The Ph.D. program in International Education Policy (IEP) is looking for first-rate students with an interest in the field of comparative and international education. This degree seeks to form professionals with a deep understanding of the complex array of issues concerning educational policies and practices in developing as well as industrialized countries. It also seeks to form professionals who will either join institutions working on national development efforts in which education is a main sector or who will work in academic settings and international institutions conducting research or helping develop public policies in education for all levels and types.

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For more information visit the graduate admission requirements webpage. Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines.  If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form.  

Please refer to the Guide to Applying  for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.  International applicants should visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.  For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:

Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
(301) 405-2359                 

After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password.  Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.  Questions regarding application reviews and decision recommendations should be directed to Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384

Please contact the Office of Student Services,, or (301) 405-2364.

Academic advisement for graduate students is provided by the graduate faculty in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).   For advising information, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Carol Scott at (301) 405-8384 or

Visit the College of Education Scholarship opportunities webpage. 

Visit the Graduate School Fellowship and Graduate Assistantship web page for additional funding opportunities 

For information about other student financial aid, review the Office of the Student Financial Aid website.

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 90 credits beyond the B.A. Twenty-four credits are usually accepted for transfer from a previous M.A. degree and 12 credits are awarded for dissertation research, which means the degree generally requires 54 credits of coursework which can be completed in 2 to 3 years. The program is distinguished by the development of a unique program of study to suit the needs of each student. Initial program plans are flexible and are usually revised throughout a student's graduate work as particular directions and their implications for coursework develop.  

Core Courses: 9 credits
EDHI605 — Comparative Education
EDHI606 — Political Economy of Education in a Global Context
EDHI607 — Education and Culture in a Global Context
EDHI750— International Higher Education (OR an alternate)
PROSEMINAR—Attendance required in at least 4 proseminars per academic year for first and second year students (0 credits

Research Methods: 15 credits
EDHI 672 — Modes of Inquiry
Plus one quantitative course, one qualitative course, and two others in the methodological approaches most relevant to the student’s research interests.

International Education Specialization Course Electives: 12 credits
Select four of the following or equivalents:
EDHI608 — Gender and Education
EDHI630 — Analyzing Systemwide Education Policy
EDHI673 — Economic Evaluation of Education
EDHI680 — Gender, Education, and Development
EDHI681 — Education for Global Peace
EDHI682 — Ecological Ethics and Education
EDHI683 — World Religions and Implications for Education
EDHI684 — Alternative Education, Alternative Development
EDHI710 — Globalization and Education
EDHI713 — Nonformal Education
EDHI725 — Education in East Asia
EDHI750— International Higher Education
EDHI788 — Contemplative Inquiry and Holistic Education
EDHI788T — International Education and Cultural Exchange: Policies and Practices

Disciplinary and Professional Course Electives: 12 credits
For example, courses may be selected in the areas of public policy, communications, anthropology, economics, sociology, gender studies, higher education, early childhood education, or from elsewhere in the College of Education, the University, or the Washington Regional Consortium.

Internship -- Optional: 3 credits click here to go to our internship page
EDHI889 — Internship in Education

Transfer from previous master’s program: Maximum of 24 credits

Comprehensive Exam: 3 credits
EDHI 898 — Pre-Candidacy Research

Doctoral Dissertation: Minimum of 12 credits
EDHI 899 — Dissertation Research

Total: 90 credits


All students will be expected to take both disciplinary courses and professional specialty courses. Disciplinary courses refer to those in the social sciences and humanities, such as Anthropology, Economics, or History. While some courses in these areas are offered within the Department, it is expected that doctoral students will also take coursework outside the Department and College. Professional specialty courses refer to those that develop expertise in areas relevant to working in education. For example, students may want to specialize in higher education, early childhood education, curriculum development, or distance education. Courses in a variety of departments and colleges provide specializations in these areas.

This division between disciplinary and professional courses is not meant to be interpreted rigidly. Some of the areas in which students wish to develop expertise may not be easily classified as one or another, for example, feminist studies, public policy, Latin American studies, and others. The division above should therefore not be seen as constraining, but interpreted in a way that allows students to develop the best program of study for their own needs.

