MBA/MA in International Relations

The Master of Business Administration / Master of Arts in International Relations (MBA/MA in IR) is offered as a dual degree, administered jointly by the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and the Questrom School of Business.  This dual-degree program is designed to meet the needs of students seeking careers in international affairs where the focus is on research and analysis, such as administrative management, international affairs, consulting, international banking, or finance.

Students in the dual international relations program have access to vibrant centers for study and research, such as the Global Economic Governance Initiative and and various interdisciplinary regional studies centers and institutes.

Key Facts

  • Number of credits: 80
  • Program length : 5 semesters
  • Full-time or Part-time: Both full- and part-time basis
    • Please note, if you would like to complete the program on a part-time basis, many Pardee School classes are only available during the day.
  • Deadlines to apply: Round 1 – October 16, Round 2 – January 8

Program Requirements

Students must successfully complete 80 credits to earn the MBA/MA in IR, including 32 credits toward the MA in International Relations and 40 credits toward the MBA. The remaining eight credits required for the degree are free electives and can be chosen from the graduate-level course offerings of either the Pardee School or Questrom.

The 32 MA credits include a core of three courses,; five IR electives; a language requirement; and a research or policy paper and oral defense thereof. Complete details on the IR portion of the degree program can be found on the Pardee School website.

Students spend their first semester and most or all of their second semester taking management courses at Questrom. The School’s Graduate Programs Office can help students to understand which courses should be taken during those two semesters.

Curriculum Map

Please note that this is a sample guide for full-time students. This is by no means a firm map of courses, and each individual’s schedule will vary.  Students should meet with their advisors from both Questrom and the Pardee School for assistance with course selection. The curriculum and courses are subject to change as recommended by deans, faculty, and administrators of Questrom and Pardee.

MG700 Ethical and Global Foundations (1 Credit) PL700 Introduction to Business Law (2 Credits) Internship (Optional) MG790 Ethical Leadership in a Global Economy (3 Credits) Global Engagement Elective (3 Credits) Internship (Optional) Free Elective Either School (3 or 4 Credits)
PL727 Organizations, Markets, and Society (3 Credits) IS710 IT Strategies for a Networked Economy (3 Credits) IR Core* (4 Credits) IR Core* (4 Credits) Free Elective Either School (3 or 4 Credits)
QM716 Business Analytics: Data Analysis and Risk (3 Credits) OB713 Leading Organizations and People (3 Credits) IR Core* (4 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits) Research Policy Paper
AC710 Financial Reporting and Control (3 Credits) SI750 Competition, Innovation, and Strategy (3 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits)
OM725 Creating Value Through Operations and Technology (3 Credits) MBA Elective (3 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits)
MK723 Marketing Management (3 Credits) Free Elective Either School (SMG = 3 Credits) ES723 Career Management (0 Credits)
FE721 Finance 1 (3 Credits) ES721 Teaming (0 Credits) ES724 Professional Skills (1 Credit)
ES721 Teaming (0 Credits) ES723 Career Management (0 Credits)
ES722 Executive Communication (0 Credits)
ES723 Career Management (0 Credits)

Purple: MBA, Blue: MA (International Relations), Green: Either.

Please note this is a sample guide for full-time students. It is by no means a firm map of course, and each individual’s schedule will vary.

*Three required IR core courses must be selected from three of the four subject areas: Theory & Policy, Political Economy, Regional Studies, and Security Studies.

**The MBA/MA IR dual degree requires that students complete 40 credits at the Questrom School of Business, 32 credits in the Pardee School, and at least 8 Credits from either school (two to three electives, depending on where they are taken)

Learning Goals

Master of Business Administration

Learning in the MBA program is heavily experience and team-based, emphasizing the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (particularly analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in the cognitive realm), and cuts across traditional educational categories. In the first semester of the full time program, student teams are formed and engage in projects that combine application of content from multiple courses, culminating in competitive presentations and products. There is also a major simulation carried out by a separate set of teams that lasts several days and mimics iterative decision-making in the real world. Courses are heavily interactive, and cases are widely used in the classroom.

MBA Learning Goals

The learning goals of the MBA program have been adopted by the MBA Program Development Committee as the competencies all graduates of the program should attain. From these learning goals the program has developed measurable objectives, which are regularly assessed and results are fed back into the curricular process.

Specifically, the learning goals of Boston University’s MBA program are as follows:

  • We develop graduates with self-awareness and strong career management skills
  • We develop graduates who can apply integrative leadership, have strong communication skills, and can perform well and contribute appropriately on teams
  • We develop graduates who understand the strategic implications and application of technology within business
  • We develop graduates who possess a management-systems perspective. Graduates will have an understanding of core, functional, business knowledge; and will be able to successfully apply critical and analytical thinking within a management-systems perspective
  • We develop graduates who possess an ethical, global, perspective

Tuition & Financial Aid


While students are attending both the Pardee School and the Questrom School of Business, they pay only one set of tuition.  Tuition is currently set at $47, 422 per year. For a full list of fees and other associated costs visit the Questrom School of Business Tuition and Financial Aid page. However, if a student exceeds 18 credits in a given semester, he or she will be charged additional tuition.

Students who take summer SMG courses while considered a Pardee student must pay extra tuition for those courses. If you have specific questions on this process, please feel free to contact the Questrom School of Business’s Financial Aid Office or call (617) 353-3584.

Financial Aid

All dual degree MBA/IR candidates are automatically eligible for the Questrom School of Business merit based scholarships. For more information visit the Questrom School of Business tuition and financial aid page.


Graduates of this program go on to careers in  the Foreign Service, intelligence agencies, other branches of government, NGOs, and consulting.

Admission Process

Applicants interested in the joint MBA/MA in International Relations should submit completed applications to the Graduate Questrom School of Business. The Questrom School of Business will then forward the application to the Graduate College of Arts and Sciences only if an offer of admission is made to the MBA program.

Please note that although you submit only one application, there will be two separate admission decisions, one by the Pardee School and the other by the Questrom School of Business.  Please see the application checklist for what is needed to apply to the Questrom School of Business.

Contact Us

Contact the Questrom School of Business at (617) 353-2670 or contact the Pardee School at (617) 353-9349 for program-specific questions. We’re also available on chat through MSM/AIM/Yahoo/Google Talk; our screen name is BostonUMBA.