Master of Arts in International Relations & International Communication

An understanding of international relations is necessary for the practice of international communication. The two-year joint International Relations & International Communication (IRIC) degree program prepares students for careers in an international setting working in journalism, mass communication, advertising, marketing, public relations, and other fields.

Coursework is split evenly between the Department of International Relations in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) and the College of Communication (COM). Classes in COM provide students with concrete career skills in their chosen field (Journalism, Public Relations, Marketing, Global Technology Policy, or Communication Research). IR coursework complements this by enabling students to develop regional or thematic expertise.

The program also includes the opportunity for students to spend a summer studying and interning in London.


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

Students take a total of 16 courses (64 credits), normally eight IR courses and eight COM courses. In both IR and COM, these courses must satisfy three categories: core, track, and elective. Both the IR and COM components consist of three core, three track, and two elective courses.

The IR component consists of:

  • Three core courses, taken from three of the four core areas of Theory and Policy, Political Economy, Security Studies, and Regional Studies.
  • A minimum of three track courses, based on a track chosen by the student in consultation with the IR Graduate Programs Administrator. Click here for a list of IR tracks.
  • A maximum of two elective courses, which may be selected from any of the approved IR elective courses.  See the Core Requirements page for more information.

The COM component consists of:

  • The Communication Core Courses Requirement, outlined below.
  • The Communication Track Courses Requirement, outlined below.
  • A maximum of two electives chosen from the list of graduate-level COM electives.

In special cases, students may, with prior approval, shift one of their electives from COM to IR or vice versa.

Communication Core Courses Requirement

Students complete CAS IR 531 Intercultural Communication and COM CM 710 Communication Theory, and one additional core course from the following list:

  • COM CM 722 Communication Research
  • COM CM 729 Public Opinion and Public Policy
  • COM CM 831 International Communication

Communication Track Courses Requirement

Students must complete a minimum of three COM courses from one of the track areas listed below. For courses that can be taken either toward a concentration or as a core course, students must choose whether to use the course toward their concentration or their core requirement, not both.

All COM tracks include one or two required courses.  The track options, with the required courses, are listed below.  Full track course listings can be found here.

International Journalism
Required Courses:
  • COM JO 721 Journalism Principles and Techniques
  • COM JO 722 Advanced Journalism Seminar
International Marketing
Required Course:
  • COM CM 708 Principles and Practices of Advertising
Public Relations
Required Course:
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
Global Communication Technology Policy
Required Course:
  • COM CM 514 New Communication Technologies
Communication Research
Required Course:
  • COM CM 722 Communication Research