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SIT Graduate Institute offers students the unique opportunity of earning a master’s degree in international education from an institution that provides international exchange, study abroad, and development programs. Students have valuable access to well-regarded international education and exchange programs, including SIT Study Abroad and The Experiment in International Living, administered from the SIT/World Learning campus.
Through SIT’s experiential learning model, students develop skills and expertise related to advising, exchange management, nonformal and community education, and volunteer program management. Students may also take courses from the practitioner faculty teaching in SIT’s other degree programs to learn skills related to language teaching administration, sustainable development, conflict transformation, and other related areas as desired.
The program combines faculty instruction with personal practice, analysis, and experience. Students examine the effect of globalism, internationalization efforts, changing technology, and educational policy on international education programs while also practicing skills and strategies in program development and management.
SIT's Master of Arts in International Education program formally prepares more professionals in the field of international education than any other university in the world today and is the oldest program of its kind.
Two Terms (9 months)
(minimum 29 credits)
Two–Three Terms (6–12 months)
|Capstone Paper and Presentation|
|Fall Term: September–December
Field Courses (optional): January
Language Intensives (optional): January
Spring Term: January–May
|Two or three terms working with an organization||Final paper and presentation on campus|
It is possible to complete this degree in as little as 16 months, provided students work with their advisor to ensure they complete a summer practicum and capstone in December. To get the most out of the program, students typically choose to lengthen their practicum and complete the program in 20 to 24 months.
In addition to the required core courses, the international education degree provides an opportunity to combine interests in working with specific constituencies or program themes by combining courses through students' choice of a minimum of 11 elective credits. In this way, students can explore interests and develop skills related to advising, exchange management, nonformal and community education, volunteer program management, language teaching administration, or the other degree areas of sustainable development or conflict transformation.
Selection of actual electives will depend on each student's combination of prior experience, competencies, interests, and semesters of study. These thematic areas serve as guides to assist in course selection and will not be displayed on the final transcript with the actual list of courses taken.
To see the careers that international education students typically have after graduation, visit the Alumni Careers section below.
Students have five years from the time they enter the program to complete all degree requirements. (For any student who, because of special circumstances, studies part-time during two consecutive on-campus academic years, the program entry date is calculated from the beginning of their second on-campus year.) 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.
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 2015 course offerings
Following the on-campus coursework phase, each student completes a professional practicum with an organization of his/her choosing.* The practicum must be related to the student’s coursework and career goals and be for a minimum of six months. Practicums may be paid professional positions or unpaid internships.
During this period — referred to as Reflective Practice — students remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills while working in a professional context.
Practicum placements provide in-depth, hands-on learning; enhance résumés; and expand professional contacts.
Recent practicum placements held by students in the international education program include:
* Students find positions on their own with support from SIT's Career and Practicum Services Center.
Students in the international education degree program often go on to work in the field in a variety of areas. Graduates work in study abroad offices, NGOs, nonprofits, and government agencies as well as in other venues.
Advising – Students enter direct service positions such as international student advisor; study abroad advisor; intercultural/international exchange trainer/programmer; international student recruiter, admissions, and placement specialist; international student coordinator; and field or sponsoring agency representative for exchange organizations.
Exchange Management – Students may enter administrative or management positions such as director or assistant director in a study abroad or international student services office or manager of program development, supervision, and evaluation in an exchange or educational travel organization.
Nonformal and Community Education – Students work with multicultural education programs in institutions, communities, and NGOs planning and/or implementing programs.
Volunteer Program Management – Students in this field are interested in formal and nonformal educational and service-learning programs at the community level, working with community representatives and interns on program design, delivery, and evaluation.
Language Teaching Administration – Students typically have some exposure to language education (including ESL) and would like to manage programs or institutions in this context.
Development Education or Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation – Students may work in (for development education) nonformal educational settings, education administration in lesser developed countries, teacher education and training, and civil society organizations focused on education or (for peacebuilding and conflict transformation) as international educators in conflict or post-conflict areas, conflict prevention education, or youth programs, among others.
Positions held by alumni of the international education program include:
PhD, George Mason University
Distance Education Certificate, University of West Georgia
MIA, School for International Training
BA, University of Maryland
Sora Friedman has worked in the field of international education since 1980, focusing on the administration of adult exchanges in public diplomacy, international training programs, high school exchanges, and international policy advocacy. She joined SIT Graduate Institute's faculty in 2005 and was an adjunct faculty member for three years before that. Sora holds a doctorate in cultural studies as well as a master’s degree in international administration and a certificate in distance education.
