Mid-Career MA in International Relations

The Mid-Career Master of Arts in International Relations (IREL) is designed to address the needs of early-to-mid-career professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of international relations. The IREL is an intensive two-semester program that builds on the knowledge and skills that students have accumulated through practical experience. Students complete three core courses that cover international relations scholarship, the practice of diplomacy and negotiation, and quantitative methods or economics. Because the program is targeted toward students who already have clear career objectives and a strong basis of knowledge of international relations, they choose the remainder of their courses independently, according to their own needs and interests. If they choose, students can also demonstrate expertise in a region by earning a graduate certificate through one of the Pardee School’s regional centers and programs.

While students in IREL may hold a bachelor’s degree in any field, they must have work experience relevant to international relations or have already completed a master’s degree in a related discipline in order to enter the program. The program is especially well suited to students who are working or have worked in government, intergovernmental, or nongovernmental organizations, and intend to continue in the international relations arena. It is also ideal for US Army officers who are required to complete a master’s degree as part of their training in the Foreign Area Officer (FAO) program, and there is a long history of FAO students in the program.

Prospective students with little or no work experience in the field should apply for one of the School’s other degree programs, such as the MA in International Affairs (MAIA).

Course Requirements

The IREL program requires a total of 32 credits, consisting of 3 core courses from the following list. Beyond the core courses, remaining credits must be fulfilled through approved elective courses.

Core Course Requirements

  • GRS IR 601 Fundamentals of International Relations
  • GRS IR 604 Negotiation and Diplomacy
  • GRS IR 602 Quantitative Analysis for Global Affairs or GRS IR 603 Economics for Global Policy

Language Requirement

All students pursuing the Mid-Career MA in International Relations are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated through either a language examination or successful completion of a non-credit, graduate-level foreign language reading course offered by Boston University. In the case of non-native English speakers who were required to submit a TOEFL score report as part of their application for admission, knowledge of English fulfills this requirement.