Master's Degree: International Education Concentration

The concentration in international education provides students with the opportunity to study the role of education in the context of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and other developing areas. The concentration provides opportunities to focus on non-formal, popular education, adult and community education, teacher education, adult literacy, and gender issues in development.  Students can also choose to focus on issues of formal education and development. Courses and co-curricular activities also bring an international dimension to education in the United States. 

Admissions Process

The admissions process for the master’s degree in the international education concentration has two steps which are outlined below.  We also strongly encourage applicants to be interviewed either in person or by Skype.  We are happy to answer questions or to help you obtain the needed forms if necessary. If you have questions before applying, we encourage you to contact us at for help or further information.

Applying requires two steps:

Step One - Complete the online application process for UMass Amherst Graduate School Here.

Step Two - Complete supplemental forms for the concentration in international education which are available Here.  These forms should be sent to

All students in international education 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 have developed 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.

Students in the international education concentration have the opportunity to be closely linked to the Center for International Education (CIE) to assure a symbiotic relationship between academic studies and the practical realities of international development work. Many students receive financial support from projects in CIE. The combination of academic courses, a participatory community structure, and active involvement in applied projects and research activities  forms the basis of the curriculum of the concentration. 

Admissions Criteria

The master’s degree in international education is designed for professionals with substantial relevant international field experience (a minimum of two years, but often 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.


The required master's capstone project (see below) integrates students' academic learning and project work. Recent master's capstones projects focused on the following topics:

  • The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Non-formal Health Education in Dzaleka Refugee Camp (2015)
  • Through a Critical Sociocultural Lens: Parents' Perceptions of an Early Childhood Program in Guatemala (2014)
  • Negotiating Invisibility: Strategies that Organizations in Asia Use to Address LGBT Prejudice (2014)
  • Through the Camera Lens: An Exploration of Visual Representations of Africa by NGOs (2014)
  • A Case Study of a Post-Literacy Program in Indonesia (2014)
  • Factors that Motivate Students to Perform Well in Basic Primary Education: A Case Study of KiberaSslum in Nairobi, Kenya (2013)
  • Factors in Teacher Attrition: Why Secondary School Teachers Leave the Teaching Profession in Afghanistan (2013)
  • A Social Network Analysis of a Network of Georgian Youth (2013)
  • Factors in Teacher Attrition: Why Secondary School Teachers Leave the Teaching Profession in Afghanistan (2013)


Programs of study are individually designed by the student and the faculty advisor.  The minimum degree requirements consist of 36 course credits and a master's capstone project. The project serves as a capstone experience for the student’s academic study.  It is typically a written paper of substantial length (50-100 pp.) and links the student’s program of study with future professional work.  As the culmination of the program of study, the project provides an opportunity for the student to conduct an in-depth study or activity on a topic of professional interest.  Projects are frequently developed in the context of CIE’s externally-funded grants and contracts.

Students are required to take two courses:  Introduction to International Education (3 credits, first semester) and the Master’s Seminar in International Education (3 credits, final semester).  The program of study typically takes four semesters to complete. Courses are taken within the international education concentration and across the College of Education or the university, according to the interests and needs of the student.

Contact Information

Associated Faculty

 Sangeeta Kamat (Associate Professor), Jacqueline Mosselson (Associate Professor), Bjorn Nordtveit (Associate Professor), Gretchen Rossman (Professor), Cristine Smith (Associate Professor).