Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy

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Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy

Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Overview

Do you want to become a changemaker in elementary and secondary education? 

The Master of Education (MEd) program in Educational Leadership and Policy is designed for aspiring or current education professionals who are interested in developing their practice in policy, leadership, change, and social diversity in elementary and secondary schools and other educational settings for children and youth. A combination of theory and real-world practice will enable students to tackle the complex challenges of current education policy, leadership and reform. Program strengths include:

  • A focus on equity, anti-oppression, and educational justice;
  • Deep expertise in both the Ontario educational context and in comparative, international, and global contexts; and
  • An emphasis on cutting-edge, research-informed practice.

The MEd program is designed to develop critical and highly skilled educational leaders, and policy analysts, and public servants who make positive changes in schools, school boards (districts), government ministries, foundations, nongovernmental agencies, and international organizations in Canada and around the world. 

The MEd degree can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds and experiences.

There are two MEd options available:

  1. Coursework Only Option and
  2. Coursework Plus Major Research Paper Option.

Students initially apply to and register in the Coursework Only Option. For registration in the Coursework Plus Major Research Paper Option, department permission is required. Please see the section at the bottom of this page for more information. 

This program is delivered in person, which means that while the program may offer some courses online, a student will take less than one-third of their courses online. Students interested in pursuing an online MEd (part-time) may consider the Field in School Leadership in Diverse Contexts. 

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar.


Are you interested in a co-op placement as a junior policy analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Education? Full-time domestic M.Ed students in Educational Leadership and Policy have the opportunity to apply to a paid full-time co-op placement that counts towards course credit. (Please note that acceptance to the co-op is competitive, and hiring decisions are made by the Ministry.) Please see the section at the bottom of this page for more information. 


Are you interested in becoming a principal in Ontario? If you are interested in completing the Principal’s Qualification Program (PQP) while enrolled in your M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy at OISE, doing so through OISE Continuing & Professional Learning will help you make the most of your experience and allow you to complete the programs faster. To learn more, please contact lhae.masters@utoronto.ca

At a Glance

Delivery Mode 
In Person

Study Options
Full-time (4 sessions)
Part-time (10 sessions)
Coursework Only
Coursework Plus Major Research Paper

Funding and Tuition
For current information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition & Financial Support.  

Deadlines
Applications for the 2024-2025 admissions cycle are now closed 

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Why I Chose Leadership, Adult & Higher Education

Image of Sean Hartley
Sean Hartley (Master of Education 2023)
 

"When I made the decision to pursue an M.Ed, I chose OISE for a number of reasons. Chief among them was the curriculum; even within the Educational Leadership and Policy stream, I had the freedom to pursue subjects and topics that I found interesting. Professors and instructors were top-notch, allowing me to learn from their expertise and challenging my own thinking. I did my best academic work of my life at OISE, which is due in no small part to the faculty."

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents.

Program Specific Information

 

 

All applicants must submit: 

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended.
  • Resumé 
  • Answers to faculty admissions questions (applicants are to answer each question in an essay format). Please see questions in the next accordion.
  • Two letters of reference (one academic, the other either academic or professional).

Applicants are to answer each question in an essay format. 

  • Please address the following (1200 words max): 
    • Describe your academic background, professional experiences, community service and other relevant experiences and accomplishments and how they relate to PK-12 Educational Leadership and Policy. If your academic background is not in education or a related social science field, you are encouraged to describe how your experiences have prepared you for the program. 
    • Describe your academic interests and how they align with the Educational Leadership and Policy program. Why is this program a good fit for you? Why are you a good fit for the program? You may wish to highlight the synergy between one or more of the program’s thematic areas (Policy, Leadership, Change, and Social Diversity) and your academic interests. 
    • (optional) You are encouraged to speak to your academic and professional goals (after graduation) and how pursuing the MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy would advance these goals. 
    • (optional) The Educational Leadership and Policy program seeks to maintain a diverse, inclusive, and engaged learning community. You are encouraged to identify any ways that your identity (including--but not limited to--ancestry, culture, gender, race, religion, socio-economic status or other social identities) or life experience will contribute to this community. 
    • (optional) Is there any additional information you want to share with the Admissions Committee that will inform their review of your application? 

Program Information

Coursework (Regular Delivery)

Students complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • Research Literacy in Educational ​Leadership and Policy (LHA 1004H, 0.5 FCE)
    • This course provides students with an introduction to the purposes of research in educational leadership and policy. Students will learn how to obtain, evaluate, interpret and use research in their work as educators and in their graduate studies.
    • To be taken at the beginning of the program.
  • Introduction to Educational Leadership and Policy: Policy, Leadership, Change, and Diversity (LHA 1040H, 0.5 FCE)
    • This course provides an introduction to educational policy, leadership and change by focusing on foundational concepts and theories.
    • To be taken at the beginning of the program.
  • 4.0 other FCEs, of which at least 2.0 FCEs must be from the Educational Leadership and Policy program, normally at the 1000 level or 5000 Special Topics level. Educational Leadership and Policy program course codes typically have a ‘0’ in the second digit, for example, ‘LHA10XX’ and ‘LHA50XX’ The following courses also count as Educational Leadership and Policy program courses: EDP3045, EDP3145, JOI3043, JOI3048. Students may choose to focus on one of the four research areas: Policy, Leadership, Change, or Social Diversity. Explore ELP courses

Coursework (Online/Hybrid Delivery, Part-time Only)

The program requirements for the online/hybrid cohort are the same those for the regular delivery option. 

