A master’s program that prepares you to work in international educational contexts and promote global equity. 

The International Educational Development master's program (IEDP) prepares students with distinctive skills for working in the field of education in developing and marginalized contexts worldwide. A key element is our international internship, where students gain on-the-ground experience in educational development.

What Sets Us Apart

12-week
internship
12-week immersive international summer internship, with financial support
  Connections and placements with UNESCO, Unicef, OECD and major NGO development agencies worldwide
30 studentsWith just 30 students per cohort, you will be part of a talented, global, and collaborative group.

About the Program

Working in the field of educational development in the 21st century requires an understanding of the complex interrelationships between local and global political, economic, and cultural dynamics. In the International Educational Development program, you will draw on the program’s strong interdisciplinary foundations to examine the interplay of these dynamics and their impact on education systems that serve politically and economically marginalized populations worldwide.

Entry term(s)
Fall
Course requirements
10 courses & internship (5 core; 5 electives)
Typical course load

Fall: 3.5 courses; Spring: 3.5 courses; Summer: internship course; Fall: 2 courses

Research apprenticeship12-week international internship

Culminating experience Policy Brief capstone

Duration of master’s program12-15 months full-time; 2 years part-time

Dual degree options

  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)

SubmatriculationJuniors and seniors at Penn can apply to up to 2 IEDP courses through our submatriculation program

Format(s)
  • Full-Time
  • Part-Time
Overview

The International Educational Development Program (IEDP) provides students with unique skills, knowledge, and qualities in the field of international educational development, with a special focus on low and middle-income countries. This is a field that requires strong interdisciplinary foundations, and the program focuses not only on education, but also on the interplay of politics, economics, and culture.
Students examine issues such as:

  • early childhood education
  • human rights
  • language policy
  • learning and instruction
  • migration
  • non-profit leadership and management
  • public health
  • teacher professional development and curriculum design
  • technology for development

IEDP’s immersive international internship experience allows students to apply their academic knowledge to policy and practice, as they conduct hands-on, on-the-ground work with organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, the Aga Khan Foundation, the Research Triangle Institute, and other organizations.

If you face any barriers to applying for the program please contact Lauren Scicluna, sclauren@upenn.edu

Additional offering

  • We also offer a doctoral concentration in International Educational Development 
Apply

Program Highlights

The International Educational Development program is among the best international educational development programs in the world, while Penn Graduate School of Education is ranked in the top five by US News and World Report. Here are some of our program’s highlights: 

Flexibility

The program requires three core classes, two methods courses, five electives, and provides students with the opportunity for an immersive internship experience.

Ivy League Opportunity

Students find the program to be an excellent blend of theory, research, skill-building, and practice.

Interdisciplinary

We encourage students to take classes not just at Penn GSE, but across the university – such as in the Wharton School, the School of Social Policy and Practice, and Penn Law.

Real-World Practice 

The IEDP international internship provides a real-world para-professional experience that blends theory with practice, with UN agencies such as UNESCO and UNICEF, and major NGOs, such as Room to Read and the Agha Khan Foundation. Unlike other international education programs, we work individually with all of our students to place them in a position, and provide a significant Penn-funded stipend to facilitate most travel costs. In addition, several courses employ real world simulations.

Community 

Students move through the program as part of a talented, global, and intimate cohort. Our students truly get to know their peers, their faculty, and the staff.

Perspective

The International Educational Development Program Speaker Series gives students direct access to leaders in international educational development and provides opportunities to learn about the cutting-edge global issues. Recent speakers have come from the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, and other leading organizations.

Global Connections

Our program partners with six global research centers on Penn’s campus: Africana Center, South Asia Center, Middle East Center, Center for East Asia, the China Center, and the Center of the Advancement of India (CASI), as well as over 20 international partners.

Curriculum for the Master’s Program

Our master’s degree program offers a campus-wide interdisciplinary experience. In consultation with a faculty advisor, IEDP students take three required courses and two research methods courses, and can choose the remainder of their five electives from across a wide variety of courses in Penn GSE and from across the University of Pennsylvania (as in the Sample Course listing below). For information on courses and requirements, visit the International Educational Development M.S.Ed. program in the University Catalog.

