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International Higher Education

Master of Arts (MA), full-time or part-time graduate program

Open doors to a global career in higher education and beyond.

You enjoy interacting with people from different backgrounds. You believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion make schools and organizations stronger. Now you’re developing a career where you can help colleges, universities, international companies, and nonprofit organizations develop a global perspective and navigate various environments.

In our master’s program in International Higher Education with a specialization in Intercultural Relations, you’ll gain the expertise you need to promote engagement and understanding across cultures and groups of people within higher education settings. For over 30 years, we’ve been a leader in preparing graduates for rewarding careers and leadership in this growing field, including:

  • Education/Study Abroad
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • International Student and Scholar Advising
  • International Student Recruitment and Admissions
  • International Student Services
  • Global Volunteer and Internship Programming
  • Multicultural/Intercultural Student Services
  • And more

Build foundational knowledge from core courses that emphasize the program’s niche in developing skills in intercultural relations, identity exploration, student learning and development, and enhancing inclusion. Learn how to examine U.S. and global perspectives critically within international higher education. Gain essential administrative skills and practices required for the field. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to put these learnings to work in diverse college and university settings.

Tailor your studies to your goals in this flexible program. Choose from electives in Education Abroad, International Student Advising, Immigration Law, and Enhancing Inclusion in Organizations, among others. Our faculty are long-term practitioners in their field who bring firsthand experience to their courses.

Enhance your career development through relevant coursework and professional development opportunities, such as presenting and volunteering in regional and national conferences, research and publication in the field, and others. Our optional internship in the US or abroad provides an opportunity for those who are new to the field to gain hands-on experience in supportive environments.

And, with Boston being a hub for higher education, you can take advantage of several professional development, networking, and internship opportunities to engage with issues and trends in the field. As a graduate, you’ll join our network of 500+ alumni who are working in colleges, universities, and international education organizations across the United States and all over the world.

We are not accepting new applications to the International Higher Education program at this time. Please check back in Spring 2024.

We also offer a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Intercultural Relations.

    Graduate Program Inquiry Form

    Program Structure

    Full-Time or Part-Time On-Campus Program

    33 Credits
    On-Campus Graduate Education Programs

    Our on-campus programs are offered in a combination of face-to-face, remote synchronous via Zoom, or asynchronous online courses. Whatever the delivery mode, you'll get the same careful attention and support from our dedicated faculty and staff.

    Please contact if you have any questions.

    “I love how rewarding my job is. Working both with students coming to the U.S. and students wanting to go abroad is a reminder of how interconnected the world is.”
    Mary M. Struzska-Tyamayev ’16, Director, Center for Global Education at Simmons University
    Learning Outcomes
    Our MA in International Higher Education prepares you to:
    Portrait of Marvin Casasola
    Marvin Casasola ’18
    Marvin Casasola (he, him, his) is the Director of the Tufts University Latino Center where he gathers community members to learn and share experiences, as well as show support and appreciation of Latinx identities. It's a welcoming place that provides a dedicated environment to engage in research, celebration, collaboration, and dialogue to inspire advocacy and social change with the Latinx community.
    Portrait of Pan Luo
    Pan Luo ’17
    "Lesley is a place where I found my true passion for international education and grew tremendously as an international student and a global educator. The program enabled me to diversify my areas of expertise, including admissions, immigration law, student advising and support, intercultural communications, institutional relations, credential evaluation, and study abroad program development. In my final semester, I interned at Wentworth Institute of Technology where I am working as the Associate Director of International and Domestic Admissions. My main job is to lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive recruitment and admissions strategy at the university to identify, recruit, enroll, and support international students like me. I truly enjoy what I do."
    Portrait of Shaya Gregory Poku
    Shaya Gregory Poku ’09
    Dean for Equity, Social Justice, and Community Impact at Wheaton College, Shaya Gregory Poku seeks to optimize peace, entrench equity, and reify meaningful social change. "The analytical frameworks and embodied reflection I was exposed to at Lesley, during the Intercultural Relations program, have served me through two distinct career paths—both bridge-building across gulfs of experience and understanding. First, in my work with an international nonprofit organization to perform humanitarian work in fragile and conflict-affected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. And now in higher education for the last seven years to devise platforms to institutionalize student success and inclusion efforts, and to develop curricula for college students to push their critical thinking and global awareness."
    Portrait of Andie D'Agostino
    Andie D'Agostino ’18
    Assistant Director of Partnership Engagement within the Rabb School of Continuing Studies at Brandeis University, Andie D'Agostino chose this particular program at Lesley over other internationally-focused programs because of the interdisciplinary curriculum. "Although I was primarily interested in pursuing a career in study abroad, I felt this program would provide me with a more well-rounded education and understanding of internationalization and interculturalism. My biggest advice would be to take advantage of the faculty and your fellow classmates. I appreciated learning from and alongside professionals in their respective fields. As a recent graduate, I have felt supported by the strong network of alumni here in the Boston area."
    Where You Could Work
    Job opportunities in this field are projected to grow eight percent over the next ten years. Graduates pursue careers in international education, advising, administration, and more. A few examples include:


    Total approximate cost for this master's degree program.
    International Higher Education
    Estimated Cost

    All graduate students are reviewed for merit scholarships through the admissions process and are awarded at the time of acceptance. Other forms of financial aid are also available. Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover. Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective in the Summer term.

    Apply Now

    Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.

    Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2023-2024 academic year.
    Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

    Next steps to apply

    Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.