Oct 03, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

International & Comparative Education (M.A.) with concentrations in International Education Development & Policy and Teaching and Learning

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Master of Arts in International & Comparative Education (ICED)

A total of 34 credit hours (10 courses plus the thesis) are required for MA students. Students may, with prior department approval, bring in up to six credit hours of coursework from other relevant programs. The program seeks to enroll students who are interested in improving educational policy and practice in Egypt, the Middle East, and beyond. By focusing on education from an international and comparative perspective, the program prepares students to gain inquiry-based practices and professional educational skills in local, regional and global contexts of reform which offer career opportunities in educational policy, development, and NGOs in addition to classroom teaching. All students in the MA Program in International and Comparative Education must either complete and defend a thesis, or complete the “Alternative to thesis Option” as described below.


The Department of Educational Studies conceives of the thesis in one of a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

  1. As a research paper that utilizes quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research methods based on a theoretical framework and a full review of related literature.
  2. As a thorough literature review that utilizes meta-analytic techniques or a theoretical framework to organize and portray a concept, argument, or field-based concern.
  3. As an applied project that utilizes a rigorous literature review and a carefully explained problem in order to demonstrate skill in applying research to real problems in the world.
  4. As a policy analysis or program evaluation that utilizes various analytic methods to provide interpretation of the effect of a particular policy or program, bolstered by a thorough literature review.

The thesis should be between 10.000 and 20.000 words and should demonstrate capacity to utilize research tools and existing empirical and theoretical literature.

To conduct a thesis in lieu of the comprehensive examination, the student must submit a pre-proposal to the department. The evaluation of the pre-proposal will indicate whether or not the department will allow the student to do a thesis instead of the comprehensive examination. A proposal must be submitted to, and approved by, a committee consisting of a faculty supervisor and two readers. Upon approval, IRB and other research approvals (such as CAPMAS) must be obtained before any data are collected. Upon completion of the thesis, the document must be submitted to, and approved by, the same committee. An oral defense with the thesis committee will be required. A period of two semesters must be devoted to the thesis.

Alternative to Thesis Option

In lieu of a thesis, the student may opt to: (i) take one extra 3-credit course; and then (ii) sit for a comprehensive exam, through registering for a 1-credit Comprehensive Exam course EDUC 5288 . The exam will consist of essays written in a specified time period, followed by a brief oral interview conducted by 2 faculty members, if needed. The purpose of the interview is to give the candidate the opportunity to amplify and supplement the written papers.

Core Courses

The following courses represent the content Core Courses required of all MA students.

All students must also complete two semesters of the thesis by registering for EDUC 599/5299 Research Guidance and Thesis (2 cr. each course) in the last two semesters of the program, for a total of 4 credit hours, or complete the alternative to Thesis option.


Each student will select one of the following concentrations: International Education Development & Policy, or Teaching and Learning. Students must take a minimum of three courses from their concentration and complete their thesis on a subject within that concentration.

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