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M.Ed. in International Education Policy and Management (IEPM)

Overview: The M.Ed. in International Education Policy Management (IEPM) program is designed for students who intend to build an academic or professional career working on issues related to the study of education and its effect on social and economic development both here in the United States and around the world. Building on Peabody College's considerable intellectual capital in school administration and higher education leadership, the IEPM program incorporates course requirements in both the K-12 and higher education concentrations, and benefits from faculty expertise in human capital development, international organizations, and education policy reform.

Program Focus: The IEPM program is a two-year course of study that provides students with a scholarly understanding of public policy problems facing schools, universities, educational systems, and non-formal learning environments in various contexts around the world. The IEPM program employs the analytical methods derived from the social sciences including history, anthropology, political science, economics and sociology, preparing students to critically engage the various frameworks and salient issues in international education today, notably the relationships between education and economic growth, social cohesion, global health, and other dimensions of development.

IEPM students
IEPM students and faculty at the 2010 Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference in Chicago.

Students: This program attracts top students from across the United States and the world, with a cohort of roughly 20 students per graduating class, of which roughly one-third are international students. Current and past international IEPM cohorts have included students from such nations as China, Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, South Korea, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Iraq, Japan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates.

American IEPM students come from top undergraduate institutions and typically have prior work experience across a wide variety of backgrounds, including the Peace Corps, Teach for America, the U.S. Student Fulbright program, Refugee Resettlement & Immigration Services, International Baccalaureate Organization, among other organizations related to development assistance, teaching, advocacy, and community outreach.

IEPM course project meeting
Lisa Christensen ’12, Katie Payne ’12, and Kristin S. Anderson ’12 work on a group project for Professor Brian Heuser’s course on International Organizations and Economic Development.

Structure and Delivery: Most IEPM students pursue their degrees full time (9 credit hours per semester) over the course of two years (four semesters). IEPM courses typically meet during the week, usually in the evenings (4:10-7:00pm), with select courses occasionally offered during the day. With this course offering schedule, many students find that they can also pursue part-time employment on campus as either a graduate or research assistant for a faculty member.

Curriculum Requirements: 36 credit hours consisting of 12 hours of the IEPM core (4 courses); 6 hours of methodology (2 courses); and 18 hours of electives selected with the guidance of the faculty advisor. Additionally, a two-month practicum (which can be taken with or without course credit, as determined by the student) is usually taken in the summer after the first year.

  Credit Hours
I. IEPM Core Courses 12
International Issues in K–12 Education Policy Reform (3)
Comparative Issues in Higher Education Policy Reform (3)
International Organizations and Economic Development (3)
Education and Economic Development (3)
II. Methodology 6
Research Methods and Data Analysis I (3)
Research Methods and Data Analysis II (3)
III. Electives 18
Elective courses may be taken across Peabody College, as well as in other disciplines offered across Vanderbilt University upon consultation with and approval of your faculty advisor. Past IEPM students have elected to take courses through the law school, graduate school, business school, divinity school, and the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health. Some popular electives taken by IEPM students include the following; however, students are free to choose any others not included in this list:
Social Context of Education Leadership and Policy
Economics of Higher Education Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Development, Reform, Innovation
International Perspectives on Leadership Politics and Governance in Education
Grants, Policy, and Administration
Non-Profit Management
American Education History and Policy
Teaching and Teacher Policy
College and University Management
Postsecondary Access and Opportunity
Public Finance of Higher Education
College Student Personnel Services

Total number of course credits required for graduation: 36

IEPM Prof. Cravens with students
Professor Xiu Cravens with her students from the International Issues in K-12 Education Policy Reform Class.

Graduation requirements: In addition to completing 36 credit hours toward the degree, IEPM students must also either pass a comprehensive examination (offered in the spring) OR write and submit a master’s thesis paper on a topic of their choosing. Only upon successful completion of the comprehensive exam or the master’s thesis will the student be considered a candidate for graduation.

The IEPM Advantage: The IEPM program allows students to tailor their curriculum and experience to their own individualized pursuits, and many students have complemented their international education coursework with classes in business, law, religion, global health, regional and area studies, and other disciplines across Vanderbilt University. Combined with a summer practicum experience, our IEPM students are prepared with essential skills and specialized content knowledge necessary to tackle some of the greatest educational challenges of our time.

Many of our graduates go on to pursue careers with international development agencies, private foundations, advocacy groups, government bodies, private consultancies, non-profit organizations, school districts, and higher education institutions, among others. Some graduates of the program choose to pursue further graduate or professional study at the Ph.D. level. There is no one “traditional” path for IEPM graduates, and the program thrives on bringing together students of diverse and varied backgrounds, interests, and experiences as they relate to international education.

Questions about the IEPM program? Feel free to contact:

Rosie Moody, Admissions Coordinator:

Xiu Cravens, Co-Director:

Steve Heyneman, Co-Director:

Amanda Blewitt, student representative:

Hyemin Kim, student representative: