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The next step for experienced professionals

Real-world experience matters. Let yours be the foundation of your education in international affairs. The Master of International Service (MIS) program is an accelerated program designed for professionals and practitioners with seven or more years of experience in international affairs to earn a tailored and condensed master’s degree from a top 10 school of international affairs. Offered both on campus and online, the MIS program brings together professionals from similar levels of experience and facilitates the development of skills and theoretical knowledge students need to build on their existing skill sets to advance their leadership potential.

Each student pursues a customized concentration in a field of their choice, including international development, global governance and politics, intercultural and international communications, international peace and conflict resolution, and foreign and security policy.

By developing expert-level knowledge in their specific areas of focus, students become prepared to lead high-level strategic initiatives in their organizations.

Complement your career with an education that’s directly applicable to your field of work. There’s no better time to take the next step on your professional path.


The Master of International Service program, offered both on campus and online, requires 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. Applicants must have at least seven years of professional work experience to apply.

The program includes courses in leadership, research, economics, and a choice of capstone project: an experience-based practicum or a substantial research paper. Students also will create their own concentration to build on what they already know and to learn what they need to know in order to advance their careers.

Students will complete two required courses, designed exclusively for MIS students: Proseminar and Cross-cultural Leadership and Management. Proseminar establishes a foundation for advanced study and understanding of international relations and builds a bridge between theory and practice in today's world. The Cross-cultural Leadership and Management course is a hybrid online/on-campus class that provides students an opportunity to gain insight on their leadership strengths, challenges that may be impeding their effectiveness, and ways of creating leadership impact.

Applicants who have gained professional experience internationally may apply for advanced standing to reduce the total credits required from 30 to 24.

Explore degree flexibility options

View more degree and admission requirements

The MIS program is maintained by a strong faculty with many scholar-practitioners among them. Students will have access to more than 120 full time faculty at SIS from across the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, geography, law, political science, and sociology. Our faculty research and publish on a variety of geographic and intellectual areas; many have extensive experience in the public and private sectors in the United States and internationally.

Meet the MIS faculty

IPCR offers an MA that is unique in the range of conceptual and practical topics addressed and sited in the epicenter of global affairs.

Consistently ranked as one of the best cities for job seekers, Washington, DC, offers students the first-hand experience and access to a wide-ranging network of individuals and organizations. This unparalleled access allows students to put their skillsets to use long after their time at SIS has concluded.

Recent Alumni Employment by Sector


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Bolstering Professional Knowledge

Marwa Elsayed, SIS/MIS ‘15

My career and my studies complemented each other.

I’m in the field—I work with people from the State Department, Department of Defense—but still, I needed the academic side. This academic side complemented my professional knowledge and gave me an academic way of thinking, of analyzing problems, and of coming up with policy recommendations on how to fight terrorism. Learn more about my experience in the MIS program.

75 percent

of classes offered after 5 p.m. to accommodate working professionals

Classes typically meet 2.5

hours once per week

Students that meet advanced requirements can reduce their required MIS credits from 30 to only 24 credits

Frequently Asked Questions

When you should apply to the program depends on what semester you want to start taking classes in.

Priority deadlines for the On-campus Master of International Service are as follows:

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

Applications are accepted after the prioirty deadline and will be considered on a space-available basis.

Application deadlines for the Online Master of International Service are as follows:

  • Fall Semester: Early July, (Priority deadline: early June)
  • Spring Semester: Early November, (Priority deadline: mid October )
  • Summer Semester: Early March, (Priority deadline: early February)

View required application materials

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

Wherever you aspire to be! The Master of International Service program is unique in the flexibility it affords professionals with at least seven years of professional experience to earn a condensed and tailored graduate degree from one of the top-10 international affairs schools in the world.

Graduates have gone into careers at the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Amnesty International in addition to other nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses.

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

Applicants may choose to complete the Master of International Service program as a full-time or part-time, depending on their scheduling needs. Full-time students can finish the program in as little as one year with advanced standing status or transfer credits. Part-time students typically complete the program in two years.

No, the GRE is not required to apply for the Master of International Service program.

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

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