MIP PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Master’s & Internship Program (MIP) was established in 2016 by the Albanian – American Development Foundation (AADF), to provide young Albanian professionals, future leaders and managers a unique opportunity for Master's Degrees and Professional Internships in the fields of Agriculture, Business Administration, Heritage, Eco-Tourism & Hospitality, Education, Information Technology and Computer Science, Public Health, Public Policy, and Public Administration.

Furthering the mission of AADF – to facilitate the development of a sustainable economy and a democratic society in Albania – these fellowships are designed for young and mid-career professionals who are committed to meeting the challenges of the future, and are dedicated to contributing the development of these fields in Albania. Since 2016, the Council for International Education Exchange partners with AADF for the professional internship program in the U.S. In 2018, American Councils for International Education began implementing the graduate fellowship program in the U.S. which is co-funded with the Biberaj Foundation.

The Master’s Degree Fellowship Program is intended for Albanian professionals who are applying to pursue a Master’s Degree from a U.S. higher education institution in one of the following fields:

Specializations within Agriculture can include but are not limited to:
Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
Agricultural and Extension Education
Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Animal Science
Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences
Food Safety
Horticulture
Plant Pathology
Plant Science
Specializations within Business Administration & Management can include but are not limited to:
Business Administration & Management
Business Teacher Education
Economics
Economics of Development
Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
Electronic Commerce
Finance and Banking
General Management
Human Resource Management
International Business
Leadership/Management
Management Information Systems
Marketing
Production/Operations Management
Supply Chain
Specializations within Culture can include but are not limited to:
Business and Heritage Management
Cultural Resource Management
Cultural Studies
Creative Industries and Cultural Entrepreneurship Management
Museum Studies
Heritage and Law
Historic Preservation
Protected Area Management
Arts and Heritage, Policy, Management and Education
Specializations within Eco-Tourism & Hospitality can include but are not limited to:
Cultural Tourism
Eco-Tourism
Destination Management
Event & Meeting Management
Hospitality Industry Studies
Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism
Recreation and Tourism Management
Tourism Heritage Development & Sustainability
Tourism & Travel Management
Tourism Policy and Planning
Tourism Promotion Operations
Specializations within Education can include but are not limited to:
Education, General
Education Policy Analysis
Higher Education Policy
Educational Administration and Supervision
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
Educational Assessment, Testing, and Measurement
Educational Evaluation and Research
Educational Leadership and Administration, General
Educational Statistics and Research Methods
Educational, Instructional, and Curriculum Supervision
Educational/Instructional Technology
Early Childhood Education
Elementary and Middle School Administration/Principalship
Elementary Education and Teaching
ESL Teacher Education
International and Comparative Education
Special Education
Superintendency and Educational System Administration
Life Long Learning & Adult Education
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods, Other
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other
Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education
Specializations within Information Technology & Computer Science can include but are not limited to:
Computer Engineering
Computer/Information Sciences, General
Computer Information Technology Administration and Management
Computer Programming, General
Computer Science
Computer Software and Media Applications
Computer Systems Analysis/Technology
Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
Data Entry/Microcomputer Applications
Data Processing
Informatics
Information Systems
Information Science/Studies
Specializations within Public Administration can include but are not limited to:
Public Finance
Health Administration
Local Government
Public Finance and Budget
Public Management
Transportation
Urban Policy/City Management
Specializations within Public Health can include but are not limited to:
Biostatistics
Environmental Health Sciences
Epidemiology
General Public Health
Health Services Administration
Public Health Education
Public Health Policy & Management
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Specializations within Public Policy can include but are not limited to:
Applied Economic Policy
Development Policy
Environment and Energy
Health Policy
Social Policy
Science, Technology & Environmental Policy
Public Financial Management
Nonprofit Policy, Management & Leadership

Strong preference will be granted for candidates applying in those major fields of study. MIP Fellows are required to return to Albania after their studies and apply their skills to the development of their country. MIP carefully screens applicants to ensure they have a real, lasting commitment to Albania. As part of the fellowship agreement, MIP requires its participants to return to Albania. Failure to return will result in the full repayment of the participant's program costs. Fellows receive a J visa, under the terms of which they are required to return to their country for at least two years. These and other measures ensure that the investment made in a MIP Fellow is an investment for the good of Albania and its people. The Fellowship is generally awarded for one or two academic years at a university in the United States to pursue a master’s degree.

AADF fully funds the Fellows' participation in the program. The fellowship covers the following costs :

  • Tuition Fees
  • Room and Board
  • Book allowance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Round-trip travel
  • Visa Fees

How are Participants Selected?

Selection of MIP Fellows is a three-step process:

Initial Review

First, all applications are reviewed by a panel of U.S. admissions experts.

