You are here: American University School of International Service Master of Arts in International Affairs Policy and Analysis

earth in marble shape rolling on a chessboard
See More

The practical international affairs degree for those ready to serve

The International Affairs Policy and Analysis (IAPA) program is not your typical international affairs degree. It is designed specifically to meet the needs of government agencies, private enterprises, and non-profits seeking professionals that provide actionable analysis and options to a range of international and foreign policy problems. This program blends the analytical rigor of traditional international affairs with a consolidated set of hard policy and management skills.

Equip yourself for a career executing solutions to the world’s complex and evolving policy challenges.

Prime Location

The IAPA degree requires 36 credit hours of graduate coursework. The curriculum gives students the professional and analytical skills necessary to solve global and foreign policy problems and secure policy, analyst, or administrative careers in international affairs.

The program is flexible as students design their own specialization in international affairs. Students also choose a Professional Competency Track—a set of skills-based courses in (1) Policy Analysis, (2) Analytics and Methods, (3) Leadership and Management, or (4) Economics and Finance. By emphasizing these job-ready skills, our graduates are well-positioned to excel in their intended career pathways.

Explore degree flexibility options

Full degree and admission requirements

Students in the International Affairs Policy and Analysis program learn from a multidisciplinary faculty with backgrounds as policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and analysis. SIS is home to experts in foreign and security policy, international economic and environmental policy as well as communication and management professionals, and regional, human rights, peacebuilding, and international development specialists.

Meet the IAPA faculty

Located in Washington, DC, the epicenter of global affairs, the School of International Service brings the nation’s capital into the classroom. The combination of a large, active faculty and alumni base committed to supporting current students gives you access to a wide-ranging network of individuals and organizations that will benefit you during your time at SIS and long after. Students will find extensive opportunities with international organizations, embassies, US government offices, think tanks, and other educational institutions around the city.

We Know Success

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both

Developing an Analytic Toolkit

Alex Neubecker SIS/MA ’22

I competed globally in the Cyber 9/12 Competition and gained vital job skills.

SIS empowered me to develop analytic skills to better understand and communicate complex problems to stakeholders. Drawing from a breadth of experience across private industry and government, SIS enables students to learn from practitioners and become better prepared to enter the workforce. At SIS, I was able to compete against universities from around the world in the Cyber 9/12 Competition and gain firsthand experience of what I get to do every day for my job.

Frequently Asked Questions

This degree emphasizes career readiness. It is tailored to students seeking governmental positions across fields of international affairs from security and foreign policy to development and peacebuilding. Our degree will also be attractive to employers at international organizations like the World Bank, NATO, or the United Nations, think tanks such as Brookings or CSIS as well as the corporate, consulting sector and non-profits working in the field.

Depending on your individualized course of study, our graduates can be trained for positions as diplomats, policy and intelligence analysts, project and program managers, and applied researchers, among others.

Looking for more information or help? SIS has a dedicated career development center to assist current students and alumni.

When you should apply to the program depends on what semester you want to start taking classes in and whether you are a domestic or international student.

Application deadlines for an MA in International Affairs Policy and Analysis are as follows:

  • Fall semester: January 15
  • Spring semester: October 1

View required application materials

Missed a deadline but still interested in applying? Email the SIS Graduate Admissions office.

International Affairs Policy and Analysis is more practical than other international affairs degrees. It is designed to meet the needs of the international affairs workplace. Employers are seeking graduates with hard skills so each student chooses a set of skills-based courses in Analytics and Methods; Policy Analysis; Leadership and Management; or Economics and Finance.

At the same time, students will learn the foundations of international affairs while retaining the flexibility to choose their specialization and build a concentration around the international and foreign policy problems they want to study.

The School of International Service offers merit-based aid in the form of scholarships and fellowships at the time of admission. SIS also has partnerships with a number of organizations like the Peace Corps and Pickering Fellowship that provide qualified individuals with funding.

Financial aid information for prospective students

Need-based aid is available through AU Central Office and generally takes the form of a federal low-interest loan package.

Federal loan and work study information for graduate students

Still have questions? Send us an email with program-specific questions at

Chat with admissions

What is the IAPA degree?


Michael Schroeder, the Assistant Dean for Masters Programs at SIS, introduced the International Affairs Policy and Analysis (IAPA) program in 2018, and has become one of the largest programs at SIS.