International Education Leadership, Master of Education

Department of Educational Leadership

College of Education

International Education has experienced a growth trend in the last two decades in community colleges, colleges and universities both nationally and internationally.  Not only has there been a 40.5% increase in international student enrollment nationwide over the past 10 years, there has also been an interest in professionals pursuing advanced degrees in careers that focus on global learning and international education.  According to industry experts, higher degrees are required for evolving careers in this growth field. 

The purpose of the Master’s Degree in International Education is to prepare students to serve as practitioners and researchers in the field of international education.  A secondary target market are those professionals already working in the field of international education seeking to advance to higher administrative level positions which require advanced degrees. The program is online and can be completed by students located both nationally and regionally.

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Additional admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are recommended.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Fieldwork Experience/Internship is required.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Master’s Degree in International Education Leadership is to prepare students to serve as leaders, practitioners, and researchers in the field of international education.  The degree is specifically designed to provide cross-disciplinary education in the preparation of globally competent leaders and practitioners in the field of international education. Similarly, incoming students with research agendas will be challenged and prepared to focus on global research interests.
The curriculum, in conjunction with the practicum, offers a comprehensive approach to scholarship in the field of international education.  Students examine contemporary issues of international education and policy, and compare and contrast institutional environments and contexts of international higher education.  In classes and an internship, they critically analyze global educational issues and inter-cultural topics, apply research processes and approaches to international education topics, and explore and create professional development plans in the field of international education.  Upon completion of the degree, students will be able to utilize theories and evidence-based practices to inform international leadership issues and practices, and to engage in professional discourse regarding educational matters of global significance. 
The Master’s Degree in International Education Leadership is designed for administrators and education professionals who have an interest and/or experience in international contexts.  The degree is intended for individuals who are seeking preparation for employment within study abroad programs, English as a Second Language initiatives, intensive language programs, international student services, international professional training programs, and leadership positions in government programs and agencies that focus on internationalism. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Elucidate the major theories, research methods, and approaches to international education in the context of higher education and illustrate their applications and relationships to applied contexts in written and/or oral presentations.
  • Analyze diverse cultural, social, and intellectual resources within communities to address institutional challenges.
  • Assess personal leadership styles and intercultural development levels through critical reflection, and show a capacity to understand multiple perspectives on culture in presentations, written papers, and discussions. 
  • Analyze interpretive, normative, critical perspectives on education research and articulate the appropriateness of various methodological approaches to the exploration of theoretical and practical questions in international education.
  • Develop a global framework of international education grounded in an interpretation of the complex political and cultural web of values and rights.
  • Apply an understanding of the sociological and cultural role of education to a critical exploration of specific   educational issues.
  • Analyze organizational development issues by drawing upon philosophical, social, historical, political, and intercultural theories and frameworks.
  • Draw on relevant literature to articulate significant challenges in assessing and responding to community and stakeholder interests and needs regarding international and cultural practices and events.
  • Develop and implement services that incorporate cultural, social, and intellectual resources to address institutional challenges, critically explore and resolve issues, and/or to grow an institution’s international education initiatives.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • There are no individual plan requirements
Master's Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 30 units distributed as follows:

    • Required Courses: 24 units
    • Research Courses: 3 units
    • Internship: 3 units

    Take the following 30 units:

    Research (3 units):
    Select one from:

    Internship (3 units):
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.