor and may be completed at any school within BU.


An internship is not required, but strongly recommended for students with no or limited work experience in higher education. Faculty members will assist students with the internship search process. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure the internship.

Pre-K–12 Educational Administration

Administrative Licensure

The School of Education provides a sequence of courses approved for initial state licensure as superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, supervisor/director, and special education administrator, including arrangements to carry out the required internship or practicum.

Students take the following core courses or approved substitutes (24 credits*):

  • SED AP 720 Performance-Based Instructional Leadership (4 cr)
  • SED AP 758 School Governance, Finance and Operations (4 cr)
  • SED AP 757 School Labor Relations and Personnel Management (2 cr)
  • SED AP 754 Educational Equity and the Law (2 cr)
  • SED AP 662 Strategic Planning and Implementation (4 cr)
  • SED AP 750 Educator Evaluation and Supervision (4 cr)
  • SED AP 526 Family and Community Engagement (2 cr)
  • SED TL 530 School Leadership: English Language Learners (2 cr)

*Those seeking the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent license will also take SED AP 761 Organizational Analysis. Those seeking the Special Education Administrator license will also take SED SE 744 School Administration and Special Needs (4 cr). Those seeking the Director/Supervisor license will only do one semester of the Leadership Practicum and Seminar and take SED CT 721 Analysis and Design of Curriculum (4 cr).

In addition, all students seeking administrative leadership licensure are required to pass the Educational Testing Service’s School Leader Licensure Assessment (to be replaced by Massachusetts’ Professional Assessment for Leaders examination when it becomes available).

Practicum (4 cr)

Students participate in a practicum experience from the options listed below based on their area of focus. Boston University enjoys longstanding relationships with many urban and suburban school systems in greater Boston that offer our students rewarding field experiences under the guidance of expert school and district leaders.

  • SED AP 802 Practicum Pre-K–6 (4 cr)
  • SED AP 803 Practicum 5–8 (4 cr)
  • SED AP 804 Practicum 9–12 (4 cr)
  • SED AP 805 Practicum Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent (4 cr)

Graduate Degree Requirements

The licensure leadership track at Boston University School of Education is only open to students who have been formally admitted into a graduate program at the University and who meet all the admissions criteria. Candidates must also have, as required for the specific license sought, the appropriate MA Initial or Preliminary license or its equivalent from another state and the appropriate years of experience.

In addition to completing the licensure coursework and practica listed above, the graduate degree requirements for Educational Leadership & Policy Studies: Leadership Licensure Track include:

  • Master of Education (EdM)
  • RS 600: Perspectives on Inquiry (4 cr)
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)
    The CAGS is only for students who already possess a master’s degree.
  • Successful completion of a departmental Comprehensive Examination