Sample Courses  

Core Courses

EDUC 514 Basic Education in Developing Countries
EDUC 695 Proseminar in International Education Development
EDUC 622 IEDP Field Experience Intl Internship

Research Methods Courses

EDUC 682 Qualitative Modes of Inquiry
EDUC 586 Ethnographic Filmmaking
EDUC 638 Principles of Monitoring and Evaluation
EDUC 738 Advanced Case Studies in Monitoring and Evaluation
EDUC 667 Introductory Statistics for Educational Research
EDUC 625 Data Processing and Analysis
EDUC 703 Advanced Qualitative & Case Study Research
EDUC 767 Regression & Analysis of Variance

Electives

EDUC 677 Information and Communication Technologies for Education and Development in Global Perspective
EDUC 673 Curriculum and Pedagogy in International Contexts
EDUC 501 International Economics of Education
EDUC 545 Migration and Education
EDUC 661 Language Diversity and Education
EDUC 602 Youth Cultural Formations
EDUC 573 Reforming Higher Education: Learning from other countries
SOCI 530 Advanced Topics in Sociology:  Globalization, Development & Adolescence in East Asia
PUBH 519 Issues in Global Health
SWRK 740 Strategic Planning and Resource Development
LAW 759 International Human Rights Law
NPLD 786 Nonprofits in a Changing World
Culminating Project

Program of Study

Our recommended course of study is to complete the program in 1.5 years (fall, spring, summer, fall). This allows students to build relationships with faculty and make the most of their time at Penn. We also offer an expedited option (fall, spring, summer), which is very intensive, or a part-time option across two years. Students are expected to work closely with their advisor in planning their course of study.

Curriculum for the Doctoral Concentration

The International Educational Development Program - Doctoral Concentration (IEDP-D) is a unique cross-programmatic and interdisciplinary concentration for doctoral students who wish to develop both strong skills in a disciplinary area (e.g., human development, educational linguistics, ethnography in education) as well as cross-cultural and international skills based on field experience. 

Important note: The doctoral concentration is open to all students who have already been admitted to a Ph.D. or Ed.D. program at Penn GSE. The requirements for the doctoral concentration are designed to complement existing program requirements in other Penn GSE degree programs.

The doctoral concentration will provide opportunities to: 

  • conceptualize, design and engage in international research
  • undertake applied research projects in international settings
  • participate in conferences, and develop and publish research in international education
  • engage with a strong group of IEDP master’s and doctoral students with similar interests

Students will maintain their principal academic advisor within their existing doctoral program and will have an additional doctoral concentration mentor to guide a specialized concentration of work while at Penn GSE. For more information on the doctoral concentration, please contact Dr. Alex Posecznick.

Penn GSE-UNESCO Fellowship for Developing Country Scholars

For students, including international students, who are looking for ways to support their education, learn more about scholarships and fellowships at Penn GSE Funding Opportunities and External Funding Opportunities. In addition to these options, the program has an internal fellowship program—the Penn GSE-UNESCO Fellowship for Development Country Scholars.

Overview: Penn GSE offers up to two full tuition International Fellowships under the Penn GSE–UNESCO Chair, founded in 2012. This Fellowship, under the auspices of the International Educational Development program, is designed to support promising professionals devoted to international education in the developing world.

Award: The Fellowship covers all Penn tuition (up to 10 course units) associated with the master’s degree program of study. The Fellowship does not cover other costs associated with attending graduate school, such as room and board, books, health insurance, travel, etc.

Eligibility: Priority will be given to applicants who are citizens of countries defined by the World Bank as low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Naturalized U.S. citizens and permanent residents who originate from low-income and lower-middle-income countries (i.e., were born in one of these countries and whose parents are not U.S. citizens) may also apply.

Application process: Interested persons should complete the Fellowship application and submit it with their completed master's program application to Penn GSE. Penn GSE typically announces the UNESCO Fellowship award(s) by mid-May, before the beginning of the next academic year.

Meet Our UNESCO Fellows

Radhika Kapoor, UNESCO Fellow ’17-’18, is from Uttar Pradesh, India. She previously studied economics at Shri Ram College of Commerce and Delhi School of Economics in India and has over 5 years of experience in education, working with the Government of India, KPMG consulting, and UNICEF. She is interested in understanding the patterns underlying education systems across countries, and the role entrepreneurship, technology, and research can play in improving learning outcomes in developing countries.

Ujjwala Maharjan, UNESCO Fellow ’17-’18, is from Kathmandu, Nepal. Starting in her final year of pursuing a B.A. in journalism, she worked as a journalist for 3 years. She pursued her M.A. in English literature around the same time. In 2010, she co-founded Word Warriors, Nepal’s first spoken word poetry group. During her work as an arts educator, she encountered several cases of students struggling with basic literacy. This prompted her interest in literacy projects. Through her graduate studies, she is looking to explore art- and expression-based tools to assist literacy projects in multicultural and multilingual contexts.

