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MA in International Affairs: Global Governance, Politics, and Security

Offered by School of International Service. The Global Governance, Politics, and Security (GGPS) program gives students the professional skills and specialized training necessary to launch a career in global governance or global security. It takes a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the critical global issues of our time. Our mission is to produce students with an understanding of global history and political and economic systems and the methodological tools and the practical skills to make sense of data and turn rigorous analysis into meaningful policy innovation and practical action to advance global governance and security.

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least a B+ (3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale) and should have had at least 24 credit hours of social science coursework relevant to international studies. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements, if otherwise admissible, may be assigned additional coursework in excess of degree requirements specified at the time of admission.

The application deadline for fall admission is January 15; for spring admission October 1 (September 15 for international students). Admitted students may defer matriculation for no longer than two semesters provided that a written request for deferment is submitted to and approved by the SIS Graduate Admissions Office.

All applicants whose native language is English or those whose degrees are from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Non-native English speakers are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they hold a degree from a U.S.-accredited institution before enrollment at SIS. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test (PBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. LSAT scores will be accepted in place of the GRE for JD/MA applicants. Fall applicants should plan to take the appropriate test no later than December to ensure full consideration of the application by the January deadline.

All applicants must submit two letters of reference evaluating undergraduate academic performance and suitability for graduate study in international affairs, at least one of which should be from an academic source. A resume should be included in the application. Applicants must submit transcripts from all institutions attended. Cultural factors are considered in evaluating transcripts and examination results.

Requests for the transfer of a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from other accredited institutions to be applied to a master's degree must be completed in the student's first semester in the graduate program at American University. A minimum grade of B in each course is required for transfer. Transfer courses must have been completed within five years of admission and must fulfill stated requirements of the degree program.

Degree Requirements

  • 39-42 credit hours of approved graduate coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, including 18-21 credit hours in a major field including one theory course and one graduate-level economics or international economic policy course appropriate to the field, 9 credit hours in a related field selected from offerings in SIS or other teaching units of the university, 6 credit hours in research methods, 3 elective credit hours, and a 3 credit hour capstone experience.
  • Capstone experience: demonstration of critical thinking, research and writing skills through completion of a master's thesis, substantial research paper requirement, or practicum. All courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be passed with a grade of B or better.
    • Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis credit and submission of the thesis
    • Substantial research paper requirement: 3 credit hours

    • Practicum: 3 credit hours

  • Evidence of professional experience in the field: Relevant internship or work experience must be certified.

  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified.

Course Requirements

Core (12-15 credit hours)

Social Science Research Methodology (6 credit hours)

Concentration (12 credit hours)

  • 9 credit hours of approved coursework in Global Governance or Global Security
  • 3 credit hours of approved coursework in Advanced Global Governance or Advanced Global Security

Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)

Note: The thesis or substantial research paper must relate clearly to the fields of global security or global governance.

Elective (6 credit hours)

  • 6 credit hours selected from skills workshops, internship for credit, master's thesis requirement, or other elective courses

SIS MA/MS and MBA

A dual master's degree program is offered by the School of International Service and Kogod School of Business.

Admission to the Program

Applications are submitted to both SIS and Kogod. Students must be admitted separately to each program. While students are encouraged to apply for admission to both programs simultaneously, students can apply to the second program after admission and matriculation in the first program. Students must be admitted to the second program and begin their studies prior to conferral of the degree from the first program. Applicants to the MBA program must also have completed two undergraduate courses, one in micro and one in macro economics (or the graduate equivalent), prior to entering the program.

The full-time MBA is a cohorted two-year program. During the first year of the MBA students complete 26 or 29 credit hours in Kogod, and during the second year of the MBA students, including the MBA capstone in the spring semester. Sequencing and timing of SIS coursework depends on the chosen program. Generally, dual degree students begin their academic programs at Kogod, but this is not required. The dual degree between SIS and Kogod may not be completed in conjunction with any other dual degrees at AU.

SIS Degree Requirements

  • Dual degree students may count up to 9 credit hours from their Kogod degree requirements toward their SIS degree requirements with approval of the SIS program director. This typically includes the 6 credit hour methodology requirement and the 3 credit hour elective. Students must otherwise complete all requirements as listed for the SIS graduate degree. The SIS MA degrees are built around a multidisciplinary curriculum focused on preparing students for a wide variety of careers in global service, including public, private, and non-profit semesters. MA/MBA students can specialize in areas at SIS that include international development, security,  global governance, conflict resolution, global environmental policy, regional studies, U.S. foreign policy, and public diplomacy. Students select a specialized concentration that allows them to tailor their studies to their individual interests. See relevant SIS degree requirements for more information.

MBA Degree Requirements

  • 32 credit hours of approved graduate coursework that includes required business core courses, capstone course, and an electives course.
  • Capstone experience: KSB-613 Strategic Decision Making (3).
  • All students are required to participate in the full-time MBA orientation prior to the start of the program.
  • The MBA degree will be conferred no earlier than the semester in which the SIS graduate degree is completed.

Course Requirements

Capstone (3 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours in a business course

International Affairs (MA) and Juris Doctor (JD)

Offered by the School of International Service and Washington College of Law.

Admission to the Program

Students apply to both the Washington College of Law (WCL) and the School of International Service (SIS). Students may begin their studies in SIS after completing one full year of full-time study at WCL. SIS accepts LSAT scores in place of the GRE general scores normally required for admission. For specific criteria employed by SIS, see the graduate admission and degree requirements for the MA in International Affairs above. Admission to either WCL or SIS in no way implies that admission to the other will be granted. Students who have been admitted to the MA in International Affairs may apply to WCL. For more information on admission requirements, contact the WCL Admissions Office at 202-274-4101.

Degree Requirements

  • 86 credit hours of WCL coursework.
    • Up to 6 credit hours of SIS coursework may be credited toward the JD requirement.
  • 36 credit hours of approved graduate coursework in an SIS concentration.
    • Up to 15 credit hours in WCL courses may be credited toward the MA requirements (see approved list in the SIS Graduate Office).
    • Capstone experience: demonstration of critical thinking, research and writing skills through completion of a master's thesis, substantial research paper requirement, or practicum. All courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be passed with a grade of B or better.
    • Evidence of professional experience in the field: Relevant internship or work experience must be certified.
    • Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified.

Course Requirements

Required

  • Approved major theory course (3)
  • Approved research methods course (3)
  • 12 credit hours of approved concentration coursework
  • 3 credit hours of elective coursework

WCL Coursework

Up to 15 credit hours including the following:

  • LAW-516 Legal Rhetoric: Writing and Research I (2)
  • LAW-517 Legal Rhetoric: Writing and Research II (2)
  • Approved economic or business policy course (3)
  • 5 credit hours of approved international law coursework