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updated February 5, 2013
Program Overview - Master's (M.Ed.) Program - Doctoral (Ed.D) Program -
- Faculty and Staff

Programs of study in International Education

  • The degree programs with a focus in International Education provide educators with the opportunity to study the role of education in the context of Asia, Africa, Latin America and other developing areas. The program places an emphasis on nonformal, popular education, but welcomes those with a focus on formal education as well. The program of study also helps to bring an international dimension to education in the United States. Degree candidates can develop competencies in areas such as adult and community education, teacher education, adult literacy, gender issues in development, participatory research & evaluation, education policy, planning & leadership, and education in post-conflict settings.
  • All students are expected to become aware of social justice issues in education and to understand participatory and popular education approaches to education. Graduates are expected to develop an in-depth awareness of cultural differences; the ability to apply critical theory and pedagogy in both schools and communities in domestic and international settings; and practical skills in training, project development, research, and evaluation. The combination of academic courses, a participatory community structure, and active involvement in applied projects and research activities combine to provide the curriculum of the program.

Master's Program

Admissions Criteria

  • The Masters degree with a program of study in International Education is primarily aimed at mid-career professionals with several years of relevant experience in international field settings. Candidates should show evidence of commitment to social justice; to creative and innovative activities such as independent study, research projects, educational materials development; ability to interact with cultures or groups other than one's own; ability to do quality graduate work; strong English ability; fluency in a language other than English; and ability to complete at least one year, full-time residency. For additional information regarding the admissions process, click here.


  • Programs are individually designed in dialogue between the candidate and the faculty advisor, require 36 course credits and a master's project or thesis, and take at least 3 semesters to complete. Courses are taken both within International Education and elsewhere in the School of Education or University according to the needs of the student.

Recent examples of Master's projects and theses include: (See for example)

  • “ I can see now”- Understanding literacy practices in the context of Afghanistan (2006)
  • Peace Education as a Coexistence and Reconciliation Tool: the Context of the Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan (2006)
  • The Epidemic of the Young: An Overview of the HIV/AIDS Situation and Current Preventive Activities in Uzbekistan (2005)
  • Exploring Gender, Reducing HIV/AIDS:  A Training Design For Peer Facilitators of UNICEF Namibia’s “My Future is My Choice” Program (2005)
  • Critical assessment of Quality Education in Community Day Secondary Schools in Malawi: A case study of Mulanje District (2005)
  • Preparing the Field for Implementing “Monitoring Learning Achievement” project in Tajikistan, Central Asia (2005)
  • Afghanistan, teacher supply and demand, models, economic analysis, teacher training, teacher resource centers (2005)

Doctoral Program

The doctoral degree is a program of study in Education Policy and Leadership (EPL) with a focus in International Education. Candidates must meet the basic requirements of the EPL program in addition to fulfilling the expectations of the International Education focus. The resulting combination offers solid grounding in both education policy and in International Education.

Admissions Criteria

The doctoral program leading to an Ed.D. degree is provided for professionals with extensive relevant international field experience (a minimum of two years, but often much more). Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a professional commitment to working in education in developing countries, a commitment to issues of social justice, and career goals congruent with the program. For additional information regarding the admissions process, click here.


After admission, a doctoral candidate together with a faculty guidance committee formulates an individualized study plan which balances academic work with relevant experience. This plan typically includes work at three interrelated levels: the theoretical, such as the study of the relationship between education and socio-economic or political change; the practical, where skills are developed in planning, curriculum and materials development, training and management, evaluation and research; and the contextual, which focuses on content areas such as literacy, health, or agriculture and the implications of different socio-cultural settings.

The doctoral program requires 42 credits beyond the Masters and successful completion of a dissertation. Normally four to six semesters are devoted to courses and study on campus. A minimum of at least two consecutive semesters in residence as a full-time doctoral student is required by the graduate school. Course work is followed by a comprehensive examination, the form and content of which is related to the individual's program of study and is established in consultation with a faculty committee. After successful completion of the comprehensives, the candidate writes a dissertation proposal. When that is approved, the candidate may leave campus to conduct research, sometimes in the context of employment. An oral defense on campus is required upon completion of the dissertation.

Examples of recent dissertations include: (See for example)

  • Accelerated Learning as an Alternative Approach to Education: Possibilities and Challenges faced by CHOLEN, and NGO Program in Bangladesh (2007)
  • Reinventing Indigenous Knowledge: A Crucial Factor for an IPM-Based Sustainable Agricultural Development (2006)
  • The Convergence of the Global and the Local: What Teachers Bring to their Classrooms After a Fulbright Experience in Kenya and Tanzania (2005)
  • Decentralization by an Efficient Information System: Enabling Efficient Decisions for Basic Education in Malawi. (2005)
  • Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Towards Liberation or Equity? (2005)
  • Literacy and Numeracy Practices of market Women in Quetzaltenango, guatemala (2005)
  • Indications of Positive Peacebuilding in Education: A Basic Needs Approach (2004)
  • Nonformal Education in Francophone West Africa: A Case Study of the Senegalese Experience of community-Based Schools. (2004)
  • Organize or Die: Exploring the Political and Organizational Activities of the Tanzania Teacher Union. (2004)
  • Education for Rural Development in Cote d'Ivoire: School Based Cooperatives as a Vehicle for a Successful Transition of Primary School Leavers/Dropouts from School to Real Life (2002)
  • Determining Support for New Teachers in Namibian Schools (2002)

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CIE Faculty & Staff