MA in International Affairs

Individuals with seven years or more of experience as international relations professionals may wish to consider our Mid-Career MA in International Relations program.

The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is a flexible program designed to prepare students to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of international relations, including work for national governments and a wide range of IGOs and NGOs. The program includes core coursework that covers the fundamentals of IR theory, research methods in IR, the workings of the global economy, and an overview of global security issues. In addition to the core classes, students choose two tracks, allowing them to develop in-depth knowledge in their chosen specialties, and write a capstone MA paper. The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive perspective on international issues and a clear understanding of the means by which these issues are researched, discussed, and acted upon. There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in writing policy-relevant documents. The final MA paper, which each student must orally defend before a panel of three faculty members, reflects that emphasis. This degree is well suited for students with a limited background in the field, such as recent college graduates.


NOTE: The following explicates the requirements applicable only to the MA in International Affairs Development program. Students should first consult the International Relations MA Core Requirements portion of this Bulletin for detailed requirements applicable to all IR MA programs.

The International Affairs degree is a two-year program during which students must complete 16 courses (64 credits). The coursework consists of four required core courses; four courses within a primary functional or regional track and three non-overlapping courses in a secondary track; an MA Paper Workshop; and three electives. Students must also pass the department’s foreign language exam (in a language relevant to the program of study). The capstone to the program is an MA paper and an oral defense of that paper. The Master’s Paper Workshop, taken during the second year of the program, assists students in writing their MA papers.

Required Courses

Core Courses

  • GRS IR 701    Introduction to International Relations
  • GRS IR 702    Research Methods for International Relations Practitioners
  • GRS IR 703    International Security
  • GRS IR 704    Global Economic and Development Policy

Master’s Paper Workshop

  • GRS IR 799    Master’s Paper Workshop

Track Courses

Students choose a primary track (four courses) and a secondary track (three courses). Courses for the two tracks must be non-overlapping. At least one of the tracks must be a functional track.

The options for functional tracks are: Theory and Policy, Political Economy, and Security Studies. The options for regional tracks are: Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and Muslim World. Lists of approved courses for each track can be found online at

Functional Tracks

  • Theory & Policy
  • Political Economy
  • Security Studies

Regional Core Area/Tracks

  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
  • Muslim World

Elective Courses

Students choose four elective courses from the graduate-level course offerings of the IR department. Students may also select their electives from any of the courses included in the listings for any of the functional or regional tracks. Courses not included in these lists may be petitioned to count toward the student’s degree.