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Master's Programs

International Education Policy

HGSE is 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 are updating our Master’s in Education (Ed.M.) curriculum and structure for academic year 2021-22. The new structure builds on the strengths of our current offerings, and we will continue to support the same range of subjects and roles that are a part of our current degree program. Additionally, the experience will still be one year. Complete the Introduce Yourself form to stay informed about the details of the new Master’s degree program, which will be available in late April.

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 – The members of your cohort enrich the learning experience with their diverse professional backgrounds in international development, school reform, research, and policymaking. Roughly half of IEP students are international, and most have lived and worked in several countries and have travelled extensively.
  • 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

The IEP curriculum is rigorous and flexible, designed to develop your capacity to think analytically, critically, and systematically about ways to improve education. You will take courses across three core areas — international education, microeconomics, and research and evaluation — 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.

View Requirements

You will complete eight courses (32 credits) in total. At least five courses, including modules must be at HGSE, in addition to four electives either at HGSE, Harvard, or MIT through cross-registration

You may petition to waive the microeconomics requirement with prior equivalent experience. 

View all courses and information on cross-registration.


Program Faculty

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.

An illustration of red, white, and blue American flag

On Veteran’s Day, Reflections on Leading and Serving

A military veteran connects the lessons of service with her work as an educator.

Sarah Osborne

Bringing Active Listening to International Development: Sarah Osborne, IEP'19

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

Connect with Admissions

More information about our admissions application requirements and instructions, tuition and financial aid, and answers to frequently asked questions is available on our website. If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Ernald Furxhi or call 617.495.3414.

Introduce Yourself

Receive tailored admissions information about upcoming programs, events, and opportunities to connect with us.

Connect with Program Staff

If you have specific questions about IEP program requirements, please contact program coordinator Andrew Hall or call 617-495-4845.

Virtual Information Sessions

View the International Education Policy recorded virtual information session to learn more about the program from faculty, students, and staff.