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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 07, 2022
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Administrative and Policy Studies

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Programs within the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies prepare graduates for educational leadership careers in K-12 schools, school districts, and higher education institutions, for research and teaching careers in colleges and universities, and for research and policy study careers in local, state, national, and international agencies.

Students specialize within three areas of concentration: (1) educational leadership (EdD degree) (2) higher education management, and (3) social and comparative analysis in education. The department offers programs leading to the MEd, MA, EdD, and PhD in administrative and policy studies, as well as certification programs. It also provides service courses for students from other departments and schools at the master’s and doctoral levels in education and society, history and sociology of education, education and culture, educational anthropology, supervision, administration, education law, qualitative and quantitative inquiry, interpretive research, and evaluation.

Detailed program information appears below.

General Contact Information

Department Administrator, Mary Mollo
Department of Administrative and Policy Studies

Program Information

Higher Education Management Program

The Higher Education Management Program serves graduate students who wish to pursue advanced study in student affairs, academic affairs, and institutional management and policy, and who demonstrate a superior level of expertise and capacity for leadership in the field of higher education.

The following degrees in administrative and policy studies are offered with a concentration in higher education management:

  • Master of Education (MEd)
    The Master of Education (MEd) in Higher Education Management prepares scholar practitioners for positions working within institutions of higher education. Designed for domestic and international students seeking positions as early career professionals and those already working in the field, students pursue one of two tracks, either management or student services, depending on their professional focus.
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
    In the higher education management ARCO, students examine measures that reflect institutional effectiveness, data-based planning, and decision making in higher education environments that demand accountability and transparency. The skills and proficiencies developed are required to succeed at institutions of higher learning. Graduates of our program have worked as directors of institutional development, admissions, and residence life; deans of student affairs; registrars; and college presidents and vice presidents.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    The PhD degree program in higher education includes a core set of courses designed for students to gain an understanding of historical, political, philosophical, and social elements that shape and continue to reshape higher education. These courses include Higher Education Administration, the Politics and History of Higher Education, Higher Education Research Frameworks and Theory, and Higher Education Policy and Issues. These courses are complemented by core courses within the department of Administrative and Policy Studies designed to ground students in the study education as a discipline. Students develop an area of research specialization within the field of higher education and take other courses at the School of Education as well as courses outside of the school that complement their specialization. In addition, through a strong focus within the program on rigorous methodological training, students gain competency in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and take advanced courses in the methodological approaches they plan to utilize in their research. 


Education Leadership Program

The mission of the program is to deliver a preeminent preparation program for aspiring school leaders that provides a relevant and balanced course of studies, which includes rigorous field experience. The goal of the Education Leadership Program is to ensure that all graduates acquire competence through the integration of the knowledge and skills necessary for formulating and implementing a clear vision of educational processes and outcomes associated with responsible data orientation, pertinent to organizational and professional development of staff, and related to effective and responsive management.

Degree and Certification Requirements:

The following degrees in administrative and policy studies are offered with a concentration in school leadership:

  • Master of Education (MEd)

  • Certification programs: K-12 Principal, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction and the Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility. The certification programs meet Pennsylvania Standards for Commonwealth Certification.
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
    The EdD in education leadership is suited for principals and school administrators who desire to become superintendents while earning their doctoral degree. You can earn your doctorate while also completing the requirements for your Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility through the Executive Cohort for Educational Leaders (ExCEL) program. ExCEL’s purpose is to prepare leaders who champion publicly supported schools and who are committed advocates for children and youths.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social and Comparative Analysis in Education Program

Social and Comparative Analysis in Education (SCAE) is the scholarly study of fundamental problems and questions in education in the United States and around the world from a critical, global perspective. SCAE looks at education holistically, including formal and non-formal settings across the lifespan. SCAE analyzes the relationship between education and social justice in the complementary fields of social foundations, comparative, international, and development education.

Degree and Certification Requirements:

The following degrees in administrative and policy studies are offered with a concentration in social and comparative analysis in education:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
    The social and comparative analysis in education ARCO prepares creative and innovative professionals to take leadership of their chosen professional fields. As scholars, practitioners, and citizens, EdD students in this ARCO conduct research related to their professional practice while expanding the support of students in pre-K-16 education and nonformal educational settings. This is in addition to creating structures, practices, and policies that reflect a commitment to equity and social justice, critical deliberation, and collaborative links between educational institutions and local and national communities.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in SCAE trains scholars to apply disciplinary theories and methods from economics, sociology, and anthropology to the study of educational productivity and inequality. In addition to classic theories of how organizations and actors interact within educational systems, we also focus on understanding the effects of contemporary educational policies, trends, and reforms. An emphasis on theories and methods in the social sciences and humanities is coupled with an empirical focus on real-world studies of instructional and organizational processes. The PhD program considers education holistically, including formal and non-formal settings across the lifespan, and has a special strength in comparative, international, and development education.




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