Our Master of Arts in educational policy and foundations is designed as a traditional master's program with an emphasis on leadership and research in public and private K-12 schools, higher education and other educational organizations and agencies. It is developed for those who wish to combine the study of foundations in education with research in an area of interest. Students this program complete 12 credits of foundational courses, six credits' worth of research courses, and 15 elective credits. Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue careers in educational research or nonprofit organizations, or to continue their education in a doctoral program.

The goal of our graduate programs is to engage the professional educator (teacher or other human-service organization leader) in extended critical reflection on principles, practices and rationales of human service leadership in contemporary society. Specifically, the program seeks to develop educational and human-service leaders with expertise in historical, philosophical and sociological foundations of educational policy issues.

Our programs are designed to accommodate the working professional, and content is composed to reflect diversity in student backgrounds, interests and professional objectives.


Credit Hours


Years to Complete


Full and Part-time Options





Educational policy and foundations program outcomes

Graduates of Marquette’s master's program in educational policy and foundations (EDPF) can expect to be able to:

  1. Analyze the quality of research tools used to conduct educational research that addresses current policy issues in education.
  2. Frame educational issues in historical context of American education.
  3. Construct philosophical foundation for educational practice
  4. Use theoretical and/or research perspectives to analyze political, social, economic, legal and/or cultural issues in education. 

EDPF Course Work

Required Foundation courses:

Sociological Foundations of Education 3
History of Education in the United States 3

Additional Foundation - two courses chosen from the following:

Student Development in Higher Education  
History of Higher Education in the United States  
Lifespan Development 1  
Learning and Curriculum Theories  
Theories of Learning Applied to Instruction  
Organizational Theory and Administration in K-12 Schools  
Politics and Community in Educational Organizations  
American Law and the Educational Organization  
Instructional Leadership  
Child and Adolescent Development  

Required Research courses:

Introduction to Educational Inquiry 3
Capstone in Educational Policy and Leadership 3

Electives - five courses chosen from the following, not used to fulfill previous requirements:

Social Justice Advocacy in Student Affairs  
Student Development in Higher Education  
Environmental Theory Assessment in Higher Education  
History of Higher Education in the United States  
Organizational Theory and Administration in Higher Education  
Contemporary Philosophies of Education  
Learning and Curriculum Theories  
Theories of Learning Applied to Instruction  
Designing and Teaching Effective Courses in Higher Education  
Organizational Theory and Administration in K-12 Schools  
Politics and Community in Educational Organizations  
The Principalship  
American Law and the Educational Organization  
Instructional Leadership  
Curriculum Leadership  
Seminar in Analysis of Teaching  
Total Credit Hours: 33

*or equivalent

Take the next step towards your future

Application requirements and other important information to apply for the education policy and foundations master's program at Marquette University are detailed below. We also encourage and welcome prospective students to visit us in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take a tour of the College of Education facilities on the Marquette University campus. 


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Application Deadline

  • January 15: for priority consideration for fall admission
  • July 15: for all other fall applications
  • November 15: for spring applications

Application Requirements

  • Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.
  • A completed application form and fee online.
  • Copies of all college/university transcripts except Marquette. Transcripts must include proof of earned bachelor's degree.1
  • Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's ability to do graduate-level work.
  • A personal statement of purpose that includes professional and academic goals.
  • A resume that includes professional and educational experiences.
  • GRE Scores (general test only) are optional.
  • For International Applicants only: A TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • An interview and/or writing test may be required of applicants following the initial screening.

1Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record.

Financial Aid

Merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships) is available. Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses as well.

Become a Trinity Fellow

Students interested in the EDPL Master's program may want to consider applying for the Trinity Fellows Program as well. Trinity Fellows is a graduate fellowship program dedicated to developing urban leaders with a commitment to social and economic justice. Trinity Fellows participate in a 21-month study/ work program while earning a master's degree. Those who have completed a full-time service program (minimum 10 months), and/or have worked for 2+ years in the nonprofit sector are eligible to apply. Details and instructions to apply are found on the Trinity Fellows website.