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Master of Science in International Relations and Business Online

Program Length: 18 Months
Credit Hours: 36
Total Classes: 11
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Round 4

At a Glance

The online Master of Science in International Relations and Business program is designed through a partnership between American University’s School of International Service (SIS) and the Kogod School of Business. Through this collaboration, students learn to combine advanced business skills with international affairs knowledge to influence international economic policy and advance their careers within the international market.

American University’s Washington, DC, location provides students with access to all the resources and networking opportunities the global policy hub has to offer. By earning an online master’s in international relations and business, students graduate with the connections and understanding needed to navigate complex challenges that arise at the intersection of business, foreign policy, and global affairs. The online degree can be completed in 18 months.

International Business vs. International Relations

When choosing which business degree is the right fit, applicants should consider their career goals and how they plan to use the skills learned through the program. The Kogod School of Business currently offers an online MBA program in addition to the online MS in International Relations and Business program.

Master’s in Business Administration- Students should choose this path if they are seeking a more traditional business degree and want to advance skills in management, strategy, finance, accounting, leadership, marketing, and operations.

Master’s in Int’l Relations and Business- Students should choose this path if they want to focus on the same core business skills as an MBA degree but use those skills in an international context, such as working on international assignments or influencing global policy.

Program Objectives

Preparing students to develop a competitive advantage in business by learning new perspectives and enhancing strategic thinking skills.

  1. Develop Strategic Decision-Making Skills

    Understand critical interrelationships and linkages necessary for developing global business strategy, including strategic and operational issues and relationships among functional disciplines.

  2. Study Functional Areas of Business

    Learn accounting and financial analysis, production and marketing of goods and services, management of people and organizations, and information and technology management.

  3. Apply Classroom Learnings

    Utilize quantitative information, tools, methods, and professional judgment to solve current and future business problems.

  4. Develop Business Communication Skills

    Learn how to demonstrate professional competence in oral and written communication within a business setting.

  5. Grow as a Leader

    Identify different leadership styles and demonstrate the ability to work effectively in diverse teams.

  6. Gain a Global Perspective

    Understand the global environment in which business operates, including economic, legal, ethical, and societal dimensions.

A Top-Ranked Online MS

The international relations master’s degree programs from American University’s School of International Service were ranked No. 8 worldwide by Foreign Policy magazine in 2018.1


Ranked number 8

Foreign Policy Magazine 2018

American University’s Kogod School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). AACSB accreditation is known worldwide as the longest-standing, most recognized form of specialized and professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.

Admission Requirement
Curriculum Description
Careers and Outcomes
Student Experience

American University’s Kogod School of Business seeks candidates who strive to become global business leaders. Kogod’s online programs have four start dates throughout the year: January, April, July, and October. Applications are accepted and admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university to apply. GMAT and GRE scores are not required.

To complete your application, you must submit the following:

The skills-based MS in International Relations and Business curriculum is designed to promote an advanced understanding of how the global economy, policy environment, and business strategy function collectively.

Through weekly online class sessions and coursework, students explore how international commerce and cultural differences factor into business decisions within the global economy. Online learning is supplemented with an in-person immersion experience in a global business hub and a culminating capstone project.

Details can be found on our Program Curriculum page.

Career Advancement in International Business and Relations

Whether your aspirations are in global security, international development, foreign policy, national security, or conflict resolution, you will graduate ready to take on positions in a range of settings—think tanks, nonprofits, consulting firms, or government agencies—and promote peace worldwide.

International Development
Working in international development means helping to improve—and sustain—the economic development and quality of life in an area. This includes: alleviating poverty and illiteracy, elevating life expectancy, and heightening GDP per capita.

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Professionals in this field work to understand, mitigate, and resolve conflict on an international level.

Global Service
Professionals in global security work toward keeping volatile or unstable nations safe from outside threat. This might include mediating conflict, tracking threats, and proposing new policies and safety measures.

Foreign Policy and National Security
Professionals in this field typically focus on creating and implementing foreign policy, defense, intelligence, and public diplomacy to promote national security.

Learning Outcomes

Students learn from a skills-focused interdisciplinary curriculum that covers advanced business concepts in the context of global politics, economics, and cross-cultural relationships. The program prepares students for careers in international business by incorporating key skills from both disciplines.

