International Education Concentration FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the international education concentration in the College of Education:


Q: What degrees are offered in international education?

A: The College of Education offers two degrees for students who wish to specialize in international education:
1) Masters in Education (M.Ed.) in international education
2) Doctorate (PhD) in education policy and leadership with a specialization in international education.


Q:  Why study international education (IE) at UMass Amherst?

A:  The international education concentration at UMass Amherst:

  • Is internationally recognized, with a large network of graduates
  • Has a commitment to social justice and working with those who are marginalized and underserved
  • Aspires to an exciting, collaborative learning community with active participation of both faculty and students
  • Offers a curriculum responsive to emerging trends, which combines theory and practice
  • Features faculty members with in-depth and current field experience
  • Is closely associated with the Center for International Education (CIE), which has a well-established international reputation and is actively engaged in development work
  • Strives to provide financial support for both Master’s and PhD students and to connect incoming students with funding opportunities.

Learn more about Reasons to choose International Education at UMass Amherst.


Q: Do international education faculty provide training for those interested in TESL/TESOL and related language issues?

 A: Faculty in international education do not provide training for those interested in TESL/TESOL and related areas. The College of Education’s language, literacy and culture concentration focuses on those areas. If those areas are of interest to you, please visit the language, literacy and culture concentration web pages on the College of Education’s web site for more information.


Q: What courses are offered in the international education concentration?

A: See the master list of IE course offerings. Most international education courses are offered once every 3 semesters.

Students may also take other courses in the College of Education and at the University. See also other courses taken by IE students. The University and Five College Consortium course catalogs are publicly accessible through links on the SPIRE page.


Q: What qualifications do faculty look for in successful applicants?

A: Faculty in international education look for early- or mid-career professionals who have experience working in development education with marginalized populations, particularly in developing countries. We are looking for applicants who have meaningful experience of immersion in another culture while engaged in education and development-related work, often at the community level. For international applicants, experience working in development education in their own and/or other non-Western countries is required


Q: Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for admission?

A: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required by the College of Education, but applicants may submit scores if they wish.


Q: Is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for international students?

A: Yes, the TOEFL exam is required for all international students applying to UMass Amherst, except those students who meet the TOEFL waiver specifications. Otherwise, the College of Education requires international students to complete the TOEFL test with a minimum score from one of the following tests: 213 (computerized test), 550 (paper), 6.5 (IELTS) or 80 (IBT).


Q: Where can international students get information and help about studying at UMass Amherst?

A: The University has an International Programs Office (IPO) that assists international students with visas, organizes new student orientation, and provides other helpful information for incoming international students.


Q: When are the admissions deadlines?

A: The international education concentration admissions committee considers applications once a year for the fall semester only. We do not accept applications for entry in the spring semester. The application deadline for the fall semester (starting in September) is January 2. You must have ALL the admissions materials and application fee required by the UMass Amherst Graduate School submitted by January 2.

If you have problems meeting the deadline or are a late applicant, please email Jennie Southgate, Department Administrator, at jsouthgate@educ.umass.edu


Q: Is an interview required for admission?

A: Master’s degree applicants are not required to have an interview.  Ph.D. applicants who are finalists for admissions will be interviewed by an IE faculty member.


Q: What is the application fee?

A: Please see the UMass Amherst Graduate School’s web site for information about application fees.


Q: Should I contact anyone in the international education concentration before submitting my application?

A: Applicants may email Jennie Southgate, Department Administrator (jsouthgate@educ.umass.edu) with any questions or to schedule a visit.  If you have questions about your eligibility for the IE program, please ask Jennie to connect you with an IE faculty member.  You are also welcome to visit the campus to talk with faculty or meet with students.


Q: What kind of funding support is available for students?

A: Funding for all graduate students is limited. Together with the Center for International Education (CIE), we try to provide (but cannot guarantee) assistantships for most new students. A 10-hour assistantship provides a student with a stipend, full tuition and curriculum fee waivers, and individual health coverage, and requires the student to work 10 hours per week. IE and CIE assistantships are for 10, 15 or 20 hours, depending on the project or the funding levels. International students may not work more than 20 hours a week and may not work outside of the University of Massachusetts campus (for visa reasons). Our philosophy is to try to support most of our students within the limits of our financial resources. We encourage students with a 10- or 15-hour assistantship to seek an additional assistantship or hourly work from other parts of the College of Education or the University, to supplement their income.