MBA, University of Massachusetts
MEd, Springfield College
BA, Hartwick College
A former dean of SIT Graduate Institute and member of the faculty since 1984, Linda Drake Gobbo teaches courses and advises students in international education and management in both the online and face-to-face programs. She has travelled as faculty with SIT Graduate Institute programs, and has also provided administrative support from the home campus to various SIT Study Abroad programs in such areas as crisis management, health, student development, and professional staff support.
As an educator, practitioner, and researcher, Alla has taught and advised graduate students in the comparative and international education program at Teachers College, Columbia University.
EdD University of Massachusetts
MEd University of Massachusetts
BS Georgetown University
Karla Giuliano Sarr is an international education practitioner and scholar. Karla's interests include basic education, multilingual education, cultural relevancy, community-school relationships, literacy, girls' education, training, and curriculum development.
PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
EdM, Widener University
BA, Norfolk State University
Janet Y. Thomas received her PhD in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also has an EdM in educational psychology from Widener University and a BA in the sociology of education from Norfolk State University.
EdD, University of Massachusetts Amherst
MEd, University of Massachusetts Amherst
BA, University of Colorado Boulder
Ray received his doctorate in teacher education and curriculum studies and his master’s degree in international education from UMass Amherst.
MA, SIT Graduate Institute
BA, University of New Hampshire
Lynée Connelly holds a BA in linguistics and Italian and an MA in international education. She is currently a PhD student at the California Institute for Integral Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the influence and impact of international education during the five-year post-reentry period.
PhD, University of Wisconsin
MA, Harvard University
BA, University of Michigan
Bill Hoffa holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. He spent his early academic years as a professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University and Hamilton College and was founding director of the American Studies program at Hamilton.
PhD, Nova Southeastern University
MA, SIT Graduate Institute
BA, University of Florida
Dr. Aleksandra Nesic currently lectures at Florida State University’s International Affairs Department and serves as an intercultural education specialist at FSU’s Center for Global Engagement. Dr. Nesic works with international students, scholars, and faculty from over 100 countries and implements intercultural, interfaith, and conflict transformation programs and learning assessment projects.
PhD, Fielding Institute
MBA, Stanford University
BA, Pomona College
David Shallenberger joined SIT Graduate Institute’s international education program in 2006, after four years serving as director of European and Middle Eastern studies for SIT Study Abroad. He also served for one year as dean of SIT Graduate Institute.
International Education (on campus)
PhD, Cornell University
MA, Princeton University
BA, Wesleyan University
Dr. Peter Simpson currently serves as an advisory board member of Ball State University’s Center for International Development and as an independent consultant in the fields of international exchange, education, and development.
EdD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
MA, SIT Graduate Institute
BA, Wheaton College
Carrie Wojenski is the director of Global Affairs at Sacred Heart University. She is charged with oversight of study abroad programming and global initiatives. As co-chair of the university’s internationalization task force, Carrie assists senior management and the university community in defining the strategic goals associated with internationalization, as well as articulating the trends and developments in higher education related to internationalization and global engagement
To be considered for admission to the MA in International Education program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
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.)
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.
SIT Graduate Institute’s Selection Process
Our admissions staff work 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.
Year 1 Tuition: $31,260
Year 1 Fees: $1,800
Year 2 Tuition: $6,150
MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $39,210
Year 1 On-Campus Room and Board: $9,120 (Estimated off campus housing is $11,250)
SIT estimates the costs to students for books, personal expenses, transportation, and off-campus housing/food. Individual expenses may vary. Off-campus living expenses and transportation costs are based on student survey data; individual costs vary depending on a variety of factors such as the type of housing and location of practicum.
Year 1 Books: $800
Year 1 Personal Expenses: $2,700
Year 1 Transportation Costs: $1,200-$2,250
Year 2 Books: $1,200
Year 2 Personal Expenses: $3,600
Year 2: Travel, housing, and other costs associated with the reflective practice phase vary depending on location and duration of position.
Costs range from $2,200 to $5,450. See details on the locations, schedule, and costs of individual field courses.
$3,000 (per year)
Health insurance is required for all students, and may be waived if a student can document health insurance coverage.
Year 1: $800
Year 2: $300
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.