MA in International Relations
The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) graduate degree program at Boston University in Brussels is intended primarily for part-time, mid-career students who wish to take advantage of Brussels’ unique position at the center of European politics. Note, however, that the international relations graduate degree program is open to all interested applicants, and presents an opportunity for students to explore issues of critical importance, while making the most of all that this capital city offers in the way of lifestyle and work experience.
Students may complete the MAIR graduate degree program in approximately one and a half years.
The application process for the MAIR graduate degree program is administered by Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Prospective students interested in the Brussels program should follow directions provided in the How To Apply section and should also read the page of additional information for Brussels applicants. See MAIR Admissions Criteria
Eight courses/32 credits
Three courses/12 credits
Five courses/20 credits
CAS IR 509 Islam in Middle East Politics
All International Relations graduate degree program students are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in English, plus one other language, prior to completion of the degree program. Such knowledge is defined as the ability to accurately understand newspaper and professional journal articles in the field of foreign relations while using standard reference materials.
For English speakers, each student will be required to take a language exam in their chosen second language. This exam will be administered in a timely manner, once the student has begun the Brussels program.
Non-native English-speaking students who did not receive an undergraduate degree from a university in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting a TOEFL score. A degree from an English-language university located in a country other than these does not exempt an applicant from the TOEFL requirement. There are no exceptions to this policy.
GRE testing results are required.
Students must pass a university statistics course prior to the completion of the Master of Arts in International Relations program. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing MET OM 735 Statistical Analysis with a grade of B- or above. This course will satisfy the statistics requirement, but will not count as one of the eight courses required by the MAIR degree program.
Note: students who have taken a statistics course in their university studies may satisfy this requirement by presenting documentation of coursework (online classes are not accepted).
Master’s Paper Requirement
All candidates for the Master of Arts in International Relations are required to write a master's paper in one of two forms:
Students are given broad latitude in selecting topics and approaches, in consultation with their advisors. All papers must be defended orally in front of a panel of three professors. The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the master’s paper and ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and organized manner.
Students on BU’s Boston campus are welcome to take courses in Brussels and vice versa. The courses will be applied toward the student’s degree, just as if they had been taken at the student’s home campus.
Students who plan to spend a semester or summer at the alternate campus will need to plan ahead. Of particular note, for some terms, Brussels offers only two IR courses. Also, the Brussels term calendar is not the same as the Boston term calendar. Refer to our website for current information on the Brussels calendar and to the Boston calendar for current information about the Boston calendar.
The Brussels campus has a number of internships available to participating students. U.S. citizens who enroll in the MAIR program may have the opportunity to intern with institutions related to the European Union. Applications for internships are coordinated through the Brussels office.