The total value of a 10-hour assistantship in the College of Education for an academic year is approximately $39,000. For the 2016-2017 academic year, a 10-hour assistantship included a stipend of $9,587, full tuition and curriculum fee waivers, and 95% exemption of individual health insurance fees (90% for the family plan), as well as dental, vision and wellness benefits. The assistantship contract and associated benefits may vary from year to year as they are periodically renegotiated by the Graduate Employee Organization.

Students are responsible for paying all their own living expenses and travel costs, as well as incidental fees (in 2016-2017, incidental fees were about $700 per semester. There is also a one-time graduate entering fee of approximately $357 in the first semester of the program).

Please note: a 10-hour assistantship provides significant financial support but does not cover all expenses. Students should plan accordingly and seek additional support from personal sources, loans, scholarships, fellowships or additional work (see other funding information below).  

See also the UMass Amherst Graduate School information for international students, which includes estimated expenses, visa information, etc.


Q: How do I apply for funding (I am a U.S. citizen)?
A: All U.S. students seeking financial assistance must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA), which can be picked up at any local university or college financial aid office (or filled out online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov). We ask that all of our U.S. applicants apply for work-study funds when they fill out the FAFSA; work-study awards allow us to provide assistantships to a larger number of students.

Applicants are automatically considered for assistantships from the International Education concentration (IE) and the Center for International Education (CIE). However, students should also look for other funding from scholarships, loans, or an off-campus job. See the UMass Amherst Graduate School Fundingpage for more information on different types of funding available to graduate students.

Students may also apply for assistantships outside of IE and CIE. Notices can be found on the UMass Graduate School’s Graduate Assistantship Office Job Opportunities page and in the College of Education Beacon.


Q: How do I apply for funding (I am an international student)?
A: We recommend that all international students inquire into scholarship and fellowship possibilities at the earliest date possible (some scholarship applications take up to 15-18 months to process). Contact in-country offices of various international organizations such as the United Nations or the U.S. embassy in your home country for information.

When you apply to the IE program, you are automatically considered for assistantships from the International Education concentration (IE) and the Center for International Education (CIE). However, you should also look for other funding through scholarships and fellowships or on-campus jobs (but be aware that hourly jobs specifically for graduate students may be limited).

You may also apply for assistantships outside of IE and CIE. Assistantship opportunities can be found on the UMass Graduate School’s Graduate Assistantship Office Job Opportunities page and in the College of Education Beacon.

See the UMass Amherst Graduate School information for international students for more on estimated expenses and types of funding available for graduate students.


Q: Are assistantships available?

A: We work hard to help students find assistantships. The College of Education and its Center for International Education offer a number of assistantship and fellowship opportunities.

Assistantship notices can be found on the UMass Graduate School’s Graduate Assistantship Office Job Opportunities page and in the College of Education Beacon.


Q: How do I contact someone in the international education concentration?

Please contact Jennie Southgate, Department Administrator at jsouthgate@educ.umass.edu with any questions or to schedule a visit.


Q: How do I get to campus?

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, 90 miles west of Boston and 175 miles northeast of New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. It is served by a bus system that comes directly to campus from New York City and Boston. The nearest airport is Bradley International Airport (Hartford-Springfield), which is located in Connecticut, and is approximately one hour away from campus.

Directions to campus and information about transportation services:

www.umass.edu/visitorsctr/directions

www.umass.edu/ipo/iss/transportation

Campus map: www.umass.edu/visitorsctr/campusmaps


Q: What is life in Amherst like?

A: The Five College area of western Massachusetts combines the buzz of one of America's most stimulating intellectual and artistic centers with the serenity of New England's wooded hills and farms. The Five Colleges--Amherst College, Hampshire College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Smith College, and Mount Holyoke College--offer a smorgasbord of free and low-cost lectures, readings, plays, film screenings, and concerts, as well as galleries and museums where you can view works by masters such as Claude Monet and Thomas Eakins.

Explore the news and events of the Five College Consortium.

Events around Amherst: Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

Getting Around: Most PVTA buses are free for students during the school year.

Live Shows: TheUMass Amherst Fine Arts Center (FAC) features theatre, music and dance. Students are eligible for discounted tickets.

Dining Out: Amherst has a range of options, from independent coffee shops to fine dining.

Outdoors: Trails around Amherst and Biking trails

Museums and public libraries:

More arts and entertainment: 

Department of EPRA