Graduate Programs

The Pardee School offers nine rigorous, interdisciplinary master’s programs and two graduate certificates. Our approach breaks down disciplinary boundaries—Pardee students study not only international politics, but also history, economics, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, and more. This broad-based curriculum enables our students to build a holistic understanding of global affairs.

Housed in BU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Pardee School offers students access to a broad range of resources and faculty expertise. Come engage with a distinguished faculty that includes both accomplished scholars and skilled practitioners drawn from the worlds of diplomacy, intelligence, economic development, environmental sustainability, and military affairs.

Peace that lasts, development that works, knowledge that transforms – at the Pardee School, we are educating the next generation of leaders ready to tackle the critical issues of the global future. Explore our programs and find the one that is right for you.

Master of Arts

International Affairs (MAIA)

A highly versatile and customizable degree program, the two-year MAIA prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the international relations field, including work for national governments and a broad range of IGOs and NGOs. A set of rigorous core classes trains students in the fundamentals of IR theory, the workings of the global economy, research methodologies, and the critical issues in international security. Track coursework and electives enable students to shape the course of study to gain in-depth understanding of the issues most important to them.

Global Development Policy (GDP)

The need to improve living standards, health, and quality of life for people throughout the developing world in an environmentally sound manner is increasingly recognized as a top priority by the global community. The three-semester GDP MA prepares students for development policy careers in government, nonprofit institutions, international organizations, and the private sector.

The multidisciplinary core curriculum trains students in the environmental, economic, public health, and governance aspects of international development. Students select a specialty track within the development field, giving them the opportunity to develop focused knowledge of the issues that they are most passionate about.

International Relations & Environmental Policy (IREP)

The management of natural resources and the resolution of environmental conflicts are increasingly important factors in determining the course of international relations. The year and a half IREP program offers students a dynamic opportunity to explore the intersection of IR and the environment.

The core course of the program prepares students for environmental negotiation while classes at BU’s Center for Energy & Environmental Studies provide training in a variety of environmental issues. Pardee School coursework enables students to develop regional or thematic expertise that complements their environmental studies. The program is perfect for students aspiring to work in environmental management and policy analysis.

International Relations & International Communication (IRIC)

The two-year IRIC program trains students for careers in an international setting working in journalism, marketing, public relations, and other media fields.

Classes in communication furnish students with concrete career skills in the media field. IR coursework complements this by enabling students to develop regional or thematic expertise, providing them with the knowledge about and understanding of the international realm that is needed to practice effective international communication. Students have the opportunity to study and intern in either London or Washington, DC.

International Relations, Mid Career (IREL)

An abbreviated one-year program, the Mid-Career MA caters to both civilian professionals and military officers looking to advance their international affairs careers. Students acquire both practical and theoretical training from top faculty through interdisciplinary coursework. Less structured than our other degrees, the mid-career program gives IR professionals the versatility to design a program suited to their needs and interests.

International Relations & Religion (IRRN)

This innovative two-year program explores the ever-evolving nexus of religion and international affairs. Students develop a practical understanding of major religious actors, in-depth knowledge of a specific religious tradition, and a theoretical grasp of the relevance of religious ideas and actors for contemporary international affairs. The IRRN MA prepares students to work in policy analysis, conflict resolution, and other roles at NGOs, IGOs, and national governments.

Core coursework covers the fundamentals of IR theory, methodological training in approaches to the study of Religion and IR, and the role(s) of religion in modern politics. Students choose both an IR and a Religious Tradition track, allowing them to develop detailed knowledge in the specialties that matter most to them.

Latin American Studies (LAS MA)

The two-year LAS MA presents students with a broad, multidisciplinary and holistic approach to understanding the complexities of Latin America. Students master Latin American culture, political dynamics, economics, language, and current issues. They are prepared for careers working on Latin American issues in a variety of contexts, including the private sector, NGOs, government, and education.

The LAS MA furnishes students with training in research methods, in-depth study of two specialty issue areas, and intimate exposure to Latin America through a semester of study abroad in the region.

International Relations & Juris Doctor (IRJD)

Designed for students planning careers in national governments, international agencies, international negotiation, and human rights organizations, the IRJD enables Law School students to add an IR component to their core JD competency. In three and a half years, students complete the standard JD curriculum plus a set of courses in international law through BU’s School of Law and complement their law skills with regional or thematic expertise gained through coursework in the Pardee School.

International Relations & Master of Business Administration (IR/MBA)

The dual IR/MBA program caters to students who want to gain the practical know-how of management combined with an in-depth understanding of the geopolitical environment. In just two and a half years, students get the skills and competencies to compete in a rapidly evolving international marketplace.

Students learn all the essential skills of business management through study in the Graduate School of Management and couple that with an understanding of international politics, economics, and security issues learned through coursework in the Pardee School. The program is perfect for students seeking careers in administrative management (corporate or non-profit), consulting, or international banking.


African Studies

Egypt, Ghana, Congo, Namibia – dive in and explore Africa, a continent rich in diversity, opportunity, and challenges. Pardee School regional certificate programs complement any BU graduate degree by enabling students to master interdisciplinary regional knowledge. The African Studies certificate program is ideal for students seeking specialized knowledge of Africa to complement their training in another field.

Asian Studies

China, India, Japan, Malaysia – dive in and explore the vast realm of Asia, a region full of ancient cultures and modern dynamism, and home to over half of humanity. Pardee School regional certificate programs complement any BU graduate degree by enabling students to master interdisciplinary regional knowledge. The Asian Studies certificate program is ideal for students seeking specialized knowledge of Asia to complement their training in another field.

Interested students, please visit the Pardee School’s prospective graduate students page for more info.

Information on our course offerings can be found here. Information on our MA Study Abroad Programs can be found here.

Current Pardee School/GRS students will find information on various other requirements on this site’s FAQ section for graduate students.

The Pardee School at BU is an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), the premier association for graduate programs in International Relations.