MA in International Relations, One-Year (MAIR)

The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) is designed as a one-year terminal MA program for students who wish to complete an advanced degree in order to further their career in the field of international relations.

The MAIR is an intensive one-year program that builds on the knowledge and skills that students have accumulated through practical experience. While MAIR students may hold a bachelor’s degree in any field, they must have work experience relevant to international affairs, or already hold a master’s degree in international affairs or a related discipline. In addition to being an excellent degree for those seeking careers in a civilian role, this program is ideal for US Army officers who are required to complete a master’s degree as part of their training in the FAO Program.

Prospective students with 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).

The MA in International Relations requires a total of 8 courses (32 credits) divided among core (12 credits) and electives (20 credits).


MAIR core coursework ensures that students gain exposure to a range of important facets of international affairs. Students take a common core of three courses:

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

Students choose five elective courses (20 credits), selected from the graduate level course offerings of the Pardee School. Courses not included in these lists may be petitioned to count toward the student’s degree.

Students are encouraged to develop an informal regional or functional concentration with three to four of their electives. Doing so is not a requirement of the degree and a concentration will not appear on university transcripts, but choosing a concentration does help to give greater focus and definition to a student’s program of study.

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.