Master of Arts in International Education (On Campus)
Learn to plan and manage international education programs.
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SIT Graduate Institute prepares more professionals in the field of international education than any other university in the world, and is the oldest program of its kind.
SIT offers the unique opportunity to earn an international education degree from an institution that also provides international exchange, study abroad, and development programs. Students gain valuable access to the highly regarded SIT Study Abroad and The Experiment in International Living, both administered from the SIT campus.
Through SIT’s experiential learning model, students develop expertise in advising, exchange management, community education, and volunteer program management. Students may also take courses in SIT’s other degree programs to gain skills in language teaching administration, sustainable development, conflict transformation, and other areas.
The program combines faculty instruction with personal practice, analysis, and experience.
On-Campus Coursework, Two Terms (9 months) (minimum 29 credits)
- Fall Term: September–December
- Field Courses (optional): January
- Language Intensives (optional): January
- Spring Term: January–May
Practicum, Two–Three Terms (6–12 months) (12 credits)
- Two or three terms working with an organization
Capstone Paper and Presentation
- Final paper and presentation on campus
With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you’ll learn how to put theory into practice. In addition to core courses, a broad range of elective choices let you focus on courses that will help you meet your career goals.
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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 choose from the following courses:*
- Core Coursework (18 credits)
During students’ nine months on SIT’s campus in Vermont, they examine the historical, theoretical, and social foundations of international education programs. The curriculum also includes skills-oriented courses that cover all aspects of program design and management, program advocacy, and participant support.
The following courses are required:
- Foundations in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management – 4 credits
- Practitioner Inquiry – 2 credits
- International Educational Policy – 3 credits
- International Education Design and Delivery – 3 credits
- Theory and Practice of International Education – 3 credits
- International Education Design Concepts and Evaluation – 3 credits
- Electives (11 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.
* Not all listed classes will be offered each academic year. Course offerings depend on a minimum enrollment of ten (10) students.
- Training Design for Experiential Learning – 3 credits
- Social Identity: Exclusion and Inclusion – 3 credits
- Dismantling Disability – 2 credits
- Cross-Cultural Counseling – 3 credits
- Theory and Practice of Conflict Transformation – 3 credits
- Skills and Practices in Inter-Group Dialogue – 1 credit
- Mediation – 2 credits
- Conflict and Identity – 3 credits
- Education for Social Justice – 3 credits
- Issues Seminar in International Education – 1 credit
- Special Topics in International Education – 1 credit
- Issues Seminar in International Education Programming – 1 credit
- Nonprofit, NGO, and Social Business Management – 3 credits
- Financial Management – 3 credits
- Fundraising and Grantwriting – 2 credits
- Human Resources Management – 3 credits
- Strategic Management – 3 credits
- Strategic Planning and Implementation – 3 credits
- Social Entrepreneurship – 3 credits
- Leadership and Change – 3 credits
- Statistics for Practitioners – 1 credit
- Independent Study – 1–2 credits
- Youth Program Leadership – 3 credits
- Economics – 3 credits
- Issues in Sustainable Development – 3 credits
- Training for Social Action – 3 credits
- Policy Advocacy – 3 credits
- International Policy and Citizen Advocacy – 1 credit
- Leadership, Community, and Coalition Building – 3 credits
- Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development – 3 credits
- Popular and Nonformal Education – 2 credits
- Becoming a Teacher Educator
- Introduction to Adult Education in the United States
- The Politics of English: TESOL Problematized
- English Applied Linguistics
- Reflective Practice (12 credits)
This portion of the program is a structured approach for students to apply coursework learning to a related professional activity. During this phase, students receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills, working in a professional context, for a minimum of six months, while remaining engaged with faculty and other students on the program. Students can complete the practicum in the US or abroad.
- Capstone Paper and Seminar
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 practicum 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.
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.
- Core Coursework (18 credits)
- Field Courses
Each year, SIT Graduate Institute offers a number of graduate study abroad programs and field courses at sites in the United States and around the world. Learn in depth about an important issue on the ground.
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Study 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.
2018 Field Courses
- Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation: Practice – India
- Leading and Managing Social Sector Organizations: Cases and Frameworks – Jordan
- Whose Language? Exploring the Intersection of Identity, Politics, and Education – Senegal
- International Policy and Citizen Advocacy: Immigration – Washington, DC
- Tourism, Space, and Sustainability – Morocco
- Professional Practicum
A cornerstone of SIT degree programs is the practicum. This allows you to apply learning from the classroom in real-world settings while getting hands-on, professional experience.
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Apply the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom while engaging in the field of international education in real-world settings.
