MA in International Affairs

The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is a versatile two-year program that prepares students to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of international relations, including in national governments and a wide range of IGOs and NGOs. The program includes core coursework that covers the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. In addition to the core classes, students choose a specialization that allows them to develop in-depth knowledge in a chosen issue area, and write a capstone MA paper. They can also demonstrate expertise in a region by earning a graduate certificate through one of the Pardee School’s regional centers and programs.

The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive perspective on international issues and a clear understanding of the means by which these issues are researched, discussed, and acted upon. There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in writing policy-relevant documents.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to their intended focus in the MAIA program. This may include a major or significant coursework in fields directly related to international relations, such as political science, history, economics, or sociology; regional studies; religion; or communications. This degree is well suited for students with limited career experience in the field, such as recent college graduates. Applicants whose undergraduate coursework has been in fields not closely related to the coverage of the MAIA program will also be considered if they can demonstrate commitment to and knowledge of international affairs through their career or extracurricular experiences.

Individuals with significant experience as international relations professionals may wish to consider our Mid-Career MA in International Relations program.

Course Requirements

The MA in International Affairs with Specialization in Diplomacy requires a total of 64 credits. In addition to the course requirements listed below, remaining credits should be fulfilled through approved elective courses. Elective coursework may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Core Course Requirements (20 credits)

  • 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 MAIA Paper Workshop (Directed Study)

Specialization in Diplomacy Course Requirements (24 credits)

  • CAS IR 535 Diplomacy and Statecraft
  • 20 additional credits from a set of approved courses or other courses with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MA in International Affairs are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of a non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading course 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.

Master’s Paper

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 Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies (one of whom is the student’s advisor). The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the MA Paper as well as the student’s ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and compelling manner.

The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is a versatile two-year program that prepares students to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of international relations, including in national governments and a wide range of IGOs and NGOs. The program includes core coursework that covers the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. In addition to the core classes, students choose a specialization that allows them to develop in-depth knowledge in a chosen issue area, and write a capstone MA paper. They can also demonstrate expertise in a region by earning a graduate certificate through one of the Pardee School’s regional centers and programs.

The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive perspective on international issues and a clear understanding of the means by which these issues are researched, discussed, and acted upon. There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in writing policy-relevant documents.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to their intended focus in the MAIA program. This may include a major or significant coursework in fields directly related to international relations, such as political science, history, economics, or sociology; regional studies; religion; or communications. This degree is well suited for students with limited career experience in the field, such as recent college graduates. Applicants whose undergraduate coursework has been in fields not closely related to the coverage of the MAIA program will also be considered if they can demonstrate commitment to and knowledge of international affairs through their career or extracurricular experiences.

Individuals with significant experience as international relations professionals may wish to consider our Mid-Career MA in International Relations program.

Course Requirements

The MA in International Affairs with Specialization in Global Economic Affairs requires a total of 64 credits. In addition to the course requirements listed below, remaining credits should be fulfilled through approved elective courses. Elective coursework may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Core Course Requirements (20 credits)

  • 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 MAIA Paper Workshop (Directed Study)

Specialization in Global Economic Affairs Course Requirements (24 credits)

  • CAS IR 592 Economic Development and International Institutions
  • 20 additional credits from a set of approved courses or other courses with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MA in International Affairs are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of a non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading course 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.

Master’s Paper

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 Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies (one of whom is the student’s advisor). The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the MA Paper as well as the student’s ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and compelling manner.

The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is a versatile two-year program that prepares students to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of international relations, including in national governments and a wide range of IGOs and NGOs. The program includes core coursework that covers the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. In addition to the core classes, students choose a specialization that allows them to develop in-depth knowledge in a chosen issue area, and write a capstone MA paper. They can also demonstrate expertise in a region by earning a graduate certificate through one of the Pardee School’s regional centers and programs.

The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive perspective on international issues and a clear understanding of the means by which these issues are researched, discussed, and acted upon. There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in writing policy-relevant documents.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to their intended focus in the MAIA program. This may include a major or significant coursework in fields directly related to international relations, such as political science, history, economics, or sociology; regional studies; religion; or communications. This degree is well suited for students with limited career experience in the field, such as recent college graduates. Applicants whose undergraduate coursework has been in fields not closely related to the coverage of the MAIA program will also be considered if they can demonstrate commitment to and knowledge of international affairs through their career or extracurricular experiences.

