MAIA Global Economic Affairs Specialization

The two-year MA in International Affairs (MAIA) with a Specialization in Global Economic Affairs prepares students to pursue careers in the  economic governance aspects of international affairs.

Rigorous core classes train students in the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. Electives enable students to gain in-depth understanding of the issues most important to them.

Most classes are taught once per year, but some, particularly those outside the Pardee School, may be taught less frequently.

The MA in International Affairs with a Specialization in Global Economic Affairs requires a total of 16 courses (64 credits) divided among core classes (20 credits), specialization (24 credits) and electives (20 credits). Elective coursework can include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).


Students take four core classes (16 credits) that provide breadth of knowledge in the critical issues and research techniques of international affairs plus a directed study (4 credits) with their advisor in their final semester as part of writing an individual MA research or policy paper.

  • GRS IR 601 Fundamentals of International Relations
  • GRS IR 602 Quantitative Analysis for Global Affairs
  • GRS IR 603 Economics for Global Policy
  • GRS IR 604 Negotiation and Diplomacy
  • GRS IR 799 Master’s Paper (Directed Study with MA Paper Advisor)

Students take one required course (4 credits):

  • CAS IR 592 Economic Development and International Institutions

Students take five courses (20 credits) from the list of approved courses below or other courses with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies:

  • CAS IR 506 India and the World: The Foreign Policy of a Rising Power
  • CAS IR 512 Global Resource Geopolitics
  • CAS IR 527 (PO 548) Political Economy of China
  • CAS IR 529 Cuba in Transition
  • CAS IR 532 Trade Law and Development
  • CAS IR 550 (PO 535) European Integration
  • CAS IR 551 (PO 536) Social Europe: Identity, Citizenship and the Welfare State
  • CAS IR 577 (PO 576) Foreign Policy of the People’s Republic of China
  • CAS IR 579 (PO 552) Japan in International Politics
  • CAS IR 587 Political Economy of the Middle East
  • CAS IR 590 (PO 562) Political Economy of Latin America
  • CAS IR 596 (PO 529) Globalization and Contemporary Capitalism in Advanced Industrialized Nations
  • CAS IR 597 (GE 597) Development and Environment in Latin America
  • GRS IR 705 Global Economic and Development Policy
  • GRS IR 723 (PO 528) The Political Economy of Advanced Industrialized Societies
  • GRS IR 748 (SO 847) Global Sociology
  • GRS IR 758 (PO 785) Comparative Political Economy of China and India
  • GRS IR 759 International Institutions for Finance, Development and Trade
  • GRS IR 760 The Political Economy of the European Union
  • GRS IR 789 Globalization, Development, Governance

Students select five elective courses (20 credits), from the graduate-level course offerings of the Pardee School. Students may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Students are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Graduate-level proficiency is the ability to understand newspaper and professional journal articles in the field of foreign relations accurately, using standard reference materials. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of one of the non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading courses 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.

Students write a Master’s Paper (commonly referred to as an MA Paper) as the capstone component of their degree. The paper may take one of two forms:  either a traditional research paper or a policy paper.  Students are given broad latitude in selecting topics and approaches, in consultation with their advisors. All MA Papers must be defended orally in front of a panel of three professors, chosen by the Pardee School (one of the three professors will be the student’s advisor).

As part of writing their MA paper, students take a directed study (4 credits) with their advisor in their final semester.