Interview

Second, highly ranked candidates are interviewed and tested in Albania.

Final Evaluation

Finally, the applications, test scores, and interview results are reviewed by U.S. admissions experts.

MIP fellowship awardees are selected by the final selection committee and the results are announced early in the new year.

The MIP program does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic origin, age, race, color, gender, religion, or disability. Competition for the MIP program is merit-based and open to anyone.

FAQ's

Find answers to questions you might have.

MIP is eligible only to Albanian citizens who live in Albania during the application process and plan to live in Albania in the future. All applicants must convincingly demonstrate their devotion to the long-term, economic development of Albania; and that, therefore, the status as a dual-citizen will be a subject of inquiry during the application process.
Yes. MIP will provisionally accept all diplomas from all universities. Having said that, the question of whether a diploma is valid is ultimately up to our partner institutions. They will ultimately make such decisions after a thorough review of the circumstances. So, while we will accept an application and put a candidate through the application process regardless of where they got their diploma, we may not be able to place them at a U.S. university. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy may issue rules restricting J-1 visas to individuals holding an unaccredited diploma. Both of these factors - university acceptance of Albanian diplomas, and Consular granting of J-1 visas - are beyond AADF's control.
The fellowship does not support financially the stay of spouse and children of fellowship holder throughout the academic study period.
Provided all relevant program requirements are met, American Councils and AADF will provide you with the necessary documents and support to apply. However, the graduate institution, American Councils or AADF cannot guarantee that the U.S Embassy or Consulate will issue the J-1 visa; any visa related decision is solely and only responsibility of the U.S Embassy or Consulate.
MIP Fellows are required to return to Albania after their studies and apply their skills to the economic development of the country. Failure to return will result in the full repayment of the participant's program costs.
In case of technical problems with online application, please contact the project staff at master@mip-aadf.org to discuss for other arrangements if possible. We highly encourage not to wait for the last day to apply because the system may encounter problems.
For the initial application process, simply fill in and submit your online application. If you are selected as a semifinalist, you will be required to submit physical documents verifying the information you provided in your online application. In the event that the information you provided in your online application does not match the information contained in the physical documents you provide at the semifinalist stage, you may be disqualified from the competition. If you become a semifinalist, you will need to submit the following at the time of your interview:
- Official copies of all university transcripts in the language(s) in which they were issued. One transcript from each institution of higher education attended must be attached. Each transcript must bear the stamp or seal of the department of the university that issued it. For the purposes of this program, a transcript is a listing of every course you took to receive your diploma and the grade you received in each course.
- Certified English translations of your university transcripts. Each English language transcript must bear the stamp or seal of the department of the university that issued it. Also, each English language transcript must have the stamp or seal of the English language department or translating service confirming the accuracy of the translation. Applicant may not certify his/her own translation.
- Official copies of all diplomas you have received in the language(s) in which they were issued. Each diploma must bear the stamp or seal of the department of the university that issued it.
- Certified English translations of your diplomas. Each English language diploma must bear the stamp or seal of the department of the university that issued it. Also, each English language diploma must have the stamp or seal of the English language department or translating service confirming the accuracy of the translation. Applicant may not certify his/her own translation.
- Copies of TOEFL, GRE, and/or GMAT score reports (if taken previously).
- Photocopy of the picture page of your Albanian passport (if you have one).
Yes. Individuals who have applied to U.S. institutions independently are eligible to apply for the master’s degree fellowship. However, there is no guarantee that if you win the master’s degree fellowship you will be placed at the same university you wish to attend independently. Submit copies of any letters of acceptance with your MIP application.
The selection is a three-step process. First, all applications are reviewed by U.S. admissions experts and AADF staff. Second, highly-ranked candidates are interviewed and tested in Tirana, Albania. Finally, the applications, test scores, and interview results of highly-ranked candidates are reviewed by U.S. admissions experts and fellowship awardees are selected.
The deadline for the application and supporting materials is in May 5th 2019. Check the timeline of the Fellowship section for the exact date. By this date you must have completed an online application and should have already begun preparing for the TOEFL and other standardized exams. AADF requires preparatory courses for semifinalists taking the TOEFL, GRE & GMAT official exams. AADF will coordinate and cover all related costs (test fees, transportation costs to test sites for GRE/GMAT, accommodation).
If you are unable to complete an online application, e-mail to master@mip-aadf.org or contact the contact the Albanian – American Development Foundation in Tirana.
You can apply, but keep in mind that those candidates with significant amounts of professional experience will be given preference throughout the selection process.
Most U.S. graduate programs will last 2 academic years. However, some may be of a shorter duration; either one academic year or 18-months.
There are no geographic restrictions to where MIP Participants can be placed in the U.S.
The following items will be paid for by the program:
- Tuition Fees
- A modest stipend for your room and board
- Book allowance
- Medical Insurance
- Round-trip travel
- Visa Fees
Any further expenses while on program would need to be paid for by the participant.
All semi-finalists will be required to take the TOEFL exam.
Addtionally, those candidates that pass the interview stage will be required to take either the GRE or GMAT exam depending on their field of study.
All business majors would be required to take the GMAT.
In general, all other fields of study would be required to take the GRE exam. The applicants do not need to sit for these tests prior the application phase. The Albanian - American Development Foundation and American Councils office in Tirana will administer the TOEFL, GRE & GMAT official tests for semi-finalists. They will coordinate and cover all related costs (test fees, transportation costs to test site, accommodation).
No, you do not need to be accepted (or even have applied) to a U.S. university prior to submitting an application for the MIP Program. If you are identified as a finalist, the staff of American Councils will find a university admission on your behalf.
You only need translate the document into English for the selection committee to be able to read the document. You do not need to have an official translation.

