Education is a joint venture. Government, business, schools, and civil society all contribute to the provision of education. The mission of the Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies (POLS) program is to equip our students with the knowledge, theory, and practical skills they need to bring about the change they want to see in education.
This nine-month, full-time residential program combines coursework and field work to prepare students for effective leadership in a wide range of education enterprises. Our cohort model emphasizes teamwork, understanding complex problems, and designing solutions. Students collaborate with faculty, peers, and field site hosts. The program awards a master of arts degree.
Stanford is known for its interdisciplinary approach to learning and problem solving, and POLS students have access to classes and faculty across the university. At the GSE, the POLS program situates students at the intersection of cutting-edge education research and practice in the field of education.
POLS students want to lead change to bring about more just and equitable education for all learners. They come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and share a desire to learn in a collaborative environment and develop the skills they need to become more effective leaders.
POLS does not prepare students for a particular role or job. Rather, it cultivates education leaders who go on to be change makers in a variety of roles and domains. POLS alumni work in schools, government, business, philanthropies, education technology, and more. Stanford offers strong career support to students and alumni, both through GSE EdCareers and Stanford Career Education.