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Programs in International and Comparative Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University
Description of Program Requirements > Master of Education (Ed.M.)

Master of Education (Ed.M.)

Description of the Master of Education (Ed.M.) Program Requirements

International Educational Development (IED – code: INTL)
Comparative and International Education (CIE – code: COMP)

Download IED/CIE General Student Course Guide (PDF)
Download IED/CIE Requirements for the EdM Degree including the Course Planning Worksheet for EdM students (PDF)

IP Deadlines

For Degree to be Awarded in MAY
Approval of Project by Advisor: December 20th
First Draft of Project Paper Due: February 22nd
Degree Application Due*: February 1st         
Final Draft of Project Paper Due to advisor: April 10th
For Degree to be Awarded in FEBRUARY
Approval of Project by Advisor: May 1st (before summer holiday)
First Draft of Project Paper Due: October 15th
Degree Application Due*: November 1st
Final Draft of Project Paper Due to advisor: December 1st
For Degree to be Awarded in OCTOBER
Approval of Project by Advisor: May 1st (before summer holiday)
First Draft of Project Paper Due: June 15th
Degree Application Due*: August 1st
Final Draft of Project Paper Due to advisor: August 1st

* Consult the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for the exact date each year. If this date falls on a weekend, please hand in the approval the Friday BEFORE the due date.

** Ed.M. students do NOT have to fill out the “supplementary pink form”.

With regard to all Ed.M. program requirements, please note:

  • Copies are important! It is highly recommended that students keep personal copies of all paperwork submitted to TC offices. Copies of all forms submitted to the Registrar should ALSO be filed in the student file in the IED/CIE program office. This is the responsibility of every student.
  •  Read the weekly “Notes from 374 Grace Dodge Hall” for important updates and deadlines.
  • Contact the IED/CIE Program Assistant with questions:
                    Office: 374 Grace Dodge Hall
                    Phone: (212) 678-3184
                    Fax: (212) 678-8237

1. Coursework (at least 60 graduate level credits, including up to 30 transferred credits). Students are encouraged to use the “Course Planning Worksheet for Master of Education Students” to plan out all coursework.

  • Ed.M. coursework falls into four broad areas:
    • Area 1: Core Courses (9 credits)
      • Choose one: ITSF 4090 (Issues and Institutions in International Educational Development) or ITSF 4091 (Comparative Education)
      • ITSF Research Methods Course
      • One other advisor-approved ITSF course
    • Area 2: Concentration (at least 18 credits)
      • Courses counting towards the concentration must be advisor-approved.
      • Students considering a change in concentration must discuss the change with the faculty advisor.
      • Consult the “General Student Course Guide” for suggestions on courses that fall within each concentration.
      • In some cases, transferred credits may be applied in this area.
    • Area 3: Transcultural/Area Studies (at least 18 credits)
      • Area 3 courses must come from at least three of the following categories: topics, research methods, professional skills, internship/practicum.
      • Consult the “General Student Course Guide” for suggestions on courses that fall within this area.
      • Transferred credits may be applied in this area.
    • Area 4: Electives (at least 15 credits)
      • To fulfill the TC breadth requirement, Ed.M. students must take at least 3 courses (with a minimum of 2 credits each) that are at TC but outside of the IED/CIE program. All non-ITSF courses at TC that are two or more credits can count as TC breadth electives. Courses offered by other programs within the ITS department (anthropology, economics, or bilingual/bicultural education) can also count as TC breadth electives if they are outside of the student’s concentration.
      • Other elective courses can be taken outside of the ITS department or transferred from other schools.
  • Advisement: It is the student’s responsibility to meet with his/her main advisor and have all coursework approved. It is recommended that students meet with the advisor at least once at the beginning of each semester to discuss course offerings and receive approval of all study plans.
  • Choosing courses: It is recommended that students sit in on different courses during the first two weeks of any semester. For suggestions of courses, students may ask the main advisor, the Peer Advisor, or the IED/CIE Program Assistant. Also, speaking with fellow students is a good way to learn about courses being offered.
  • Registering for courses: Students may add or drop courses until the date posted by the Registrar (refer to the TC Academic Calendar) through the online Student Information System using the PIN number. Students can obtain the PIN from the IED/CIE Program Assistant at Orientation or from the Registrar.
  • Courses Outside of TC: All courses taken outside TC are subject to the tuition rates of the school offering the course. Consult the Registrar for current rates and for instructions on how to register.
  • Transfer credit: A maximum of 30 credits may be transferred from other recognized institutions. Only graduate courses which have been (1) completed with grades of B or higher, (2) submitted on an official transcript from a regionally accredited institution, and (3) granted/assigned credit on the transcript of that institution, may be considered for transfer credit. Transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the faculty advisor. After registering for the first semester, students should obtain and fill out an Advanced Standing Review (ASR) application from the Admissions Office and return it to the Admissions Office. Transcripts will be evaluated and sent to the IED/CIE Program Assistant, who will then contact the student with further instructions to pick it up from the IED/CIE Program Assistant, meet with the advisor, and return the ASR to the IED/CIE Program Assistant. The entire process can take several months.
  • Full v. part-time status and Certificates of Equivalency (COE): Part-time status is the equivalent of 6-11 credits. Full-time status is the equivalent of 12 or more credits. Part-time students who require full-time certification (for such reasons as funding/financial aid, international student status, IP fieldwork) may file a Certificate of Equivalency form. This must be signed by the student’s advisor and may be obtained online or in person from the Registrar.

2. Integrative Project (IP)

  • Completion of an IP is required for the Ed.M. degree. Please see the handout in the IED/CIE office on IP Requirements for more details.
  • Students should consult with the advisor about the IP at least one semester before the intended graduation date. After the IP topic has been approved, the Peer Advisor is available to guide students through the completion of the IP.
  • Students who are working on the IP but not registered for any other classes may register for IND 4000 (Masters Candidate). 

3. Graduation

  • Full-time students that transfer the full thirty credits can complete the Ed.M. degree within one academic year (fall semester, spring semester, and one summer session).
  • In order to graduate, students need to submit the “Ed.M. Degree Application to Graduate” to the Registrar, which needs to be signed by the advisor. Students may contact the Registrar for forms and specific deadlines.