Master of Arts in International Education (Online with Short Residencies in Vermont)

Format: Low Residency (Brattleboro, VT)

Program Start: June

Duration: 2 Years

Credits: 36

Application Deadline: February 24, 2016

Common Career Areas:

Advising, Development Education, Government, Higher Education Program Administration, International Student Services, Study Abroad Programming, Youth Programming

Degree Sequence:

On-campus coursework
(2 weeks)
Online Coursework
(11 months)
On-campus coursework
(1 week)
Online Coursework
(11 months)
Capstone in Vermont
(1 week)

Learn to plan and manage international education programs from a leader in the field while staying in your current job and community.

International Education classroomSIT’s online Master of Arts in International Education program offers working professionals a flexible and customized way to further their careers. The program is designed so that individuals working in the field of international education can update their skills and knowledge to keep up with shifting trends in international curricula, program design, and transnational regulations without having to leave their jobs or home communities.

Coursework provides a comprehensive background in the historical, theoretical, and social foundations of international education programs, and reflective practice gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their courses. Students are able to develop the professional competencies they identify as critical to their career.

The program comprises primarily online coursework. During the online portion, students can log in to study and complete assignments at any time. This is combined with limited face-to-face interactions as well as some limited residential coursework, reflective practice of a student’s ongoing professional work, and a final capstone paper and presentation, for a total of 36 credits.

The online program utilizes the same faculty and curriculum as the on-campus program. The primary difference is in the format.

Degree Sequence

On-Campus Coursework, Two Sessions in June (1–2 Weeks Each Session)

  • Year I: First two weeks in June
  • Year II: Second week in June

Online Coursework and Reflective Practice (the remainder of the year)

  • 10 to 15 hours of online coursework per week, plus Reflective Practice related to student’s professional experience

Capstone Paper and Presentation

  • Final paper and presentation on campus

The program comprises (primarily) online and (limited) residential coursework; reflective practice of a student’s ongoing professional work; and a final capstone paper and presentation, for a total of 36 credits. While students must fulfill a number of degree requirements, they have opportunities to customize their learning according to individual interests.

  • Core Coursework (18 credits)
    Students are required to complete between 10 and 15 hours of work each week. Assignments typically include readings, electronic group work, electronic postings, papers, and projects. Through the coursework component, students acquire critical theoretical knowledge and new professional competencies. The following courses are required:
    • Foundations in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management – 4 credits
    • Practitioner Inquiry – 2 credits
    • Theory, Practice, and Policy of International Education – 3 credits
    • International Education Program Planning and Design – 3 credits
    • Advanced Concepts in International Education – 6 credits
  • Electives (2 credits minimum)
    Students can satisfy the program’s elective requirement in a number of ways, including by attending SIT courses offered in Vermont, participating in field courses offered around the world, or pursuing independent study. Students can also choose to take a course at a local institution and transfer the credit to SIT. Please note that in this situation, the course must be at the graduate level and the institution must be accredited.
  • Reflective Practice (15 credits)
    Since students in the program are already practicing professionals in the field, Reflective Practice is a structured approach for them to apply learning from their coursework to ongoing professional activity. Students receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills in a professional context while remaining engaged with faculty and other students.
  • Capstone Paper and Seminar (1 credit)
    Students demonstrate, assess, and synthesize their learning through preparation of a capstone project and participation in a one-week capstone seminar held multiple times each year on SIT’s campus in Vermont. Researching and writing the capstone paper takes students deeply into the experiential learning cycle, where they explore the meaning of their Reflective Practice experience, integrate theory and practice in a written and oral presentation, and make a contribution to the field of international education. Review past International Education capstone papers.

Degree Requirements
Students have five years from the time they enter the program to complete all degree requirements. A student who does not complete all degree requirements (including the language and culture proficiency requirement) within five years of the entry date will be withdrawn from the program. A student with extenuating circumstances must apply to the dean of the program for an extension.

All students must fulfill a Language and Culture Proficiency Requirement before they are eligible to graduate.

View the current academic calendar.

IndiaStudy abroad as part of your master’s degree program.

