Reasons to choose International Education at UMass

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.

Reputation - The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Students have access to high-quality graduate courses in many disciplines, and are encouraged to take courses in other departments and take advantage of the resources of the University. The UMass Amherst College of Education is in the top 50 Education schools in the country, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The Center for International Education is internationally recognized, with 50 years of experience in the field of international development education and research. There is a network of over 500 graduates working all over the world in education and development. 

Learning community – We provide a unique learning community that is unusual among graduate programs in the U.S. The community is a diverse mix of students who bring their own unique backgrounds and interests to the program. Our students are usually early-to-mid-career professionals with extensive international development experience. Our community is usually about one-third U.S. students and two-thirds international students. Countries represented recently include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Senegal, South Korea, Tajikistan and Zimbabwe. Students are embraced both as learners and as sources of learning for others, with classes able to make use of students' experiences as part of the curriculum. Students may also help plan and teach Special Topics courses.  

Curriculum - The curriculum is intended to develop scholar-practitioners—professionals who combine the study of theory with practical engagement in educational programs and research. With a deep commitment to working with populations marginalized by gender, race, ethnicity, poverty, war and other crises, we learn about, stand for, and practice three principles: 1) thinking, teaching, and learning critically; 2) engaging with issues of social justice in everyday interactions and in teaching and learning environments; and 3) learning about and practicing thoughtful and ethical intercultural communications.

Faculty - International Education faculty members have many years of experience working in developing contexts and bring that experience into their teaching and advising activities. The community has traditionally met weekly for faculty, students, and guests to share, plan activities, or engage with speakers on topics related to international education.

Active Development Projects - The International Education concentration is closely associated with the Center for International Education (CIE) at the College of Education, which is actively involved in managing international education development projects and research. Some of these provide opportunities for graduate students to be engaged in project management and delivery or in the study of key educational issues. The projects may also provide current examples of issues in the classroom and in community meetings. Faculty and students are also often engaged in consulting work in different countries.

Financial Support - Unlike many graduate programs, we are committed to helping most Master's students find financial support. PhD students can usually count on at least 2.5 years of support, although this depends of funding availability. Support is typically in the form of teaching or research assistantships. Some fellowships are available as well. For more information about funding, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.