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Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
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MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-3106
Fax: 608/265-3135

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A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions. —Anonymous


Global Higher Education MS Program

For more information, please click here to contact us via email.


(For more information, please contact Program Director Dr. Weijia Li.)

The Global Higher Education program is a 30-credit masters program in the department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis (ELPA). All courses are taught primarily by ELPA faculty members. Students follow a curriculum that includes 10 set ELPA courses, with the option to take 2 elective courses within the department. The GHE program can be completed in a minimum of three semesters, with the option of program extension into a second year. ELPA courses are both theoretical and practical by design, with many opportunities to pursue topics of choice and explore new ideas. Students will complete individual projects, as well as collaborative projects with both GHE and other ELPA students.

Sample Course Sequence (based on program plans for 2016 cohort)

The following course sequence is for students who plan to complete the GHE program in three semesters

1st Semester (Fall): 9 credits
ELPA 886 Internationalization of Higher Education
ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Postsecondary Education
ELPA 725 Research Methods & Procedures in Educational Administration

2nd Semester (Spring): 12 credits
ELPA 940 Leadership for International Higher Education Programs and Services
ELPA 888 Assessment in Higher Education
ELPA 881 Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
ELPA 940 ​Student Development Theory

3rd Semester (​Summer track): 9 credits
ELPA 736 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
ELPA 824 Field Research Designs & Methodologies in Educational Administration
ELPA ​882 Minority-Serving Institutions in Higher Education

3rd Semester (Fall track): 9 credits
ELPA 736 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
ELPA 940 The American Community College
ELPA 880 Academic programs in Colleges and Universities

Internship Requirement

GHE students will complete a practicum during the ​program to gain practical skills and work experiences in the field of higher education. Practicum sites do not need to have an international focus—the experience is meant to provide our students a deeper, practical understanding of ​their future career.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need to complete a thesis?

No, a thesis is not part of the coursework of the GHE program. Our students may complete an optional capstone during their final semester. 

Can I work part-time or full-time while I am in the program?

Yes, GHE students may work during the time they are enrolled in the program. In the past, some of our students have worked part-time while others have worked on a full-time basis. With only a few exceptions, GHE courses are offered during the evenings beginning at either 4:40 or 7:15 p.m.  It is important to remember that the three-semester program is intensive, and that many courses are only offered once each year.

Can I ​start the program during the spring or summer semesters?

The structure of the program follows a cohort model, which means that all of the GHE masters students begin the program together in the fall.

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