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

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

Our degree program offers a rich comparative perspective on diverse higher education contexts around the world, the tools to conduct high-quality research and put it into practice, and specialized tracks to prepare you for a career as a scholar-practitioner or a researcher.

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 generally require two years to complete the program.

When can I start?

The program begins in the fall semester.

Program Format

You can complete the program in person, from a distance, or through a hybrid format.

At BC, we recognize the importance of a sense of mission that goes beyond acquiring skills and content. International connections are transformative, and we help students think about how institutions can incorporate global and intercultural dimensions into all their activities.
Gerardo Blanco, Co-Director, International Higher Education Master's Program

The Center for International Higher Education

The M.A. in International Higher Education leverages the renown of Boston College’s Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) to prepare you for a career as a practitioner, policymaker, administrator, or researcher in the fast-growing field of international higher education. We take a comparative approach rather than centering the U.S. context. 


Adjunct Faculty

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)

Photo of Dr. Ariane de Gayardon, Researcher, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente

Dr. Ariane de Gayardon
Researcher, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente

Theory Meets Practice

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, M.A. ’19


Students have two possible tracks, each of which culminates in a final assessment (either a thesis or an applied research project). Academic advisors will help you decide which track best aligns with your interests. Online and hybrid options enable international students and scholars to join counterparts in Boston, fostering a truly global conversation.


  • Courses: 10 
  • Credits: 30 
  • Comprehensive Exam or Master's Thesis

The Scholar-Practitioner track (18 months) is designed for those seeking professional careers in international higher education. In addition to an applied research project, conducted “in placement” with an organization in the field, students take a final comprehensive exam. 

The Research Intensive track (2 years) is suited for those interested in research careers in international higher education. Students complete a thesis. 



  • Study Abroad Advisor
  • Career Advisor
  • Education Abroad Coordinator
  • Exchange & Program Manager
  • Academic Services Coordinator
  • Academic Advisor


  • Wake Forest University
  • NYU Shanghai (People's Republic of China)
  • Colorado State University
  • Boston College
  • University of Guadalajara (Mexico)
  • Boston University

Financial Aid

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 $8.4 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. 




Application & Deadlines

Apply Now

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


  • Regular Decision — 12/1
  • Rolling Admission — Until 7/15
  • Intl. Applicants — Until 7/1


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.

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.


Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in lieu of official transcripts for the application review process. In the event that one is admitted into a program and enrolls, our office will need official transcripts prior to course registration. To expedite application processing times, our office encourages you to send unofficial transcripts electronically to our email address at GSOE@BC.EDU. Please note that unofficial transcripts must include all of the following items:

  • Course titles and grades for each course
  • Year and entry term for each of the courses listed
  • Translated into English by certified translation agent (if not already in English)
    • Original and translated transcripts must be provided

If you are able to secure official transcripts, please note the following:

  • An official postsecondary transcript must be printed on official institutional paper and include at least one of the following: an institutional watermark, the registrar’s signature, or the registrar's seal.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts sent directly from applicants are not acceptable, the transcript must come directly from the institution.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in to ensure it is received by our office. 

Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:

Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

Submitting GRE test scores is optional and not required for 2022 entry term(s). If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

Applicants that have completed a degree outside of the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) completed by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.

Requirements for International Students

Mary Kinnane Award

This award is given annually to a graduating student in the Higher Education program who embodies the quality of academic excellence and service which reflects the Jesuit ideal of education in the service of others.

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