While graduate degrees have traditionally encouraged high levels of specialization, the field of comparative and international education comprises many researchers and practitioners who are generalists or have multiple areas of specialization. This is especially important in our field, as over a person’s career she or he will likely work across considerable substantive and geographical diversity. The flexibility built into the IEP program structure is designed specifically to prepare students for this kind of diversity.

For example, a Ph.D. student could decide to become a specialist in the economics of international higher education. As part of their Ph.D. program in IEP they could take substantial coursework both in the College’s offerings in higher education and in the Department of Economics or School of Public Policy. If desired they could even pursue M.A. degrees in one or both of these areas as part of their Ph.D. program in IEP.

A much more generalist approach is also possible. A Ph.D. student may want to have a primary focus on distance education in developing countries. While this could be combined with a disciplinary specialty it could also be combined with an interdisciplinary strength in issues of development, honed through coursework in anthropology, economics, and sociology. The student's interest in distance education might for instance be focused on secondary and higher education with appropriate coursework in these areas.

There are four organized specializations in the IEP program:

Gender and Development. Though attention to class, gender, and ethnicity permeates the courses in the IEP program, students can develop a specialization in gender and development which seeks to enhance their understanding of how gender operates in society and thus influences a variety of educational outcomes. Students are prepared to draw policy implications and design concrete practices to diminish the impact of gender and to increase individual and collective action toward its transformation. Courses might include:

Gender, Development and Education (EDHI788)
Nonformal Education and Informal Learning (EDHI713)
Approaches to Women’s Studies (WMST602)
Gender and Development (WMST698R)

Peace and Environmental Education. This specialization provides students with an understanding of conditions, global and local, that lead to wars, violence, and conflicts. It informs students of theories and practices in peace education for peace keeping, peace making, and peace building. Also emphasized are understanding of political, economic, cultural, religious, and educational contexts for peace. Peace is also defined as a deep respect for nature and sustainable ecological ethics and education. Further, peace is seen as being achieved through both external efforts and internal endeavors to cultivate wisdom and equanimity. Through course work, students study alternative and transformative paradigms and acquire practical knowledge for peace and sustainable education. Courses might include the following:

Education for Global Peace (EDHI681)
World Religions and Implication for Education (EDHI683)
Ecological Ethics and Education (EDHI682)
Contemplative Inquiry and Holistic Education (EDHI788)

Political Economy of Education and Development. The term “political economy” is a contested one but generally has to do with a broad and integrated understanding of the politics and economics of issues. This specialization offers students an understanding of the debates about the theory and practice of political economy, current educational policies, and their relationship to development. Courses might include some of the following:

Political Economy of Education and Development (EDHI606)
Alternative Education, Alternative Development (EDHI684)
Globalization and Education (EDHI710)

Intercultural Education and International Student Exchange.Intercultural education is of paramount importance in today’s world where contact across cultures is increasing exponentially. This specialization offers an examination of the fundamental issues that combines culture, education, and development. These issues have recently been gaining importance to universities as they offer opportunities for much needed student exchange and study abroad. This specialization offers an examination of the higher education context in which those initiatives take place. Courses might include:

Education and Culture in a Global Context (EDHI607)
International Higher Education (EDHI750)
The College Experience (EDHI664)

In addition to the above specializations, others are possible. For example, students have developed specializations in professional areas such as Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Primary and Secondary Education, Teacher Education, Education Leadership, Education Policy, Higher Education, and Public Health Education.

Specializations have also been developed in social science disciplines and applied areas such as Anthropology, Economics, Public Policy, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. The University of Maryland is a strong multiversity, offering many specializations, and we strongly encourage students to take additional courses outside of the IEP program from elsewhere in the Department, the College, the University, and the Region. IEP students are generally welcomed in all these places.

Dr. Jing Lin, (

Hang Le, Graduate Assistant (

Carol Scott, Coordinator (

Academic deadlines are provided by the Office of the Registrar for the academic year. Students should refer to the deadlines listed in Important Dates  prior to the beginning of the degree completion semester.  

Students should check with their Department or Program for any deadlines it may have.  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384


Visit the Department of Counseling, High Education and Special Education program handbooks and forms page.

The Graduate Student Life Handbook provides information on academics, campus resources, finances, health, job opportunities, and information on how to get involved as a graduate student. 


Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements.   The Graduate Catalog  is the official listing of Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland.  The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules.


Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process.  Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required.    The forms for use by graduate students are available here. 


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