However, students complete the required core courses and 1.0 FCE electives online. For the remaining 2.0 FCE elective courses, students may select online or face-to-face courses. Explore ELP courses

Coursework

Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • Designing Master's Research Proposals (LHA 1003H, 0.5 FCE).
    • This seminar examines the strategies, techniques, and problems involved in conducting research on educational administration. It prepares students to define research problems, review relevant literature, develop research proposals, conduct research and write reports.
    • Part-time students are recommended to take this course towards the end of their program; full-time students are recommended to take it in Year 1.
  • Introduction to Educational Leadership and Policy: Policy, Leadership, Change, and Diversity (LHA 1040H, 0.5 FCE)
    • This course provides an introduction to educational policy, leadership and change by focusing on foundational concepts and theories.
    • To be taken at the beginning of the program.
  • 3.0 other FCEs, of which at least 1.5 FCEs must be from the Educational Leadership and Policy program, normally at the 1000 level or 5000 Special Topics level. Educational Leadership and Policy program course codes typically have a ‘0’ in the second digit, for example, ‘LHA10XX’ and ‘LHA50XX’ The following courses also count as Educational Leadership and Policy program courses: EDP3045, EDP3145, JOI3043, JOI3048. Students may choose to focus on one of the four program strands: Policy, Leadership, Change, or Social Diversity. LHA 1004H Research Literacy in Educational ​Leadership and Policy is strongly recommended, as is an appropriate Research Methods (RM) course, selected in consultation with the faculty MRP supervisor. Explore ELP courses
Major Research Paper (MRP)
  • Major Research Paper (LHA 2001Y)
    • To be carried out under the guidance of a faculty member.

See a complete list of all courses offered in the Educational Leadership & Policy program.  

See course offerings for the current term: please visit  OISE’s Course Enrolment website

Collaborative specializations provide graduate students enrolled in participating degree programs with an additional multidisciplinary experience as they complete their home degree program. 

Learn more about the collaborative specializations offered to students in this program:

Faculty in the Educational Leadership & Policy program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields. 

Our faculty's expertise includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Change facilitation and transformative pedagogies
  • Educational policy and social inequality
  • Large-scale data analysis
  • Special education policy
  • Politics of decentralization, privatization and accountability reforms
  • Online education; technology, surveillance, and society
  • School-level leadership in comparative context
  • Decolonizing, critical, and anti-oppressive educational leadership
  • Gender in education
  • Education for refugees and in emergencies
  • International organizations and educational change
  • Human rights and the rights of the child 

Some MEd students may wish to switch options from the Coursework Only option to Coursework Plus Major Research Paper (MRP) option. MRPs provide students with an opportunity to explore a special topic of their choice in further depth than they might do so otherwise in a regular course.

Students writing an MRP should expect to work independently under the supervision of a LHAE faculty member. Topics, format and content of an MRP can vary greatly, decided through consultation with its supervisor.

The amount of time needed to complete an MRP will vary by the specific nature of each student’s project, as it is a product-based requirement without a specific timeline, similar to the writing of a dissertation or thesis. That said, the timeline for Coursework Plus Major Research Paper option is generally longer by one term compared to Coursework Only option. Additional tuition fees may thus apply.

Transfers from course work to MRP options are normally considered after students have completed at least 3 courses. Students’ part-time or full-time status from their previous term must be maintained until graduation (i.e., if their last course is taken in Winter as a full-time student, they must stay full-time until their MRP or thesis is finished). Students must meet several requirements prior to requesting a transfer:

This exciting opportunity, which entails a paid full-time co-op placement that counts towards course credit, is currently open to full time domestic MEd students in the ELP program who will have completed at least two full time terms by the start of the co-op and who are in good academic standing.  

The Ministry of Education typically solicits applications three times per year: fall, winter and summer. LHAE will advertise these positions to current MEd students in the ELP program via student listservs. 

  • What: Paid internship with the Ontario Ministry of Education worth 0.5 FCEs (LHA1070H Internship in Educational Leadership and Policy, which will be accredited to the term in which the student completes the co-op). 
  • When: One term (4 months). Full-time placement, regular business hours. 
  • Where: Downtown Toronto at the Ministry offices 
  • Who: Eligible domestic MEd students must be registered full time, in good academic standing, with at least 2 terms completed by the start of the co-op.  
  • Important registration information: Full-time students who successfully obtain a co-op position can request to optionally switch from full-time to part-time status for the term in which they complete their co-op. Please note that minimum degree fees will still apply. MRP-stream students must maintain their full-time status. Students who remain registered full-time during the co-op are still expected not to enrol in additional courses in the co-op term due to the full-time workload of the co-op. 
  • Note: Acceptance to the co-op is competitive, and hiring decisions are made by the Ministry. Typically, approximately 1-3 co-op students are hired each term. 

To learn more, please contact lhae.masters@utoronto.ca.  

International students: Regretfully, international students are normally not eligible for the co-op. However, if you think you may be eligible for this opportunity, please contact U of T’s Centre for International Experience (CIE) to confirm your eligibility before applying for the co-op. 

Preparing to apply for the co-op: Students interested in applying for the co-op are encouraged to:

  • Attend a presentation session by past co-op students. LHAE will announce these sessions to current MEd students via student listservs. 
  • Take the course EDP3045 Educational Policy Analysis (strongly encouraged but not required) 

If you are interested in completing the Principal’s Qualification Program (PQP) while enrolled in your MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy at OISE, doing so through OISE Continuing & Professional Learning will help you make the most of your experience and allow you to complete the programs faster. To learn more, please contact lhae.masters@utoronto.ca

Ready to join one of the world’s top universities?

Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.