MA in International Relations & MBA

The MA in International Relations & Master of Business Administration (IR MA & MBA) dual degree program meets the needs of students seeking careers in administrative management, international affairs, consulting, international banking, or finance. Students learn all the essential skills of business management through coursework in the Questrom School of Business and couple that with an understanding of international politics, economics, and security issues learned through coursework in international relations. The IR MA & MBA is a joint offering of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and the Questrom School of Business.


Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in international relations, political science, or a related discipline such as history or economics. Additionally, Questrom strongly prefers candidates to have several years of work experience prior to applying for the MBA program.

Applications for the IR MA/MBA program are submitted through the Questrom School of Business.

Course Requirements

The MA in International Relations & Master of Business Administration requires a total of 80 credits, including 32 IR credits, 40 Questrom credits, and 8 credits taken in either IR or Questrom.

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MA in International Relations & MBA are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated through either 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 Pardee School (one of the three professors will be 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.