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

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

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

Our master’s program outlines the major trends affecting the fast-growing field of global higher education, providing the necessary skills to understand and analyze international policy, practice, and theory.

You will have the opportunity to examine the challenges and opportunities facing higher education systems in different geographic regions and explore key themes of relevance in the field, including those related to governance and leadership, finance, student affairs, and teaching and learning.

With a unique focus on comparative perspectives and an emphasis on high quality research as a key tool, this degree will be useful to not only those in academia but also individuals working in international higher education as policy-makers and practitioners. The program is directed by Hans de Wit, a recognized authority on global higher education and Director of Boston College’s renowned Center for International Higher Education.


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.

Can I complete the program online?

Yes, students can complete the program in person, from a distance, or with a hybrid format.

Program Faculty & Expertise

Adjunct Faculty

Photo of Dr. Ariane de Gayardon, Research Associate at the Centre for Global Higher Education, University College London (UK)

Dr. Ariane de Gayardon
Research Associate at the Centre for Global Higher Education, University College London (UK)

Photo of Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, Emeritus Professor and Director, Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)

Professor Ellen Hazelkorn
Emeritus Professor and Director, Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)

What will I study?

You have the choice of two possible tracks through the program, which culminate in either a thesis or comprehensive exam at the end of the program. The Research Intensive track is suited for those interested in research careers in international higher education. The Scholar Practitioner track is designed for those seeking professional careers in international higher education. Academic advisors will support you with deciding the track that best aligns with your interests. Please note that core courses and research courses are required; International Higher Education Electives (at least two) and other electives can be taken in the Lynch School or at consortium universities in the Boston area. 

Please note that courses may vary depending on track and semester. View the program of study below for full course listings.


One program, two tracks

  • Courses: 10
  • Credits: 30
  • Comprehensive Exam or Master's Thesis
Our program provides students with the research-based professional experience that leads to international management-level careers in universities, higher education institutions, and organizations.
— Hans de Wit, program director
I had been waiting for years for this particular master’s program to be offered—with just the right combination of theory of international education and practice focusing on the management of global engagement operations.
– Ismael Aarón Crôtte Ávila, '19

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.

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:

Application Information


Click the boxes below for additional details on each item


Regular Decision
Rolling Admission
After 12/1/19
Regular Decision

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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 and Human Development
    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.

    Contact Us