MEd, Educational Foundations

Typical Length 20 months

Delivery Online

Nationally Accredited

This program leads to a Master of Education in Educational Foundations with a specialization in Global Perspectives on Educational Policy and Practice. This program is designed to prepare individuals in a range of positions to meaningfully incorporate global perspectives into their professional practice—including classroom teachers, school leaders, school system administrators, higher education practitioners, study abroad facilitators, community leaders, education analysts and researchers, and professionals working in non-profit or non-governmental organizations. This unique master’s program examines how the cultural, technological, economic, and political aspects of globalization affect education policy and practice in a multitude of ways from early childhood education through advanced graduate studies. As the effects of globalization continue to manifest and evolve, the insights gained are not only essential for professionals across every level of education but also across geographic regions, from the United States to the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Globalization presents challenges and opportunities by making the world more interconnected, by facilitating the dissemination of ideas and knowledge, by encouraging the movement of peoples, by creating new political bodies that create education policies at the supranational level, by placing new pressures on local communities and national economic systems—all of which has major implications for education.

A key feature of this master’s is that it goes beyond a focus on understanding these dimensions of globalization to also provide program participants with tools, frameworks, lessons, and strategies that can be adapted to numerous educational and organizational contexts. There are valuable resources embedded in this program that can help you improve your practice—and the practices of your organization—whether you are a classroom teacher, a school leader, a higher education professional, a school system administrator, or any of the other professional positions mentioned above. The courses in this program will focus on topical issues that are common to all educational systems and are appropriate for education professionals in diverse geographical locations. As indicated by the course titles further below, the courses focus, among other things, on how to analyze the effects of globalization on education policy and the curriculum (within and beyond the United States); drawing lessons from the policies and practical responses of a range of countries; critically understanding multiculturalism and diversity (and how to embody these ideals at multiple levels); analyzing education from a “systems” perspective that emphasizes the interconnectedness of each aspect of education reform and educational change; and examining the strategies and responses of teachers, principals, higher education professionals, and communities when it comes to how they “internationalize” their curricular, leadership, and programmatic activities.

Join a vibrant community of exceptional scholars and professionals from continental North America, Hawai‛i, and Asia to explore the world of educational policy and practice through a lens that connects the local and global. The online program features a mix of innovative strategies for engagement that include both synchronous and asynchronous participation. Some classes will entail live video sessions. Other forms of engagement are discussion boards, student presentations, group discussions, virtual posters, and group work, as well as traditional academic papers. The two-year (22 months) program leads to the production of a cumulative project, for which students work closely with a faculty person during the second year.

Virtual Information Sessions
Join us for sessions on 12/7/21, 1/11/22 or 2/15/22, 3-4pm. A recording will be posted for those who missed the session!
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Who should consider this program

This program is designed to prepare individuals in range of positions to meaningfully incorporate global perspectives into their professional practice—including classroom teachers, school leaders, school system administrators, higher education practitioners, study abroad facilitators, community leaders, education analysts and researchers, and professionals working in non-profit or non-governmental organizations.

Common Careers

There is no prescribed career path for individuals who complete this program, as it lends itself to career trajectories in the government, private, and non-profit sectors. Below we list examples of the positions that participants occupy or can attain through this M.Ed. track: 

  • Teachers may use this degree as an opportunity to internationalize their curricula teaching and pedagogical approaches. Many participants are interested, for example, in global citizenship education. 
  • Principals may use this degree as an opportunity to explore how to respond to increasingly diverse student populations.
  • Higher education professionals may use this program as an opportunity to internationalize and revise programming related, for example, to study abroad, international student services, transnational university partnerships, international research collaborations, etc. 
  • Program officers working with non-governmental organizations inside and outside the United States may use this M.Ed. track as an opportunity to improve the cultural relevance and educational design of their school-related or community-level programs. 
  • Researchers and policy analysts can advance their careers by better understanding the effects of globalization on education policy, as well as possible educational responses to this phenomenon.

In addition to the above options, this program is good preparation for the PhD program in Global and International Education, also offered by the Department of Educational Foundations.

Admission Requirements

Must have graduated from an accredited, four-year institution of higher education recognized by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), prior to beginning the MEd, Educational Foundations program.

An Undergraduate Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

A transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.

A written statement of objectives as part of your application.

Your resumé or CV.

You may also include a sample of scholarly writing for consideration with your application to this program.

Two (2) letters of recommendation

Applicants who are not native English speakers may need to take the TOEFL or IELTS (Academic) tests. For more information view the Graduate Division website.

International students that have been admitted are required to submit a copy of their Identification documents (i.e. Passport or Identification Card)

International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses

How to Apply
Application Deadlines
Starting Semester dEADLINE
Regular Fall Admission March 1
International Students Fall Admission January 15

Note: This program will welcome its next cohort in Fall 2024. Applications are due by March 1, 2024.


How to Apply
Tuition & Funding

The pursuit of a Master’s Degree is a major commitment. However, the investment is probably more affordable than you might imagine—especially for participants outside of Hawai‘i. A total of 30 credits is required for this program. The fall 2022 online tuition rate is $650/credit hour.

There are many resources available to help graduate students pay for college, including College of Education scholarships. There are also several scholarships listed generally through the STAR website (please note that this is only accessible to students with a valid UH ID number – must be admitted as a student prior to looking for scholarships on this site) and the Financial Support section of the Graduate Division website. For more information on financial aid and additional resources, please visit the UH Manoa Financial Aid Office (

Delivery Format

This M.Ed. program is offered online. You can be located in Hawaii or anywhere in the world to participate, as long as you are able to participate in the required synchronous class sessions. These sessions typically occur once every other week during the semester at about 4pm Hawaiian Standard Time. The program is offered in a cohort format with strong peer interaction, team work, and support.


Fall I – 6 credits

  • EDEF 675 — Intro. to Education Policy Studies
  • EDEF 667F — Foundations of Curriculum

Spring I – 6 credits

  • EDEF 767 — Seminar on the Educational System
  • EDEF 630 — Cultural Diversity in Education

Summer – 6 credits

  • EDEF 678 — Approaches to Educational Inquiry – Policy Analysis
  • EDEF 667B — Global Higher Education

Fall II – 6 credits

  • EDEF 610 — Foundations of Educational Theory
  • EDEF 649 — Field Studies for Capstone Projects

Spring II – 6 credits

  • EDEF 671 — Topics in Comparative Education
  • EDEF 649 — Field Studies for Capstone Projects
Advising & Faculty
Photo of D. Brent Edwards Jr.

D. Brent Edwards Jr.

Graduate Chair and Associate Professor

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