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The MA in International Education Management (IEM) is an online 44-credit program. You can study full time to graduate in three semesters or part time for greater flexibility.

Start Dates Credits Practicum/Thesis Second Language Program Chair
August or January 44 Required Optional Daniel Chatham

Learning Goals

Our curriculum is designed around a distinct set of learning goals to promote the relevant skills and knowledge that foster meaningful intercultural understanding and interactions in international education.


Core coursework (24 credits)

Language studies and/or intercultural competence (8 credits)

Electives (6 credits)

Practicum or thesis (6 credits)

    Core Coursework

    The interdisciplinary core coursework is made up of 24 credits and emphasizes the learning goals of the program.

    Principles and Practices of International Education

    Engage the fundamental principles of international education in program design, assessment, advising, partnerships, and social justice. You will explore career specializations in education abroad, international student services, admissions and recruitment, citizen diplomacy, youth programs, and more while interacting with practitioners and building your professional network.

    Social Issues, Justice, and Change in Education

    Explore the relationships between international education and power, privilege, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Investigate notions of oppression and transformation, and the conditions that facilitate and block social justice and change at the system, institution, program, and personal levels. Focus on how the select social topics intersect with international education: race and ethnicity; gender, sex, and gender identity; colonial and White settler identities; environmental sustainability and justice; and immigration and forced mobility, among others.

    International Education Program Design

    Apply conceptual frameworks for program design, with an emphasis on utilizing logic models to guide program planning. Learn how to build and test program design ideas, identify models of good practice, and link to assessment for quality assurance. Examine human-centered approaches to program design, such as design thinking and universal design for learning. Practice iterative program development approaches individually and with peers to create a research-based program plan aligning activities with the desired impact. 

    International Education Marketing and Recruiting

    Create a marketing and recruiting plan for an education organization eager for your advice. Learn how to define and segment your market, analyze the competition, build internal and external collaborations, and explore ethical dilemmas in recruitment.

    International Education Assessment

    Assessment in the international education context prioritizes learning outcomes, with an emphasis on global and intercultural learning. Examine approaches to assessment, draft and evaluate learning outcomes, and write assessment plans. Critique existing assessment tools and practice creating new assessment tools. This course supports the development of essential assessment skills for practitioners.

    Managing People and Resources in Cross-Cultural Context

    Examine the complexities of staff and budget management in international and cross-cultural contexts. Specifically, you will learn about job description development, advertisement, inclusive selection processes, inclusivity and ethics, managing remote teams, theory and practice of budgeting, and cost analysis.

    International Education Project

    In this project-based course, students identify, design, and prepare to implement and assess a project in partnership with an international education organization. Project work expands upon design and assessment courses and allows students to draw comprehensively from core and elective IEM classes. Working in small groups with the guidance of faculty and international education mentors, students apply their knowledge of international education theory and good practices, organizational management, human-centered design, ethics and standards, and equity-minded approaches to create high-quality international educational programming.

    Comparative International Education

    Explore the breadth of educational systems and structures around the world, and the cultural, historical, philosophical, and economic forces that shape these systems. Study the effects of globalization, the role of international organizations and NGOs, and issues of diversity, access, and inclusion.

    International Education Policy

    Look into the role of global and national policies in shaping education. Examine national policies of education in the contexts of policy convergence, borrowing, and lending. Explore trends such as education as a form of soft power or trade, and aid for education.

    Intercultural Competence and Language Studies

    You are required to choose either eight credits of intercultural competence (ICC) or eight credits of language studies.

    ICC courses are available asynchronously. Sample courses include the following:

    • Intercultural Group Dynamics

    • Multilingual Communication in Multicultural Settings

    • Developing Intercultural Trainings in Organizations 

    Language Studies courses are available synchronously (live). Sample courses include the following:

    • Japan and the World (in Japanese)

    • Comparative and International Education in Latin America (in Spanish)

    • Models and Decision Making for Positive Change (in French)


    Students take a total of 6 elective credits from an approved list. The approved list includes all international education management courses, all ICC courses, all language studies courses, and selected courses from other Institute programs.

    Sample courses:

    • Education and Development
    • Education Abroad Management
    • International Student and Scholar Services
    • Global Education for the Future
    • Organization Development & Leadership
    • Budget & Finance: Public and Nonprofit Orgs
    • Service Learning: International and Domestic Community Partnerships
    • Introduction to Language Program Administration
    • Quantitative Data Analysis with Excel
    • Language Teaching for Social Justice

    Thesis or Practicum

    You may conduct original research for a required thesis on an international education topic of your choosing.

    Alternatively, you may gain professional experience through the practicum, working with study abroad programs, colleges and universities, youth exchange programs, ESL or language programs, and government agencies around the world.

    Many students leverage the thesis or practicum for career advancement. Learn more.


    Optional specializations are available.

    Sample Course Schedule

    Term Course Credits
    Fall 1 Career Management Workshop (Optional but Highly Recommended) 0
    Fall 1 Principles and Practices of International Education 3
    Fall 1 Social Issues, Justice, and Change in Education 3
    Fall 1 International Education Program Design 3
    Fall 1 International Education Marketing and Recruiting 3
    Fall 1 International Education Assessment 3
    Fall 1 Language Studies OR Intercultural Competence 4
    January Electives 3
    Spring 1 Managing People and Resources in Cross-Cultural Contexts 3
    Spring 1 Comparative International Education OR International Education Policy 3
    Spring 1 International Education Project 3
    Spring 1 Language Studies OR Intercultural Competence 4
    Spring 1 Electives 3
    Fall 2 Practicum 6
    TOTAL   44