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:
- International Admissions Counselor, University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Indiana)
- Advisor, International Students, Johnson & Wales University (Providence, Rhode Island)
- Re-Entry Program Coordinator, SIT Study Abroad (Brattleboro, Vermont)
- International Education Coordinator, Greenville Technical College (Greenville, South Carolina)
- Study Abroad Advisor, St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wisconsin)
- Coordinator, AFS Intercultural Programs (New York, New York)
- Program Representative, World Heritage (Henderson, Colorado)
- Program Coordinator of International Student Activities, Presbyterian College (Clinton, South Carolina)
- Marketing Coordinator, Center for Cross-Cultural Study (Amherst, Massachusetts)
- Interpreter Coordinator, Refugee Development Center (Lansing, Michigan)
- International Visitors Program Intern, World Affairs Council of Seattle (Seattle, Washington)
- Science Department Fellow, City on a Hill Charter School (Roxbury, Massachusetts)
- Cross-Cultural Communications Intern, Nebraska Electronics (La Vista, Nebraska)
- Program Coordinator, International Language Institute (Northampton, Massachusetts)
- Youth Programs Staff, SIT/World Learning, Vermont
- Intern Resident Advisor, Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture
- On-Site Program Coordinator, BorderLinks, Mexico/Arizona
- Intern, Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
- Cross Cultural Communications Intern, Nebraska Electronics
- Programs Coordinator, International House, New York
- Program Assistant, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
- Program Intern, International Development and Exchange Programs, World Learning, Washington, DC
- Intern, International Visitors Program, World Affairs Council, Seattle-Tacoma
- Study Abroad Advisor, St. Norbert College, Wisconsin
- International Student Advisor, Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island
- International Youth Programs Specialist, IREX, Washington, DC
- Academic Relations Manager, Intrax Cultural Exchange, California
- Assistant Field Office Coordinator, Semester at Sea (multiple sites)
- NGO Development Volunteer, Peace Corps (Uganda)
- Coordinator of Volunteers, Yanapuma Foundation (Quito, Ecuador)
- Student Affairs Manager, The School for Field Studies (San Carlos, Mexico)
- ESL Teacher/Teacher Trainer, Peace Corps (China)
- Graduate Intern, Fulbright Colombia Commission (Bogota, Colombia)
- International Education Coordinator, ProWorld Mexico (Oaxaca, Mexico)
- Civil Employee, Department of Education, Jayapura Municipal Government (Papua, Indonesia)
- Intern, The Umbra Institute (Perugia, Italy)
- Curriculum Designer, World Education, Thailand
- International Studies Department Faculty, Xiamen University, China
- Program Staff, ProWorld Service Corps, Perus/Mexico/India/Ghana
- Assistant, English Open Doors Program, Ministry of Education, Santiago, Chile
- Director, Spanish Center, Oaxaca, Mexico
- Director, Center for English Language, Leaders School, Azerbaijan
- Advisor: Marketing/Placement, ProWorld Service Corps
- Program Director, Global Routes Internship Program, Tanzania
- Intern, Red Gate Gallery Residence Program, China
- Teacher, Community School, Thailand
- Intern, Augsburg College, Mexico
- Program Coordinator, CIEE, Spain
* Students find positions on their own with support from SIT's Career and Practicum Services Center.
- Alumni Careers
Students in this program go on to work in the field in a variety of areas including study abroad offices, NGOs, nonprofits, and government agencies. Find out some of the career paths that may be open to you.
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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:
- International Student and Scholar Advisor, Tufts University, Massachusetts, US
- Study Abroad Director, University of Kentucky, US
- Customized Programs Manager, International Studies Abroad, Texas, US
- International Learning Project Consultant, AFS Intercultural Programs, New York, US
- French/German Teacher, Solebury School, Pennsylvania, US
- Director of ESL, Northfield Mt. Hermon School, Massachusetts, US
- Coordinator of English Programs, Canadilla S.A., Santiago, Chile
- Arabic Language Coordinator, SIT Study Abroad, Amman, Jordan
- Education Specialist, Equitas, Kenya
- Director of Admissions and Institutional Relations, School for Field Studies, Massachusetts, US
- Admissions Criteria
We strive to create a diverse and experienced student body to enhance the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. To be considered for admission to this program, you must meet the following criteria:
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To be considered for admission to the MA in International Education program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
- 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
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.
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.
See a breakdown of the costs for this program.
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Tuition and Fees
Year 1 Tuition: $33,850
Year 1 Fees: $1,980
Year 2 Tuition: $6,705
MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $42,535
Year 1 On-Campus Room and Board: $10,040 (Estimated off campus housing is $11,750)
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.
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: $800
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.