International and US-Based Intensive Courses
Students have the option of completing a short-term intensive course at sites in the US or abroad. Typically ranging in duration from one to four weeks, recent intensives have been offered in Washington, DC; Bangladesh; Mexico; and Turkey.

Intensive field courses offer students pursuing an MA in international education the chance to interact with practitioners in the field, learn on-site, and expand professional networking. Short-term intensives are typically offered in January. Learn more about the intensive field courses.

View our 2016 course offerings

Apply the knowledge and skills you acquire through your courses in your current job.

Reflective Practice
During the online coursework phase, each student conducts Reflective Practice while engaged in their current job. During this period, students remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills while working as an international education professional in their current job.

Due to state regulations, students cannot complete the Reflective Practice for this program in either North Carolina or Kentucky.

The program prepares professionals to:

  • Advise international students
  • Design and lead cross-cultural programs
  • Coordinate and manage projects, resources, and staff
  • Develop courses and training modules on topics related to international education

Students at SIT Graduate InstituteStudents of SIT’s low-residency MA in International Education program gain the skills they need to advance in their current career. Graduates are prepared for positions as directors of study abroad or international student services, language program coordinators, trainers, community education specialists, program designers, international student coordinators, or international student recruiters. Graduates work in study abroad offices, NGOs, nonprofits, and government agencies as well as in other venues.

SIT has been a leader in the field of international education for more than 80 years.
Through SIT’s low-residency MA in International Education program, students have access World Learning’s network of international education and exchange programs and practitioners.
Positions held by alumni of the international education program include:

  • Associate Dean, International Education, University of Richmond, Virginia, US
  • Alumni Outreach Coordinator, US Embassy, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • International Student and Scholar Advisor, University of California at Berkeley, California, US
  • International Recruitment Officer, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
  • Director of English as a Second Language, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Massachusetts, US

SIT Graduate Institute campusTo be considered for admission to the low-residency MA in International Education program, an applicant must have the following:

  • US bachelor's degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
  • Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
  • Intercultural and professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning
  • Experience and familiarity with instructional technology, distance learning, and/or independent learning
  • Demonstrated capacity for self-directed learning
  • Current experience in the field of international education is expected, but previous or anticipated experience may be considered.
  • Students must have a job in the field of international education to complete their practicum requirement

English Language Ability
Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS  practice tests online.)

  • Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of
    • 600 on the paper-based test (PBT)
    • 250 on the computer-based test (CBT), or
    • 100 on the internet-based iBT.
  • Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher.
  • Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.

These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.

Our admissions staff works one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education — grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments — they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.

SIT welcomes students from all economic backgrounds. Students commonly fund their SIT degree through a variety of sources, including federal and private loans, SIT grants and scholarships, scholarships from other sources, and personal and family funds. SIT Graduate Institute’s Financial Aid Office provides information on all aspects of funding an SIT degree.

SIT is able to process federal loans and graduate PLUS loans for students in the low-residency MA in International Education program. We recommend that you begin the process of applying for financial aid as soon as possible, even before you are accepted for admission. Click here for more information on financial aid.

Direct Costs

Tuition and Fees

Year 1 Tuition: $18,675
Year 1 Fees: $1,350

Year 2 Tuition: $18,675
Year 2 Fees: $1,350

MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $40,050

Year 1 On-Campus Room and Board: $686

Year 2 Estimated On-Campus Room and Board: $711

Indirect Costs

SIT estimates the costs to students for books, personal expenses, transportation. Individual expenses may vary.

Year 1 Books: $1,200
Year 1 Personal Expenses: $1,500
Year 1 Transportation Costs: $500

Year 2 Books: $1,200
Year 2 Personal Expenses: $1,500
Year 2:Transportation Costs: $500

Additional Costs

Field Study Courses in year 1: Costs range from $2,200 to $5,450. See details on the locations, schedule, and costs of individual field courses.

Estimated Student Loan Fees:

Year 1: $225

Year 2: $225

Estimated fees are based on the average amount borrowed by SIT Graduate Institute students. See details on student loan options.


Direct costs and on-campus room and board are billed by SIT Graduate Institute. Indirect, off-campus housing costs, transportation expenses, and additional costs are not billed by SIT, but represent educational expenses associated with being an enrolled student.