International Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

NCU’s PhD in International Education specialization introduces you to practices, strategies and techniques that can be adapted to intercultural/multicultural contexts and used by international organizations. You will research the global dimensions of crucial contemporary issues, including the hopes of global cooperation, and the complexity of educational accountability, authority and professionalism. As a graduate, you will have developed knowledge and skills in cross-national comparative analysis, global educational transfer and borrowing, international development and the relationship between culture and education. Upon graduation you will be prepared to seek leadership positions and to conduct research in the field.

General Degree Requirements

The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. However, up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

PhD Degree Requirements

Admission to the doctorate programs at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution. PhD students are also required to demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Foundational Competencies for PhD Program

  • Graduate Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete a Statistics in Education Research Course, EDU8003, and also EDU8006, Advanced Educational Statistics.
  • Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes through their Northcentral University graduate coursework before being assigned to any dissertation courses. Students will be required to take EDU8001, Advanced Scholarly Writing, to improve APA formatting skills and to address advanced writing and research skills as necessary.
  • Computer Competency - PhD students are required to use appropriate computer skills that are necessary in writing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents, etc.). In addition, students need to use computer programs for the statistical analysis and presentation of data (e.g., Excel, SPSS). The oral defense normally requires a computer-based presentation by the candidate (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation).

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the PhD in Education program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Introduction to Global and Comparative Education

This doctoral level course introduces learners to theories of comparative education, cross-national comparative analysis, global educational transfer and borrowing, and the relation between culture and education. Through this course, learners will begin to develop the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to be effective educators of global and comparative education. Students will understand the commonalities, differences, and connections between global and comparative education, and the meaning and significance of globalization in the field of education. Learners will comprehend, through reading and class assignments, the global dimensions of several crucial contemporary issues, including the hopes of global cooperation, and the complexity of educational accountability, authority, and professionalism. This course will underline the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach to understanding these complex issues.


Culture, Society, and Education in Comparative Perspective

In this course, students will explore and analyze international and comparative education, with a focus on methods, foundational theories, and resources specific to conducting international, educational research and exploring culture, society and education with a comparative perspective.


International Organizations in Global Education

In this course, students will be introduced to global education organizations. Students will explore some of the diverse organizations that are engaged in international education, and learn about key guiding initiatives, policies and standards. This course also provides a good orientation for those who anticipate working with or for international organizations.


Conflict Resolution in an International Context

In this doctoral level course, students will examine the theoretical underpinnings and practical challenges of education in difficult circumstances – in the context of conflict, emergencies and in a post-conflict environment. This includes the exploration of frameworks and strategies used today by education systems as well as international organizations and NGOs that often provide such services. Students will also explore education as a development strategy, including three overarching concepts: education as protection, education as a humanitarian response, and education as post-conflict reconstruction. This course also explores the impact that conflict has on formal systems of education, and the provision of education for refugees. Students are also introduced to key strategies and techniques that are frequently cited and used by educational planners delivering education in difficult situations. In conclusion, students are asked to conduct their own research to develop a deeper understanding of education in difficult circumstances.


Globalization and Educational Change

In this course, students will examine cross-cultural efforts to effect positive global educational change. Students will also explore theories of globalization as well as practices that are effecting positive global educational change. In particular, this course looks at international education policy to solidify students’ knowledge of globalization and its impact on international education. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the impacts of globalization on the education systems at home.


International Education Leadership

In this course, students will explore theory and practice to inform leaders in education. Students are introduced to institutions involved with the education of diverse communities as well as educational development in diverse global settings. Students will focus on building leadership skills in international education with a special emphasis on practices, strategies, and techniques that can be adapted to intercultural/multicultural contexts.


International Education Concepts and Theory

Students in this Doctoral level course will explore that underpin education systems around the world, including the cultural and historical bases of these systems and the global spread of educational trends. Alternative theories and definitions of development as expressed in international education institutions will be evaluated. Students will be required to consider the challenges of reform and unique practices in international contexts. In addition, students will integrate an understanding of diverse educational perspectives through the evaluation of worldwide educational systems.


Global Perspective on Ethical Issues

In this course, students will address ethical issues confronting education from a global perspective, including both comparative and transnational points of view. It will address cross-border issues such as educational inequality, the role of culture, ethics in teaching, as well as how technology, economics and conflict impact ethics in education. Finally, the course will address ethical issues for teachers and educational administrators.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Education costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $1,129
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
  • Program cost: $68,090
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors.For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.

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