International Relations

The Department of International Relations offers a blend of academic and practical applications in international affairs. With over 1,000 undergraduate and 150 graduate students, the department offers a multidisciplinary curriculum, which encompasses not only the traditional study of international politics, but also draws on history, economics, environmental studies, sociology, and anthropology in order to advance the understanding of global issues.

The International Relations Department boasts world-class faculty consisting of both practitioners and academics. On the practitioner side, the faculty includes former ambassadors, veterans of the Central Intelligence Agency, an international lawyer, and an award-winning foreign correspondent, among others. The department maintains a strong commitment to hosting practitioners of international relations in the fields of intelligence, diplomacy, security, and economic development. Faculty members from traditional academic backgrounds are among the most respected in their fields, and many have significant policy experience as well.

The Graduate Program

The Department of International Relations offers nine Master of Arts degrees:

Interdisciplinary Programs:

Dual Degree Programs:

Overseas Program:

The breadth of degree offerings meets the educational needs and career goals of our diverse student body. The rigorous curriculum prepares students for a wide range of international relations careers in diplomacy, intelligence, sustainable development, media, and foreign policy analysis.

The department is an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), the premier association for graduate programs in international relations.

For detailed information on the MA offerings and their requirements, see the International Relations Programs portion of this Bulletin and the Programs section of the department’s website.

Department Mission

  • To provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary education for aspiring and practicing international relations professionals and global citizens.
  • To produce high-quality research that advances the scholarly and public understanding of contemporary global issues.
  • To contribute to the solution of global problems through public engagement and participation in the policy process.

Center for International Relations

The Center for International Relations at Boston University is an integral part of the department. The mission of the center is to complement and enhance the activities of the department by sponsoring conferences and seminars, arranging for guest speakers and visiting scholars, and coordinating research activities on topics related to international affairs.

The center organizes numerous exciting events throughout the course of the year. These events provide our faculty and students with the opportunity to meet and interact with leading academics and practitioners active in important aspects of today’s international environment.