Coverdell Fellowship

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are encouraged to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, offered by Penn GSE’s International Educational Development Program. This graduate fellowship program recognizes RPCVs and is a way to extend one’s relationship with the Peace Corps while a student at Penn.

Committed to Making a Difference

Hear more from students and faculty in the International Educational Development Program. Improving lives at the bottom of the economic pyramid is hard. Every year, interns from our program work in organizations around the world to support their work educating families and transforming public health.

Our Faculty

Penn GSE Faculty Alec Ian Gershberg
Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Urban Studies, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D. (Regional Science), University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Amrit Thapa
Lecturer
Ph.D., Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Alex Posecznick
Program Manager
Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Daniel A. Wagner
Professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Penn GSE Faculty Michelle Neuman
Lecturer
Ph.D., Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher
Senior Lecturer
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Penn GSE Faculty Krystal Strong
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Our Leadership Team

Daniel A. Wagner, Ph.D.
Director & UNESCO Chair

Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Ed.D.
Co-Director

Alex Posecznick, Ph.D.
Program Manager

Lauren Scicluna
Program Coordinator

Affiliated Faculty

Asif Agha
Professor of Anthropology, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Jere R. Behrman
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sigal Ben-Porath
Professor
Ph.D., Tel Aviv University

Cristina Bicchieri
S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics, Department of Philosophy, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., Cambridge University

Robert F. Boruch
University Trustee Chair Professor of Education and Statistics
Ph.D., Iowa State University

William Burke-White
Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director, Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D., Cambridge University 

Yuko Goto Butler
Professor
Ph.D., Stanford University

Alison M. Buttenheim
Associate Professor of Nursing, Penn Nursing
Ph.D., UCLA

Lee Cassanelli
Associate Professor of History, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Xinyin Chen
Professor
Ph.D., University of Waterloo

Eileen Doherty-Sil
Adjunct Associate Professor, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Angela Duckworth
Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Richard Estes
Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Social Policy, Penn Social Policy & Practice
D.S.W., University of California at Berkeley

Steven Feierman
Professor of History Emeritus, Penn Arts & Sciences
D.Phil., Oxford University and Ph.D., Northwestern University

Toorjo Ghose
Associate Professor, Penn Social Policy & Practice
Ph.D., UCLA

Manuel S. González Canché
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Arizona

Guy Grossman
Associate Professor, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., Columbia University

Kathleen D. Hall
Associate Professor of Education and Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Femida Handy
Professor of Nonprofit Studies, Penn Social Policy & Practice
Ph.D., York University, Canada

Emily Hannum
Professor of Sociology and Education, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Michigan 

Matthew Hartley
Professor
Ed.D., Harvard University

Nancy H. Hornberger
Professor
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mark Alan Hughes
Professor of Practice in City and Regional Planning, PennDesign
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Michael C. Johanek
Senior Fellow
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University

Carol McLaughlin
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Infectious Disease, Perelman School of Medicine
M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Neal Nathanson
Emeritus Professor of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine
M.D., Harvard University

Hyunjoon Park
Korea Foundation Professor of Sociology, Penn Arts & Sciences
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Laura W. Perna
GSE Centennial Presidential Professor of Education
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Jennifer A. Pinto-Martin
Viola MacInnes/Independence Professor, School of Nursing and Perelman School of Medicine
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Sharon M. Ravitch
Professor of Practice
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer A. Riggan
Associate Professor, Historical and Political Studies, Arcadia University
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Alan R. Ruby
Senior Fellow
Associateship, London Institute of Education

Lawrence Shulman
Professor of Medicine, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
M.D., Harvard Medical School

Brian Spooner
Professor of Anthropology, Penn Arts & Sciences
D.Phil., Oxford University

Mike Useem
William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, The Wharton School
Ph.D., Harvard University

Sharon Wolf
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., New York University

Molly Pileggi

"The International Educational Development program prepared me to work in any context because it gave me to the tools to perform quality research."

Molly Pileggi

International Educational Development Program M.S.Ed., 2013

Our Graduates

Our graduates have an enhanced understanding of the interplay of local, national, and international politics, policies, and priorities in a world of rapid educational change, and are able to critically read and persuasively communicate evidence-based knowledge to a diverse set of stakeholders.

Many graduates have followed their studies with internships and employment in a variety of international settings, as well as at public and private educational institutions. Others have gone on to pursue their doctoral studies.