Are You Eligible For The MIP Program?

Eligibility Requirements

The MIP Program does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic origin, age, race, color, gender, religion or disability. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Competition for the MIP Program is merit-based and open to anyone who meets the following requirements:

  • Must have a valid Albanian passport throughout the whole duration of the program;
  • Resident in Albania at the time of application and during the selection process;
  • Must hold a university degree requiring at least four years full-time study (or three + one, three + two in the Bologna system). The university diploma will be evaluated by the U.S. host university during the selection phase;
  • The minimum required university degree GPA is 8.0;
  • Must have a minimum of two years professional experience in the field of study and demonstrate leadership ability;
  • Able to demonstrate an outstanding academic record and achievements, professional aptitude and leadership potential in the selected field of specialization;
  • Proficiency in oral and written English. TOEFL test scores are not required at the time of application;
  • Motivated with a sense of purpose in pursuing the desired study program, as demonstrated in prior relevant work experience and additional activities;
  • Depending on the field of study, the candidate will sit for GRE & GMAT testing;
  • Able to begin the program of study in the U.S. in the summer of 2020;
  • Able to receive and maintain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa;
  • Agree to return and reside in Albania for a minimum of two years to make a significant contribution to the relevant field and must agree to sign an agreement with AADF prior to start of academic year;
  • Willing to be proactive with MIP Alumni Network AADF upon return;
  • Applicants who have already earned a Master's Degree from a U.S. university will not be considered.

Applicants whom have already earned a Master's degree from a U.S. university will not be considered.

What is the timeline for the selection of finalists?

Selection Timeline

  • 2019 February 1

    Online Application Opens

    The MIP Graduate Fellowship Program application is available for completion at mip.americancouncilsnetwork.org

  • 2019 May 5

    Application deadline

    All applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST - USA) in order to be considered for review.

  • 2019 June

    First Round Evaluation

    All completed applications are reviewed by a panel of U.S. admissions experts and tier 1 semi-finalist candidates are identified and notified.

  • 2019 June - July

    TOEFL Preparation

    Required TOEFL preparation courses for candidates identified as tier 1 semi-finalists.

  • 2019 September

    TOEFL Exams

    Official TOEFL exams administered in Tirana to the candidates successfully completing TOEFL courses.

  • 2019 September

    Second Round Evaluation

    Applicants profiles reviewed following the results of the TOEFL exam and tier 2 semi-finalists identified.

  • 2019 September - October

    GRE/GMAT Preparation

    Required GRE or GMAT preparation courses for candidates identified as tier 2 semi-finalists.

  • 2018 October - November

    GRE or GMAT Exams

    GRE or GMAT exams are administered to all tier 2 semi-finalists. All candidates identified as Tier 2 semifinalists will be registered for either a GRE or GMAT exam by staff of American Councils and the candidates will be notified of their test dates.

  • 2019 Late November

    Personal Interviews

    All tier 2 semi-finalists interviewed by university admission specialists, AADF staff, and American Councils staff in Tirana.

  • 2019 December

    MIP Finalists Identified

    After a review by U.S. admissions experts, all Tier 2 semifinalists will be notified of their status and those identified as finalists will begin working with American Councils staff to identify and finalize their U.S. universities.

  • 2020 June

    Pre-Departure Orientation Conference

    All MIP finalists will be required to take part in Pre-Departure Orientation Conference in Tirana. The conference sessions will be lead initially by staff of American Councils.

  • 2020 August

    Travel to the U.S.

    All MIP finalists will travel to the U.S. to begin their time on the program.