This is a named option in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis M.S.

For more information, please check out the program website.
For inquiries regarding the GHE program, please contact the GHE Program Director (see Contact Information in sidebar).

The Global Higher Education (GHE) Master’s Degree Program focuses on training new generations of professionals and scholars in the field of international higher education who strive for social justice in a global context.

The Program

  • Offers the unique opportunity to study higher education administration and leadership from both an American and international perspective.
  • Prepares future leaders and researchers, practitioners and scholars in higher education in an intercultural, transnational context.
  • Trains professionals for careers in international higher education (study abroad advising and program management, international student services, and international student recruitment, etc.)
  • Prepares individuals with the capacities for critical thinking, problem-solving, data-driven decision making, and communication skills that will enable them to engage with internationalization of higher education, and to strive for social justice in a global context.

Unique Strengths of the Program

  • Connect education with careers
  • Embedded internship and career development program
  • Integrated Professional Development and leadership skill training
  • Intensive Advising and career coaching throughout the program
  • A family-like collaborative learning community
  • Student-centered and individual attention throughout the program

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline July 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

M.S. applicants are required to upload the following items to the online application.

  1. Essay statement (not to exceed two pages) that addresses the following:
    1. Clearly identify Global Higher Education as your area of interest.
    2. Explain why you are interested in a master's degree focusing on Global Higher Education. What are your career goals? Tell us what kind of educational and/or international experiences may have inspired you to pursue a master's degree in the field of international higher education.
    3. What are your expectations from the Global Higher Education program? How will this program contribute to your professional objectives?
    4. What can you contribute to the program and other cohort students, (such as your experiences, your knowledge in global international higher education)?

Attention: You do not have to try to imitate the American style of a "Statement of Purpose" if this is not a common genre in your culture, as we respect and celebrate the cultural diversities brought by applicants and students from around the world.

  1. Unofficial transcripts. Official transcripts will be requested prior to Graduate School admission.
  2. Resume or CV.
  3. Supporting document if undergraduate GPA is below 3.00. In statement, explain why GPA does not accurately reflect high potential to serve in leadership roles.

English proficiency requirements are required for international applicants. Test scores should be submitted to institution code 1846.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes Yes No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 24 credits out of 30 total credits must be completed in graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s policy:
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy:
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Required Courses

The Global Higher Education program is a 30-credit master's program in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA).

Required Courses18
Core Courses: 6 credits
Select two courses based on cohort program recommendation or in consultation with advisor
Internationalization of Higher Education
Leadership for Study Abroad Programs and International Student Services
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership (Topic: Mobility and Inclusion in International Higher Education)
Foundational Courses: 6 credits
Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Research Methods and Procedures in Educational Administration
Depth Course: 6 credits
Select two courses based on cohort program recommendation or in consultation with advisor
Assessment in Higher Education
The American Community College
Perspectives on College Student Identity and Development
Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
Select 4 courses (3 credits each) based on cohort program recommendation or in consultation with advisor
Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities
Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
Field Research Designs & Methodologies in Educational Administratn
Minority-Serving Institutions of Higher Education
Governance and Administration of Colleges and Universities
Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
The Politics of Education
Financing Postsecondary Education
Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Introduction to Qualitative Research
Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Independent Reading
Research or Thesis
Total Credits30

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate, graduate or certificate programs.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Requires program director approval.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW-Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 6 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW-Madison special student. If necessary to meet the Graduate School minimum graduate credit requirements for the degree, special student coursework may need to be converted to graduate credits. Once converted, students are assessed the difference in tuition between special and graduate tuition. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


This program follows the Graduate School's Advisor policy and Committees policy.

The GHE program director advises all students in the GHE program. 


12 credits

Time Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Any student who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. The complaint may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Education.

The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Education. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts. The following steps are available within the School of Education when a student has a grievance:

  1. The student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant, and the student is not satisfied, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
  2. If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed. If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  3. On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee.
  4. If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the department, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  5. In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the dean's office. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
  6. On receipt of such a written complaint, the associate dean will convene a subcommittee of the school's Equity & Diversity Committee. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Education who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from the date when the grievance was filed with the dean's office.

Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.

State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018,



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

PRogram Resources

The GHE program provides to its students a comprehensive, embedded professional development program that includes career advising, workshops on preparation of job applications and job interviews, individual career coaching, and assisting students to develop their professional network. The embedded professional development program has greatly contributed to our graduates’ success on the job market.

For information on GHE student internship and alumni job placement, please check out our website:

All GHE courses are taught by ELPA faculty members, clinical professors, and instructors who all have doctoral degrees. Many of them are nationally renowned scholars or practitioners with first-hand administrative and managerial experience in higher education.

Faculty: Professor Anjalé (AJ) Welton (chair); Professors Conrad, Eckes, Halverson, Kelley, Miller, Wang, Winkle-Wagner; Associate Professors Burt, Hillman; Assistant Professors Grooms, Henry, McQuillan, Saldana, Yu; Clinical Professors Crim, Li, Sramek, Salzman, Soffa-Jimenez