Education Studies, EdM: Comparative and Global Education Focus Area

The comparative and global education focus area is designed for students who are interested in studying education in broad-based social, cultural, and linguistic contexts. Students seek to understand the global issues that affect educational practices and outcomes in schools, communities, and educational systems on local and global levels.

On this page:

Why the Comparative and Global Education Focus Area?

The features of this focus area include:

  • preparation to become a global educational leader with foundational and advanced knowledge and skills
  • deeper understanding of the key issues and discussions impacting educational policy around the world

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Education (EdM)
Credits required for completion 32
Time to completion 3 to 6 full-time semesters
Course delivery On campus, online and hybrid
  • colleges and universities — administrators in international programs (e.g., study abroad) or faculty/scholars of comparative and global education
  • K–12 schools — school administrators, supervisors or teachers
  • ministries of education — analysts or policy makers
  • international development or human service agencies — administrators, analysts or program officers
  • non-governmental agencies — administrators, analysts, program officers or researchers
Application deadline Priority Deadlines
Fall: April 1, then rolling
Spring: Nov. 1, then rolling

Program Coursework

The specific coursework for each focus area varies. The following general requirements apply to all focus areas.

  • You are required to complete a minimum of 32 credit hours of graduate study (16 of those 32 credit hours are required to be taken within the Graduate School of Education). 
  • A maximum of 6 hours of transfer credit of graduate courses, completed with grades of “B” or above from an accredited institution, may be included in your program if approved by your advisor and the department.
  • You are required to pass a comprehension exam or complete a master’s project or thesis.
  • You are required to complete the program within 5 years.
  • You are required to maintain continuous registration.

Comparative and Global Education focus area

The strength of the Comparative and Global Education focus area program of study lies in the maximum flexibility in designing the program according to the dynamic needs and interests of the student. Individualized programs are built and optimized in continuous consultation with and guidance from their academic advisors.

Consider the program below as a guiding reference, instead of a pre-determined program universal to all students.

Core Courses (12 credits)

ELP 500 Nature of Inquiry
ELP 511 Comparative Higher Education
ELP 530 Structure and Reform of Education
ELP 543 Economics of Education
ELP 566 Comparative and Global Studies in Education
ELP 575 Education and Globalization

Elective (12 credits)
Select from University-wide course offerings. See select Educational Leadership and Policy courses below.

ELP 513 Cultural Diversity in Higher Education
ELP 525 Education in a Global Economy
ELP 540 Culture and Schools
ELP 548 Foundations of Education
ELP 571 Women in Educational Comparative Perspective
ELP 574 Education in Asia
ELP 582 Multicultural Education: Theory and Practice
ELP 583 Gender and Education
ELP 585 Sociological Bases of Education
ELP 589 Education and Socialization
ELP 592 American Education for International Students
ELP 593 Qualitative Research Methods in Education
ELP 685 Applied Social Research
ELP 703 Independent Study

Culminating Event (1-3 credits)
Select one of the 3 options below.

Comprehensive exam (1 credit hour; twice a year, in January and May; can take maximum of twice)
ELP 700 Master’s Project (1-3 credit hours)
ELP 701 Master’s Thesis (1-3 credit hours)

Application Requirements

Application to Candidacy: An application to candidacy (ATC) for the EdM in education studies, agreed and signed by your permanent advisor, should be filed with the department for submission to the GSE Graduate Studies Committee after completion of 12 credit hours and prior to completion of 24 credit hours.

Degree: A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required.

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Contact information for at least three individuals who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter. Only students applying to education studies with a specific focus area (comparative and global education; educational culture, policy and society; or education informatics) are required to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Sample of academic writing: A sample of academic writing, approximately 5 pages long only for the ECPS or CGE focus areas.
  • Statement of education and career goals

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admissions Decision: The admissions decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

International Applicants

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of your degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application.
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 79 for the Internet based test
    • IELTS minimum score is 6.5 overall
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • Financial documentation — International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.

Are you an international student and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.

Learn More

University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.