Individuals with significant experience as international relations professionals may wish to consider our Mid-Career MA in International Relations program.

Course Requirements

The MA in International Affairs with Specialization in Security Studies requires a total of 64 credits. In addition to the course requirements listed below, remaining credits should be fulfilled through approved elective courses. Elective coursework may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Core Course Requirements (20 credits)

  • 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 MAIA Paper Workshop (Directed Study)

Specialization in Security Studies Course Requirements (24 credits)

  • GRS IR 703 International Security
  • 20 additional credits from a set of approved courses or other courses with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MA in International Affairs are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of a non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading course 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.

Master’s Paper

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 Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies (one of whom is the student’s advisor). The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the MA Paper as well as the student’s ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and compelling manner.

The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is a versatile two-year program that prepares students to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of international relations, including in national governments and a wide range of IGOs and NGOs. The program includes core coursework that covers the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. In addition to the core classes, students choose a specialization that allows them to develop in-depth knowledge in a chosen issue area, and write a capstone MA paper. They can also demonstrate expertise in a region by earning a graduate certificate through one of the Pardee School’s regional centers and programs.

The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive perspective on international issues and a clear understanding of the means by which these issues are researched, discussed, and acted upon. There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in writing policy-relevant documents.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to their intended focus in the MAIA program. This may include a major or significant coursework in fields directly related to international relations, such as political science, history, economics, or sociology; regional studies; religion; or communications. This degree is well suited for students with limited career experience in the field, such as recent college graduates. Applicants whose undergraduate coursework has been in fields not closely related to the coverage of the MAIA program will also be considered if they can demonstrate commitment to and knowledge of international affairs through their career or extracurricular experiences.

Individuals with significant experience as international relations professionals may wish to consider our Mid-Career MA in International Relations program.

Course Requirements

The MA in International Affairs with Specialization in Religion & International Affairs requires a total of 64 credits. In addition to the course requirements listed below, remaining credits should be fulfilled through approved elective courses. Elective coursework may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Core Course Requirements (20 credits)

  • 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 MAIA Paper Workshop (Directed Study)

Specialization in Religion & International Affairs Course Requirements (28 credits)

  • CAS IR/RN 561 Religion and International Relations
  • GRS RN 795 Humanities Approaches to Religion or GRS RN 796  Social Science Approaches to Religion
  • CAS IR/AN 563 Public Religion and Politics Across Cultures
  • 16 additional credits in a specific Religious Tradition track from among four options: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or Asian Religions

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MA in International Affairs are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of a non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading course 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.

Master’s Paper

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 Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies (one of whom is the student’s advisor). The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the MA Paper as well as the student’s ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and compelling manner.

The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is a versatile two-year program that prepares students to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of international relations, including in national governments and a wide range of IGOs and NGOs. The program includes core coursework that covers the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. In addition to the core classes, students choose a specialization that allows them to develop in-depth knowledge in a chosen issue area, and write a capstone MA paper. They can also demonstrate expertise in a region by earning a graduate certificate through one of the Pardee School’s regional centers and programs.

The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive perspective on international issues and a clear understanding of the means by which these issues are researched, discussed, and acted upon. There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ skills in writing policy-relevant documents.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to their intended focus in the MAIA program. This may include a major or significant coursework in fields directly related to international relations, such as political science, history, economics, or sociology; regional studies; religion; or communications. This degree is well suited for students with limited career experience in the field, such as recent college graduates. Applicants whose undergraduate coursework has been in fields not closely related to the coverage of the MAIA program will also be considered if they can demonstrate commitment to and knowledge of international affairs through their career or extracurricular experiences.

Individuals with significant experience as international relations professionals may wish to consider our Mid-Career MA in International Relations program.

Course Requirements

The MA in International Affairs with Specialization in International Communication requires a total of 64 credits. In addition to the course requirements listed below, remaining credits should be fulfilled through approved elective courses. Elective coursework may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Core Course Requirements (20 credits)

  • 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 MAIA Paper Workshop (Directed Study)

Specialization in International Communication Course Requirements (24 credits)

  • CAS IR 531 Intercultural Communication
  • GRS IR 732 Public Diplomacy
  • COM CM 831 International Communication
  • 12 additional credits from a set of approved courses or other courses with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MA in International Affairs are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of a non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading course 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.

Master’s Paper

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 Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies (one of whom is the student’s advisor). The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the MA Paper as well as the student’s ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and compelling manner.