EdD in Education Policy and Social Change

Be an education professional who leads efforts to improve educational access, outcomes, and opportunities for all students.

Our EdD in Education Policy and Social Change major focuses on the development of knowledge and skills in education policy and social change in local and global contexts, organizational change, economics-informed policy, and policy implementation and evaluation. The major is part of the school’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program, which has a variety of different majors to serve professionals from various fields.

Our students make a lasting impact because they are ready to create, implement, and assess the policies and practices that shape and drive educational improvement in local, national, and global environments.


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Program Facts

Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)


84 credits
(24 credits transfer from your previous graduate credits)



Time Commitment



3 years on average

Enrollment Term


Application Deadline

February 1

Admissions Requirements

No GRE Exam is required

Program Overview

The major in Education Policy and Social Change is part of the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program at the University of Pittsburgh Pitt School of Education. The program aligns with the mission/vision of the school of education in preparing students to be scholars, leaders, and change-makers in education and health, with a particular focus on equity and justice.

Create a More Just Future

Students dig deeply into foundational issues in education, such as the meaning and value of education, education’s role in society, the historical roots and significance of educational practices, the role of policy in educational change, and the significance of global trends in education access and equity.

Faculty and students affiliated with the program ground their professional and scholarly work in multiple forms of evidence and use social science tools that lead to creative solutions, more equitable opportunities, and more socially just educational structures.

Earn Your Degree While Working

The program accommodates the schedules of working professionals and combines an online learning environment with monthly Saturday in-person sessions.

The Best of Online and Face-to-Face

There is a hybrid course delivery model, including a one-day welcome and information event, a week-long intensive on-ramp experience in the first summer, cross-disciplinary practitioner inquiry and foundations courses, and an internship.

Built for Professionals

The EdD helps graduates advance within their professional areas of practice. This is in contrast to our PhD, which is a full-time program that helps to prepare graduates for research-oriented careers and/or working as faculty within research and doctoral granting universities.



The EdD program is a three-year program that consists of 60 new credits. Students transfer 24 credits from relevant graduate work.


Learning Experiences

The EdD curriculum is delivered in several stages, through a variety methods:

The EdD cohort participates in a full-day, on-campus, orientation in the spring before the summer start of the program.

The day includes opportunities to meet program faculty, EdD program information, and cohort-building activities as well as an introductory session with other students in your academic major.

Orientation typically takes place in March or April.

The EdD cohort will participate in a full-week, on-campus, experience that includes intense work focused on understanding enduring problems of practice in education, health, and human development.

This one-week experience typically takes place in June, and is a component of the first summer courses (Foundations 1 and Practitioner Inquiry 1).

You will experience a hybrid model of education through online course experiences and in-person, once per month (typically on Saturdays) sessions on the Pittsburgh campus.

Attendance at in-person, on campus sessions is required.

Degree Requirements

EdD students at the Pitt School of Education complete 10 requirements that are embedded in coursework, including a practitioner inquiry project.


The EdD program at the Pitt School of Education requires applicants to have 24 credits of relevant graduate work to transfer from a source institution with a B grade (3.0) or higher according to University policy.

View all EdD Admissions requirements

Career Pathways

Our EdD students work in varied formal and informal educational settings – K-12, higher education, community agencies, and non-profit organizations – and unite around the fundamental role that education plays in a diverse and globally-connected society.

The program prepares students for many different opportunities for career advancement, including:

  • Leading change agents in PreK-12, higher education, or non-formal education organizations
  • Senior administrators in nonprofit organizations and in research firms
  • Senior evaluators and legislative staff positions at the municipal, state, or federal level
  • Senior administrators and policy analysts in coordinating and/or governing bodies