Contact Us

School of International Service on a map

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

Back to top

Flexibility for your degree

The MA in International Economic Relations (MAIER) degree integrates international economics with analysis of politics and institutions for careers in global and regional institutions, government agencies, and the private sector. The IER degree is ideal for students who wish to combine hard quantitative skills with a strategic understanding of the institutions and policy environment in which they are or will be working. Embracing development, environmental policy, and issues related to emerging-market and low-income countries, MAIER offers students the opportunity to supplement their studies in the School of International Service with courses in the Department of Economics, Kogod School of Business, and Washington College of Law.

Degree Options

In addition to the standard master's degree, you can earn a dual degree through our partnership at AU.

The International Affairs: International Economic Relations (IER) degree provides a broad view of the economic and financial issues relevant to today’s international environment, as well as the market and policy solutions that address those issues. The IER program is ideal for students with wider interests in fields like international economic governance, international business, international development, and national economic security. Students can supplement their study of conventional international economics with the unique opportunity to take courses and seminars in the School of International Service, Kogod School of Business, and Washington College of Law.

The School of International Service (SIS) offers a dual master's degree program with Kogod School of Business, giving students the opportunity to acquire expertise in both international economics and business. This combination of skills is particularly valuable to international organizations trying to increase productivity through better business practices and to businesses adjusting to the global market. Graduates will receive an MA through SIS and an MBA through Kogod.

Generally, dual degree students will spend their first year taking core curriculum courses at Kogod, then spend their second and third years taking courses at both SIS and Kogod. Students must complete 31 credit hours at Kogod and 39-42 credit hours at SIS, with the option to count up to 9 credit hours from Kogod degree requirements towards SIS degree requirements.

Prospective MA/MBA students must separately apply to and be accepted by each school. The admissions committees from each school do not collaborate on the decision-making process.

View Kogod School of Business dual degree admissions requirements and MBA coursework.


MAIER students choose one of the four substantive concentrations listed below or, with approval of their academic advisor, design their own concentration in a related field. Under each concentration, students select three courses (9 credits) out of a list of several courses.

The courses listed under each concentration are non-exhaustive samples. Prerequisites may apply.

Understand the particular problems that emerging-market and developing countries face when engaging the global economy and the benefits (and vulnerabilities) that international trade and investment pose for economic growth, stability, and the development process.

  • SIS 731 Economic Development
  • SIS 673 Comparative Political Economy
  • SIS 637 International Development
  • SIS 635 Field Research Methods
  • SIS 750 Project Design Management and Evaluation
  • SIS 636 Micropolitics
  • SIS 647 Governance and Development
  • SIS 648 Gender and Development
  • SIS 649 Environment and Development
  • SIS 650 Economic Globalization and Development Alternatives

Study the complex connections among protecting the environment, advancing decarbonization, and the growth of the global economy. This concentration reviews the role and limits of market-based strategies for achieving environmental goals in open economies.

  • SIS 652 Introduction to Environmental Economics
  • SIS 660 Environment and Politics
  • SIS 620 Policy Analysis for Global Environmental Politics
  • PUAD 685 Public Policies for the Environment and Energy
  • ENVS 610 Environmental Science
  • ENVS 665 Environmental Risk Assessment
  • MGMT 644 Managing for Climate Change
  • SIS 750 GIS for International Affairs
  • ENVS 654 Geographic Information Systems
  • ECON 696 GIS Applications in Empirical Economics

Review the politics and institutions of global governance across the multiple issues related to the world economy, with emphasis on newly emergent forms of cooperation, as well as economic competition and conflict. This concentration also compares institutions of economic governance across regions and advanced and developing countries.

  • SIS 673 Comparative Political Economy
  • SIS 753 Global Financial Governance
  • SIS 625 International Organizations
  • SIS 676 Challenges to European Governance and Policy
  • SIS 676 Political Economy of Africa

Dive more deeply beyond the core courses into trade policy and trade law in major countries and the multilateral trading system, including contemporary issues of dispute. For example, examine conflicts in strategic investment policy and international debt restructuring.

  • SIS 753 Global Financial Governance
  • SIS 676 Challenges to European Governance and Policy
  • SIS (TBD) International Investment, Governance and Security
  • FIN 700 International Finance
  • IBUS 608 Export and Import Management
  • IBUS 645 Trade and Project Finance in Global Markets
  • IBUS 745 Global Supply Chain Management
  • LAW 657 International Trade Law I
  • LAW 979 International Trade Law II
  • LAW 659 EU Law
  • WCL WTO & U.S. Trade Law and Policy

Complete 9 credit hours of coursework approved the academic advisor and related to the student’s field of inquiry. Examples include a regional specialization, Foreign Economic Policy, Qualitative Methods or a sequence of courses in the Economics department.


All International Economic Relations students complete a student research requirement for their capstone. Students can choose from three different options to fulfill their capstone.

The Practicum is a one-semester, pre-professional experience which serves as a capstone for the MA program. Student teams complete projects for external client organizations, producing deliverables that address challenges identified by clients in a statement of work. Students work under a site supervisor and a faculty advisor. Each practicum offers real-world experience with project management, client relations, oral presentations, and writing skills. Practicum options change every year, and students can apply to one that best suits their academic and career interests.

The Master's Thesis is an original research project appropriate for students looking to complete a longer and more academically rigorous research paper. It is similar to the Substantial Research Paper, but will completed over the course of one year.

The Substantial Research Paper (SRP) is an independent research project intended to integrate and apply knowledge from the field to a final scholarly project. The SRP culminates in a 50- to 60-page report that defines a question, applies one or more specific research methods to the question, develops findings, and discusses their implications and significance. Completed during your final semester in the program, the SRP is conducted under the supervision of a IER faculty member.

Application At a Glance

View a detailed admission and degree requirements listing for your degree of interest.

Entrance Semester
Fall and Spring
Application Deadline
January 15 for the fall semester
October 1 for the spring semester 
Additional Requirements
Undergraduate degree
Two letters of recommendation
Statement of Purpose
TOEFL/IELTS score if international applicant
Completion of online application