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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Master of Arts (MA) - Educational Leadership and Policy

Are you curious and passionate about researching, critiquing and advancing issues of educational leadership, policy, social diversity and change — particularly in relation to PK-12 education systems? This may be the place for you.

The MA in Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) program fosters the study of problems in the administration and leadership of educational programs. It best serves students who have a commitment to scholarship and research as a means of deepening their understanding of administrative action in schools or in other educational and service institutions.

While experience in teaching and administration is not an essential prerequisite for admission, such experience is desirable. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Study options: Full-time or part-time
Components: Coursework and thesis
Length: Minimum full-time program length is 2 years

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar and the OISE Bulletin

Check the application tips.




1. Coursework: Students complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows: 
  • Conducting Research in Educational Leadership and Policy (LHA1003H, 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. 

  • Research Literacy in Educational Leadership and Policy (LHA1004H, 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. 

  • Policy, Leadership and Change (LHA1040H, 0.5 FCE)
    This course provides an introduction to educational policy, leadership and change by focusing on foundational concepts and theories.

  • 0.5 FCE in research methods, to be selected in consultation with the thesis supervisor.
  • An additional 2.0 FCEs must be in Educational Leadership and Policy, normally at the 1000 level or 5000 Special Topics level. Additional courses may be required of some students. 

2. Thesis: To be developed under the guidance of a faculty member. 

Explore courses

Collaborative specializations

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 MA students in the ELP program. 


Faculty in the Educational Leadership and Policy program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields. To learn more about our faculty, check out our program's faculty listing for profiles.

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

  • Educational policy analysis and program evaluation
  • Whole system reforms
  • International comparisons of educational equity
  • Socio-economic disparities in academic achievement
  • Large-scale data analysis
  • intersections of law and education
  • School administration, philosophy and theory
  • Critical democracy and educational leadership issues


Funding and tuition


We are pleased to offer OISE Graduate Funding Packages to full-time MA students in year 1.


The following are  annual tuition fees for 2021-2022. These figures include all non-tuition related fees.

  • Domestic full-time students: $7,979.99
  • Domestic part-time students: $2,799.74
  • International full-time students: $28,735.99

For detailed and up-to-date information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition and Financial Support.

Admissions and application

General information

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

Program-specific information

Minimum admission requirements

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university, in a relevant discipline or professional program of study, completed with the equivalent of B+ standing in the final year

Required supporting documents  

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional)
  • Résumé
  • Answers to faculty admissions questions (applicants are to answer each question in an essay format)


The main application deadline is November 15, 2021. Tguarantee consideration for admission and a base funding package (if applicable), applicants should submit their application and supporting documents by this date. 

After November 15, admission to some programs may remain open. For the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, please visit OISE Admissions


Questions about applying? Please contact the OISE admissions office at 416-978-4300 or