Global Higher Education

Master of Science in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis

people sit around a meeting table

Be part of an interactive and collaborative learning community and graduate ready to lead and research with UW–Madison’s master’s degree in Global Higher Education.


Is this program right for you?

Higher education is growing rapidly around the world, and the focus of American universities is increasingly driven by internationalization. The Global Higher Education Master’s Degree at UW–Madison prepares you to take a leadership role in the international growth of higher education.

We offer the unique opportunity to study higher education from both an American and international perspective. Our program strengthens your capacities for critical thinking, problem-solving, and global competence.

By participating together in a set sequence of classes, your intercultural cohort forms a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative learning community. The cohort format provides a daily platform for exchanging ideas as well as sharing expertise and experiences regarding current and critical issues. In addition, apply your classroom knowledge in an embedded internship to gain hands-on experience in the global education field.

Among other possibilities, the program opens the door for you to take a leadership or policymaking role at an international campus or to join the staff at an American campus in an international education, training, or internship program. Our past graduates have gone on to work at higher education institutions both domestically and internationally, and some have gone on to pursue PhDs in education.

Is this program right for you?

Higher education is growing rapidly around the world, and the focus of American universities is increasingly driven by internationalization. The Global Higher Education Master’s Degree at UW–Madison prepares you to take a leadership role in the international growth of higher education.

We offer the unique opportunity to study higher education from both an American and international perspective. Our program strengthens your capacities for critical thinking, problem-solving, and global competence.

By participating together in a set sequence of classes, your intercultural cohort forms a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative learning community. The cohort format provides a daily platform for exchanging ideas as well as sharing expertise and experiences regarding current and critical issues. In addition, apply your classroom knowledge in an embedded internship to gain hands-on experience in the global education field.

Among other possibilities, the program opens the door for you to take a leadership or policymaking role at an international campus or to join the staff at an American campus in an international education, training, or internship program. Our past graduates have gone on to work at higher education institutions both domestically and internationally, and some have gone on to pursue PhDs in education.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25.*
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

*The admissions committee may consider an applicant that does not meet this requirement. Supporting factors include documentation of potential for leadership and relevant experiences that affect your ability to serve in leadership roles.

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Essay
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

Connect with us

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December 01
noon-12:30 p.m.
Interested in using data to make an impact on teaching, learning and policy in the world of education? Join program director Julia Rutledge and enrollment coach Pat Walsh to get more information about the Learning Analytics master's program including curriculum, application process and potential career paths.
Register for Learning Analytics Masters Program Overview

Program Overview: Master of Science for Professional Educators

December 02
6-6:30 p.m.
Join program director Lisa Hebgen to get more information about the Master of Science for Professional Educators program including curriculum, application process and potential career paths.
Register for Master of Science for Professional Educators Overview

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Program highlights

  • Our program is accelerated, so you earn your master’s degree in just one year.
  • You go through the program with a small cohort of students, forming a dynamic, interactive, and collaborative learning community. The cohort format provides a daily platform for exchanging ideas and sharing expertise, and also fosters a community of professionals that care about your success, both in and out of the program.
  • At the end of the program, you apply your classroom knowledge in an embedded internship, so you gain hands-on experience in the global education field.

UW–Madison is home to the #1-ranked (tied) public school of education in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

How you'll learn

  • Twelve months of full-time study on campus to earn your degree.
  • Take graduate courses within the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and other related fields.
  • Conduct research both independently and collaboratively with students inside and outside the Global Higher Education Master’s Degree program.
  • Gain hands-on, practical experience through a practicum at a higher education institution.
  • Take part in extracurricular activities such as biweekly discussion sessions and a guest speaker series.

Sample curriculum

Semester 1: Fall

  • Internationalization of Higher Education
  • Introduction to Higher and Postsecondary Education
  • Research Methods & Procedures in Educational Administration

Semester 2: Spring

  • Leadership for Study Abroad Programs and International Student Services
  • Assessment in Higher Education
  • Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
  • College Student Identity and Development

Semester 3: Summer Track

  • Topics in International Higher Education
  • Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
  • Minority-Serving Institutions in Higher Education

OR

Fall Track

  • Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
  • The American Community College
  • Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities

Ready to learn more about Global Higher Education?
View the UW-Madison Guide

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach

Colleen Larsen

 UW-Madison is one of the only schools that offers a global perspective within a higher education leadership degree. Plus, relationships and community are very important to my learning. The instructors all know my name and worked with me individually on learning concepts, choosing research topics and applying for jobs.  

Colleen Larsen, Accepted into a UW-Madison Ph.D program
Read more about Colleen