Master of Arts (M.A) in International Higher Education

The Master of Arts in International Higher Education program at this first-tier research university outlines the major trends and issues affecting this fast-growing field and provides the skills to understand and analyze policy, practice, and theory.

Are you hoping to build a career in international higher education at a university, association, or policymaking organization? If so, consider Boston College’s 30 credit Master of Arts in International Higher Education.

Designed to provide you with a deep understanding of and a scholarly perspective on global higher education, this master’s program examines challenges and opportunities in different geographic regions, and explores such cross-cutting topics as leadership and management, economics and finance, and teaching learning, and student affairs in the field--from global and regional standpoints. The program is directed by Hans de Wit, a recognized authority on global higher education and director of Boston College’s Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), and coordinated by Rebecca Schendel, associate director of CIHE. Contributions from faculty and guest lecturers from around the world add authentic international dimension to the topics at hand. This engagement is facilitated by online and onsite coursework options, which also allow students to explore worldwide field placement opportunities.

Students have the choice of two possible 'tracks' through the program. The first track ('Research Intensive') is best suited to those interested in research careers in international higher education. Students in the research track must complete two research methods classes and a thesis in order to graduate. The second track ('Scholar Practitioner') is best suited to those interested in professional careers in international higher education. Students in the Scholar-Practitioner track do not complete a thesis. Instead, they complete an applied research project, as part of a field placement, and a comprehensive exam. Students in this track may also take two additional content electives.


Visit the Center for International Higher Education

Faculty Program Coordinator

Dr. Rebecca Schendel

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Financial Assistance

Education should level the playing field – we feel the same way about financial aid.

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $7.5 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. Here’s why:

At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 10 courses for a total of 30 credits.

How long will it take?

Students in the Scholar-Practitioner track can complete the program in 18 months.

Those on the Research track will generally require two years to complete the program.

When can I start?

Students must begin the program in the Fall semester.

Program Faculty & Expertise

What will I study?


  • Courses: 10
  • Credits: 30
  • Comprehensive Exam or Master's Thesis
Course Course Title Credit
ELHE 7202

Global and Comparative Systems of Higher Education 

Colleges and universities are part of an international system of post-secondary education. This course offers a perspective on the organization and structure of higher education worldwide, as well as an analysis of central issues affecting academe internationally. Examples from other countries are related to the American context.

ELHE 7603 

Internationalization of Higher Education

Higher education around the world today is increasingly affected by the forces of internationalization. Professionals working in postsecondary education in the United States and elsewhere must have a clear understanding of the range of opportunities and challenges presented by the evolution of this phenomenon.

ELHE 7101

Higher Education in American Society

An introduction to higher education in America, this course focuses on the complex relationships between colleges and universities, and the political and social systems of society.


Where do our graduates work?

Merrimack College

Resident Director

The Legal Aid Society

Education Attorney

Princeton University

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Fordham University

Admission Counselor


University of Connecticut

Career Consultant

Kyung Hee University

Policy Analyst

Monsignor Haddad Middle School

Guidance Counselor

Brown University

Study Abroad Advisor

University of Miami

Director of Enrollment Marketing and Operations

Elms College


Career paths chosen by previous graduates of the ELHE Department.

Application Information


Click the boxes below for additional details on each item


Regular Decision
Rolling Admission
After 12/1/18
Regular Decision

Application Form

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A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants.


To be uploaded to your online Application Form


In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications, and any intercultural/international experience.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

Letters of Recommendation

Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form

Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice.


Undergraduate transcripts are required as part of the application process and graduate transcripts are accepted, but not required. Please note the following:

  • Only official transcripts, bearing the official seal of the institution and the signature of the relevant administrator, are acceptable.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts are not acceptable.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate degree at the time your transcript is sent, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.


Transcripts must be mailed to the following address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education
Office of Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

This program does not require the GRE or any other standardized test. If you wish to submit a score report, the Lynch School code is 3218.

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

International applicants are encouraged to apply to the Lynch School of Education. Learn about requirements for international students.