Admissions - MA in Educational Studies - Educational Leadership and Policy

Application Deadlines

We only accept applications to begin the program in Fall term, which begins in early September.

Round 1 Deadline: December 1
Applicants notified in late February. Admitted students who applied in Round 1 will receive priority for scholarship funding and have the opportunity to attend Campus Visit Day in March.

Rolling Admissions
After December 1, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions returned within 6-8 weeks of date on which all application components are received and complete.

Final Application Deadline for International Students: April 1

Final Application Deadline for U.S. Students: June 1

If you have not already been in contact with the Educational Studies MA Recruitment Coordinator, please complete this short form to express your interest in the program.

Application Process Overview

Please refer to these resources as your primary guides for the application process:

Rackham Graduate School’s Minimum Requirements
Overview of the Rackham Admissions Process
Checklist for Completing Your Rackham Application
Educational Studies MA Application Checklist

The Master of Arts in Educational Studies, like all School of Education graduate programs, is administered through the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (“Rackham.”) Rackham offers a host of resources to support you as an applicant, current student and alum.

Preparing a Strong Application

At its best, the graduate school application process can be an opportunity for individuals to review their past successes, current strengths, and future potential. We hope that assessing the program, preparing your application materials and interacting with our community are helpful steps toward clarifying and pursuing your career goals.

We invite you to view the application as a portfolio of evidence demonstrating the self reflection, research, consultation and planning you have already undertaken. The contents of this organized collection of evidence, when viewed together, should demonstrate that the program will serve your academic and professional interests, and that you are prepared to succeed in a rigorous course of study.

Applications are evaluated using a holistic process that seeks evidence of:

  1. alignment of your goals with the academic and professional priorities of the program
  2. predictors of your future success in the academic program and indicated career path after graduation
  3. indicators of your ability to contribute to the diversity of perspectives and experiences represented in the cohort

The following are pointers for preparing an application that highlights your strengths in these areas; please note that this is not an exhaustive or prescriptive list of criteria for a successful application.

Alignment of Goals

We encourage you to consider the most important piece of the application to be the Academic Statement of Purpose (SOP). Use this essay to articulate your understanding of the nature and structure of the program and explain how your specific interests and goals will be well-served by joining the cohort.

We also recommend that you assist those who will write letters of recommendation for you in understanding the nature of the program and its fit to your academic and professional objectives. For example, you might send your recommenders a link to the program webpage and share a draft of your SOP. Be sure to alert your recommenders that a letter of recommendation is required; filling out the recommendation form alone is not sufficient.

Predictors of Academic Success

Items that demonstrate your potential for academic success may include the quality of thought and writing evidenced in the SOP; strong and specific endorsements in academic and professional letters of recommendation; past academic performance evidenced on academic transcripts; depth, breadth, and relevance of experience evidenced on the resume, and GRE scores. There is no minimum GRE score; see below for additional information on holistic review. If you have already completed a graduate degree, contact the Educational Studies MA Coordinator for information about requesting a waiver of the GRE requirement.

Contribution to Cohort

Indications of your ability to contribute to the diversity of perspectives and experiences represented in the cohort can be included in many parts of the application, including but not limited to the Personal Statement. This is a short piece of writing that supplements the SOP. Whereas the SOP is primarily oriented to the future, the Personal Statement is more retrospective and serves as an opportunity to provide more context for your application.

Holistic Review

Applications are evaluated using a holistic process, which means that reviewers carefully consider all materials provided and no single factor is used in either accepting or denying an applicant for admission.

If you believe your undergraduate transcripts and/or GRE scores to be particularly poor predictors of your future academic and professional success, we invite you to include a brief note with any additional information or context that may be relevant. This may be worked into the text of the Statement of Purpose itself or take the form of an addendum immediately following the final paragraph of the Statement of Purpose, in the same document.

Assistance with the Application Process

As a first step, you may review Rackham’s Help While Applying page and the School of Education’s list of Frequently Asked Questions.

For assistance with the application itself, you may contact Laurie Brannan, Admissions and Graduate Records Coordinator, at It is imperative that students interested in admission to programs in the School of Education meet all deadlines for submitting applications and relevant materials. Deadlines may differ slightly for different programs. Deadlines can be found on our application deadlines page.

For assistance in discerning whether a specific application requirement applies to your situation or for advice on preparing a competitive application given your own unique circumstances, contact Tom Drake, Manager of Academic Program Development, Educational Studies Program, at

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Educational Studies

To inquire about the master's program as a prospective student, click here.

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Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259

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