In addition to traditional course work, students complete a culminating capstone project and attend a global immersion experience. These hands-on learning experiences deepen students understanding of the economic strategies that fortifies international relations today.

Depending on the courses students choose, they can learn a combination of the following skills.

International Relations

  • Intercultural communication
  • International economic organizations
  • Global markets
  • International negotiation
  • Corporate social responsibility


  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Management
  • Marketing and communication
  • Business strategy

International Relations Online courses are designed and led by world-class AU faculty members who are active leaders in the international affairs community. Faculty members work closely with students during live online classes, immersion experiences, and one-on-one office hours sessions. 

Visit our Program Faculty page to learn more about our faculty.

Class Profile and Backgrounds

The Kogod School of Business has always committed to a collaborative, immersive, and personalized learning experience. This is no different with our online programs.

Created specifically for the online space since 2015, our programs increase access to a Kogod education for working professionals located anywhere in the world and enable you to join a global community of diverse peers.

We bring the AU campus to you, no matter where you live. All program features are intentionally designed based on research of what makes online learning successful. We combine advanced technology, hands-on learning experiences, and full access to the American University and Kogod communities. Here, you’re not an online student, you’re an AU student.

Immersive Live Online Classes

In small weekly classes hosted on the HD Zoom platform, you will engage in live seminar-style discussions with your classmates and professors. Zoom and our other online tools ensure you are always immersed in your academic community.

During live classes, you have the ability to:

  • Ask questions or raise your hand using the live chat feature
  • Enter break-out rooms for smaller discussions with classmates or to meet one-on-one with your professor
  • Use presentation tools to share your work and annotate others’ screens for clarity

Your Own Personalized Learning Environment

Everything you need to succeed and interact with the AU community is one click away through the digital campus. This includes weekly self-paced course work that supplements what you learn in your classes and is designed by the same AU faculty who teach on campus. Interactive content is presented in high-quality videos, recorded lectures, and case studies.

The digital campus can be personalized so that it works for your unique learning style. Some options include:

  • Completing your work or attending class on our mobile app
  • Learning in dark mode to reduce strain on your eyes
  • Watching videos with closed captioning and at varying speeds
  • Streaming content to your TV

In-Person Experiences

Practice-based learning is the foundation of all Kogod graduate programs—including online. Through in-person experiences that supplement your online learning, you will have opportunities to form closer connections with your peers, network with industry leaders, and hear from guest speakers.

You will build on what you learn in the classroom and gain practical, hands-on knowledge by working on case studies and applying your understanding to solve conflicts faced by real businesses.

Explore detailed overviews of in-person experiences for some of our programs:

MBA Immersions

MS in Analytics Practicums

Dedicated Support

Our dedicated support staff and engaged faculty are always accessible. They’re there while you work on your application, for technical support during the program, and when you’re ready to take the next step in your career and need help with updating your résumé and networking.

Our goal is to ensure our online students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed in their degree programs and their careers.

Explore detailed overviews of in-person experiences for some of our programs:

Explore our student support resources

Learn how our career services can help you succeed

LinkedIn Premium Membership

To help you apply the skills you develop in Kogod’s online master’s programs, you will receive LinkedIn Premium Career access, allowing you to:

  • Send direct messages to job posters
  • See who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days
  • Use Applicant Insights to see how you compare to other applicants
  • Learn complex skills in online courses taught by industry experts
  • Receive instant access to salary insights
  • Practice for job interviews through interactive interview preparation
  • Obtain expert feedback to help you optimize your résumé


The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Military Education Benefits

American University is dedicated to supporting military service members, veterans, and their families.

As an online student of the MS in International Relations and Business program, you can transform your military experience and leadership skills into new career possibilities as you earn your degree, regardless of where you live or are stationed.

We support a full range of military education benefits such as:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)
  • Tuition Assistance (TA)
  • Yellow Ribbon Program

Additionally, if you’ve served in any branch of the U.S. military on active duty within the past three years, you’re eligible for an application fee waiver. We accept transfer credits from military coursework, have a dedicated Office of Veterans Services to help connect you to benefits, and maintain an active Veterans Services Support Network.

We welcome you to learn more about our military benefits and how to apply for them.

Learn to Lead in Modern Business

Find out more about the online MS International Relations and Business program today.

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1 Top Master’s Programs for Policy Career in International Relations. Foreign Policy magazine, 2018. Accessed April 2019.