Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore, Ph.D.


The United States has continued to attract the largest share of international students worldwide, with 1.1 million international students of the total 4.6 million international students choosing to pursue a degree in the United States (Institute of International Education [IIE], 2018). International students contribute to the financial, political, cultural, and intellectual diversity they bring to university and college campuses challenging institutions to find ways to attract more students from across the globe. While there is some research on international student acculturation and resources, particularly around Asian international students that represent 51% of the total international student population in the US, there is very little research on black international students of color (IIE, 2018). Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to explore the factors that affect international student acculturation to U.S. American higher education and how these impact international students of color acculturation. Having addressed the acculturative stress faced by international students of color, specifically Black international students, at U.S. institutions, I propose an International Peer Program (IPP) targeted to first-year Black international students in efforts to better support and retain international students of color.