Alumni Careers

  • Early Childhood Development Specialist, Save the Children
  • Education Advisor, UNICEF Myanmar
  • Founder, Teach for Liberia
  • Junior Program Specialiser, UNESCO
  • Program Officer, Books for Kids
  • Program Manager, Ecology Action of the Mid-Peninsula
  • Project Manager, Little Sisters Fund
  • Program Associate, Institute of International Education
  • Program Officer, The Asan Institute for Policy, South Korea
  • Researcher, Harvard University
  • Program Officer, UNESCO, Bangkok
  • Senior Specialist, Ministry of Education of Peru
  • Assistant Program Specialist, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 

Distinctive Skills

  • Foundational knowledge of the history of international development institutions, their efforts, and their theoretical frameworks
  • Disposition and ability to understand issues of educational policy and practice from a comparative and international perspective
  • Enhanced understanding of the interplay of local, national, and international politics, policies, and priorities in the dynamics of educational change
  • Quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation skills necessary for examining educational issues in cross-national contexts
  • Preparation for reading critically and communicating evidence-based knowledge persuasively to a variety of stakeholders
  • Internship experience that will foster the application of academic knowledge to policy and practice in the applied settings

Admissions & Financial Aid

Please visit our Admissions and Financial Aid pages for specific information on the application requirements, as well as information on tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships.

Contact Information

Contact us if you have any questions about the program.

Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6415
admissions@gse.upenn.edu
finaid@gse.upenn.edu

Program Contact

Alex Posecznick, Ph.D.
Program Manager and Faculty
(215) 573-3947
alpos@upenn.edu

Lauren Scicluna
Program Coordinator
sclauren@gse.upenn.edu
(215) 898-5199

Please view information from our Admissions and Financial Aid Office for specific information on the cost of this program.

Penn GSE is committed to making your graduate education affordable, and we offer generous scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships. Many students—including international students—secure fellowships to help support their education.

Map of the world. Countries where IEDP interns have worked are highlighted.

International Internship Program

The international internship is the heart of the International Educational Development program. The internships are possible through partnerships with international agencies, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and universities.

[[break-point]]

The Internship Experience

The internship is designed as a summer hands-on field experience (between 10-12 weeks) with an international organization involved in development work outside the U.S. Internships allow our students to apply what is learned in the classroom to a fieldwork experience. Internships are productive work opportunities where our interns come prepared with skills that match the position openings.

Our International Partners

Some of our partners include the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Action Aid, and Save the Children. Many of these organizations have a commitment towards addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Penn GSE is fortunate to have a special relationship with UNESCO – the one and only of its kind in the U.S. – that places our students in UNESCO offices around the world.

Our students have had a wide variety of international internship placements, including in: Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Krygyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Morroco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, People's Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Highlights from International Internships

“From June through October, I worked at the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa with a focus on sexual and gender-based violence. I participated in a policy retreat to rewrite the National Gender Policy on Education; I represented UNESCO at meetings of the Joint Programme for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment; and I worked with the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to help plan the curriculum they used to train law enforcement. My internship gave me invaluable hands-on experience with research, composition, networking, policy, recruitment and outreach, planning and budgeting.”
~KATELYN KNAPP, UNESCO, Nairobi, Kenya ‘14

“I interned at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France. My main task was reviewing the Inclusive Innovation in Education survey and helping to draft a chapter for a report on inclusive innovations for government officials and innovation implementers. Throughout my time at the OECD, I was encouraged to attend forums, meetings, and conferences. I had a chance to hear from former Vice President Al Gore on environmental sustainability, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on education policy, and the OECD Secretary General. This was an amazing opportunity.”
~ADAM ROTH-SAKS, OECD Center for Educational Research and Innovation, Paris, France '14

“I interned with the Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania. AKF has introduced Reading to Learn, a methodology to strengthen English and Kiswahili literacy instruction in primary schools throughout Southern Tanzania. I was based in both Dar es Salaam and Lindi, where I completed a qualitative research study, conducted focus groups, and participated in workshops, in order to provide AKF with recommendations for the adaptation, implementation and sustainability of Communities of Practice in primary schools in Southern Tanzania.”
~LAURA CONRAD, Aga Khan Foundation, Tanzania '14

Internship Opportunity

To prepare for the internship, students take EDUC 695 Proseminar in International Educational Development. This two-semester course (.5 credits each semester) must be taken in the Fall and Spring prior to the internship. Students are required to submit three sets of reports while on internship. 

Travel Support and Administrative Support

For qualified students in good academic standing, Penn GSE will offer support that covers international travel, insurance, and part of local support; local agencies may provide in-kind and/or cash support (including, for example, per diem, local travel, etc.). We work closely with Penn Global, particularly with respect to issues of visas, risk, insurance, health, travel, and logistics.

For administrative support or more information about the internship program, contact Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher.