Program Details

IPSL programs are founded on international partnerships that eliminate boundaries between academia and society, and intentionally attune students’ learning experiences to the challenges and opportunities of today’s world.
Medellin, Colombia; Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of; Cartagena, Colombia; Cusco, Peru; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Hanoi, Viet Nam; Portland, United States; Thessaloniki, Greece
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Academic Year, Rolling Starts, Spring Semester, Summer, Year Round

Program Overview

Program Description:

The IPSL COSA graduate programs was designed to meet the international demand for ethical leaders who can effectively engage and facilitate partnerships and empower communities. Students are prepared for careers with nonprofit, government, and community development organizations through an interdisciplinary program that combines rigorous academic training with hands-on skill development through volunteer service in several countries. 

Master's in Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA)

  • COSA is approximately one calendar year (13 months), with the majority of the program spent abroad. Students begin the program with a 2-week Residency* at the IPSL Institute for Global Learning in Portland, Oregon, followed by three terms abroad (including a summer term) in IPSL partner communities in Africa (Arusha, Tanzania), Asia (Hanoi, Vietnam), Europe (Thessaloniki & Samothraki, Greece) and/or Latin America (Cusco, Peru; Guatemala and Cartagena/Medellin, Colombia). Upon their return from abroad, students finish the program with a 1-week Re-Entry* Residency at the IPSL Institute for Global Learning in Portland, Oregon. 

  • Cohorts begin in August (Fall cohort), January (Spring cohort), or May (Summer cohort).

What Makes IPSL Graduate Programs Unique?

Career at Your Fingertips The IPSL collaborative graduate programs are unique in the world. As you look to begin your career, your résumé and experience will help you stand out for career-track positions.

Cultural Literacy Living and working in other cultures gives you an intimate familiarity with that culture, unlike any other experience can provide. You will be engaged with local communities as you study, live and serve overseas.

Professional Contacts Your service and dedication in the field will provide you with devoted supporters, friends, and colleagues around the world who will take an interest in your future success.

Advocacy Research Learn and advocate by conducting ethical research while abroad. IPSL students engage in critical thinking - from conception to measurement - with theory-to-practice, ethical IRB-approved, publishable research. Your compassion, imagination, and hard work will benefit vulnerable populations and organizations in need.

Social Justice Since 1981, IPSL students continue to make a difference in the world. They do not just observe injustice. They do not just sympathize with injustice. They act thoughtfully and skillfully against injustice. We prepare students with the tools to make a difference in others’ lives.

Global Leadership IPSL graduates pursue prosperous careers that fulfill their most noble values. You, too, will learn to communicate with diverse cultures, resolve conflict diplomatically, and bridge social, racial, and economic gaps with skill.

*Restrictions apply

Setting Description:
Students have the opportunity to study and serve throughout the world in the following locations (subject to change): Thessaloniki, GREECE Samothraki, GREECE Medellín, COLOMBIA Cartagena, COLOMBIA GUATEMALA Cuzco, PERU Arusha, TANZANIA Hanoi, VIETNAM
Program fee covers all tuition, lodging during the residencies in Portland, Oregon, room-and-partial board abroad, international airfare (restrictions apply), most fees (including graduation fee), orientations, professional development, career guidance, and service-learning placement and oversight for each term. It also covers emergency medical/evacuation insurance while abroad, and most enrichment activities/excursions for the three terms students are abroad.

Additional Program Information

Complete applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. An official, sealed transcript verifying a baccalaureate degree from an accredited post-secondary institution. A recommended 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent. Note that students below this recommended GPA will be provided with an opportunity to demonstrate the justification for a waiver. Two confidential letters of recommendation. These can be mailed, faxed or emailed to IPSL from the recommender's email address. Once the IPSL online application is submitted, candidates are contacted to schedule an Interview with the review committee. Valid Passport. U.S. applicants must have a passport that is valid for at least six months BEYOND THE END DATE of your last term abroad. If you do not have a passport, apply immediately. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required for admission.
Scholarships Description:
Contact IPSL for most current information

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