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Master's Degree Program

International Education Policy

The program information below is for academic year 2020-2021. This program has enrolled their final cohort. We are dedicated to helping you prepare for an impactful career in education by offering powerful learning experiences and field-based opportunities that will develop critical professional skills. We encourage you learn more about our reimagined Master's in Education.

In the International Education Policy (IEP) Program, you will explore some of the most challenging issues facing teachers and learners worldwide — how to educate students in refugee camps; how to improve girls education in Afghanistan; how to deliver effective HIV/AIDS education in Malawi; how to help young people develop the skills they need in the 21st century — and be constantly challenged and asked, "What would you do?"

Working closely with classmates from around the world, you will learn to develop education policy recommendations, design innovative programs, and support their implementation and evaluation in ways that effectively improve access to quality and relevant education, promote peace and understanding, and empower every learner to realize his or her full human potential.

Effective education leaders can increasingly contribute to creating opportunities to improve the living conditions of people, to expand human freedoms and capabilities, to foster unprecedented understanding and collaboration, and to advance peace and sustainability.

Professor Fernando Reimers, faculty director

IEP is a year-long, full-time graduate program that prepares the next generation of leaders in international education reform. The many strengths of IEP include:

  • Student-Led Learning Experiences – IEP students create opportunities to deepen their knowledge of topics that interest them, through study groups, leadership of student organizations, leadership of topical conferences, or participation in numerous co-curricular programs.
  • Cohort and Community – During your time at HGSE, you will have the opportunity to learn alongside a diverse group of peers who have a shared passion for education and an intellectual curiosity that will help transform the field. You will develop strong bonds and a supportive learning community through participation in various cohort and community-building, virtual activities hosted by your program, student organizations, and HGSE faculty and staff.
  • World-Class Faculty – IEP includes some of the top scholars and practitioners in their fields: education nonprofit management, early childhood development, literacy in developing countries, and more. These same world-class scholars will be your teachers, mentors, advisers, and connections to professional opportunities.

Curriculum Information

HGSE and its faculty are launching a series of schoolwide courses, designed to take advantage of active learning and the latest research findings about how to nurture powerful learning experiences online. These schoolwide courses address a range of critical topics that respond to today’s societal circumstances, including leadership and organizations, inclusive and effective teaching, education policy, and more. Your courses are being redesigned to provide the best that digital learning has to offer, combining asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences and an unparalleled curriculum. Program-specific courses will be offered in a variety of formats: seminars, tutorials, classes of varying sizes and models for collaboration and learning, field-based experiences, and more.

You will have access to our outstanding faculty, and to many leaders of thought and practice in the field of international education who will join us remotely as guest speakers in our classes, and at program events designed to engage you with the community of international development practitioners. You will take courses in both international education and research and evaluation, and you will learn how to compare and analyze policy alternatives, use data to evaluate the efficacy of existing programs, and develop your own strategies for social change. You will complete 32 credits in total, with access to courses across HGSE, including the new set of schoolwide courses, and other parts of Harvard University.

Program Faculty

HGSE consists of a faculty of the whole and students can work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. Members of the IEP faculty are more than scholars of international education reform; they are experienced practitioners actively working with governments and NGOs worldwide. Our faculty members are renowned scholars in their fields, including microeconomic analysis, international program monitoring and evaluation, nonprofit management, early childhood development, education outreach in conflict zones, and social entrepreneurship.

Alumni & Student Profiles

IEP graduates work as leaders within international education nonprofits, NGOs, and government agencies, and as social entrepreneurs running their own initiatives to improve educational quality and access worldwide.

Afghanistan map

Q+ A: Janhvi Kanoria, Ed.M.’10

Alum pivots quickly to help Afghan refugees fleeing to Qatar continue their learning.

Catherine Pitcher at the Last Bookstore

Teaching Toward Joy: Catherine Pitcher, IEP'21

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for International Education Policy reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

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