Skip to content Skip to navigation

International Comparative Education (ICE)

The International Comparative Education (ICE) concentration is a multidisciplinary, international, cross-national program that places educational problems into a comparative framework.

The program

Master’s program

This 12-month, full-time residential course of study combines an interdisciplinary overview of major issues in international and comparative education, development, and policy with specialized coursework in students’ areas of interest. The program’s two tracks—International Comparative Education (ICE) and International Education Policy Analysis (IEP)—focus on rigorous research, and culminate in a publishable-quality master’s paper. Flexibility and small cohort size are hallmarks of the program.

Learn more about program content

Doctoral program

The concentration in International Comparative Education also offers a doctoral degree within the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS) academic area. Students have the option of pursuing a concurrent master’s degree and/or a PhD minor. For general information on the doctoral specialization in ICE, visit this PhD program page. For ICE doctoral program requirements, visit the Doctoral Degree Handbook

International Comparative Education at Stanford

ICE at Stanford affords students the opportunity to explore broadly, build community, and connect with career resources.

Student riding bicycle on Stanford campus

Why Stanford?

Stanford is known for its interdisciplinarity. Both the ICE PhD and ICE and IEPA MA programs allow students the flexibility to take courses outside of the GSE, depending on their interests and research goals. ICE students take courses at the business, law, and engineering schools, as well as in humanities and sciences. Access to top-notch faculty, and the rigor of Stanford academics are also reasons students choose ICE.

ICE students

Why you?

ICE students come from around the U.S. and the world. They bring a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, but share a passion for education and a desire to improve quality and accessibility for all learners. ICE students are curious, ambitious, and independent, while also enjoying the collaborative nature of small cohort learning. 

Learn more about ICE students and alumni

Stanford ICE students graduating

After you graduate

Our graduates enjoy strong job placement opportunities, and go on to become leaders in a wide range of industries. As many as 30 percent of ICE and IEPA master’s graduates go on to pursue doctoral programs. Most PhD graduates pursue careers in academia. Stanford offers strong career support to students and alumni, both through GSE EdCareers and Stanford Career Education.  

Learn more about careers in ICE


Associate Professor (Teaching)
Program Director
Associate Professor


Photo of Audra Wingard

“At the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), I took courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods, survey design, and education policy, among others. These courses gave me skills that I have continuously used in my professional work since graduating.”

Audra Wingard, IEPA MA '18

Photo of Mansoor Aslam Rathore

“Perhaps just as valuable as the courses were the guest speaker sessions that I got the opportunity to attend as part of the program. These sessions focused on topics ranging from philanthropic work, education technology, classroom teaching, and inclusive education to education financing.”

Mansoor Aslam Rathore, IEPA MA '20

Photo of Lisa Overbey

“Stanford’s ICE program distinguishes itself from other programs by its focus on ensuring that its students acquire the quantitative and qualitative skills to engage in high-quality education research in addition to expanding students’ breadth of knowledge on topics in education. ”

Lisa Overbey, ICE Doctoral Candidate

Read more alumni testimonials

What you need to know

Admission requirements

To learn more about requirements for admission, please visit the Application Requirements page.

Financing your education

To learn more about the cost of the program and options for financial support, please visit Financing Your Master’s Degree on the admissions website.

Contact admissions

For admissions webinars and to connect with the admission office, see our  Connect and Visit page.

Back to the Top