Design your own degree

MIS offers experienced professionals the extraordinary flexibility to design a master’s degree that meets their career ambitions. Students select a concentration of their choice—including global governance, intercultural and international communication, global environmental policy, international development, international peace and conflict resolution, regional studies, US foreign policy and national security, and more—to hone in on the skills and knowledge they need to supplement what they already know.

The program provides a skills-focused curriculum that communicates rigorous academic education in theory, research, and economics taught by leading scholar-practitioners in international affairs.

Degree Options

The Executive Master of International Service program offers two formats to accommodate students’ busy schedules. Choose to pursue your Executive Master of International Service in either the traditional on-campus format or online.

The Executive MIS degree is ideal for mid-career professionals seeking to advance their careers through a tailored master’s program. Students who choose the on-campus Executive MIS degree will have classes that meet on campus once per week, with most classes offered after 5:00 p.m. ET to accommodate working students.

The program is unique in the flexibility it affords professionals with at least seven years of professional experience to earn an executive-focused graduate degree from one of the top 10 international affairs schools in the world. They will be able to benefit from the wealth of courses offered at the School of International Service and enroll in those courses that further their career and complement their professional interests.

We place significant emphasis on decision-making, strategic communication, leading multicultural workforces, and change and crisis management in this condensed and tailored master's degree program. 

By combining the flexibility of online learning with the same quality and rigor of our renowned on-campus program, the MIS Executive Track Online provides students with professional, live, and interactive virtual classes with a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 15:1, and self-paced, multimedia coursework designed by SIS faculty and available 24/7. Online students are required to participate in a unique three-day immersion event that brings you and your classmates to the AU campus in Washington, D.C., to meet faculty, staff, and peers in person, as well as connect with employers and alumni in the area.

Classes for this online program begin year-round, with four program start dates available. Learn more about the MIS Executive Track Online.

Degree Partnerships

The Master of International Service program partners with various universities to offer additional opportunities for students interested in pursuing an MIS to supplement their education elsewhere.

Through a partnership with Marine Corps University (USMCU), graduates of the Command and Staff College Distance Education Program (CSCDEP) at USMC’s College of Distance Education and Training (CDET) are eligible for advanced standing and funding for SIS’s Executive MIS program. The partnership enables CSCDEP graduates to waive 6 of the 30 required program credits and to qualify for a $5,000 scholarship when they enroll as a student in the Executive MIS program.

The MIS International Studies Track offers students who are enrolled in or have recently completed a master's degree at a partner university the opportunity to gain additional academic training in an applied international affairs concentration at SIS. Students in the International Studies Track complete a dual degree in international affairs with the first part completed at the partner institution, and the second part at SIS. Our current partners include:

  • American Graduate School in Paris (Paris, France)
  • Korea University (Seoul, South Korea)
  • National Chengchi University (Taipei City, Taiwan)
  • Peruvian Diplomatic Academy (Lima, Peru)
  • Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
  • Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Roma Tre University (Rome, Italy)
  • Sookmyung Women's University (Seoul, South Korea)
  • University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)
  • University of Warwick (Coventry, England)
  • University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada)

Learn more about the MIS International Studies Track.


Students will create a concentration of their choice, tailored to their professional goals. The concentrations described below are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list of all the possible concentrations, but rather as a guide to demonstrate how courses from across the University can be put together to form an academically sound area of study.

Courses Specializing in Africa, The Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe & Eurasia, The Middle East, and Islamic Studies

  • SIS-619 Human Rights & Conflict

  • SIS-625 International Organizations

  • PHIL-616 Feminist Philosophy

  • PHIL-617 Race and Philosophy

  • PHIL-620 Seminar on Ethical Theory

  • RELG-675 Religion & Violence

  • SIS-619 International Law and the Global Order
  • SIS-619 Complex Intervention and Peacekeeping
  • SIS-619 Great Powers Politics
  • SIS-619 Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict
  • SIS-619 State-Building
  • SIS-619 Human Security
  • SIS-620 Policy Analysis for Global Environmental Policy
  • SIS-620 The Future of Environmentalism
  • SIS-620 Politics of Conservation
  • SIS-620 Water Governance
  • SIS-628 Global Health, Culture, and Communication
  • SIS-649 Environment and Development
  • SIS-653 The Media and Foreign Policy
  • SIS-628 Strategic Communication
  • SIS-611 International Negotiation
  • SIS-653 Diplomatic Practice
  • SIS-730 Designing Intercultural Training Programs
  • SIS-711 Global Perspectives on Public Diplomacy
  • SIS-609 Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • SIS-665 International Trade Relations
  • SIS-696 Global Social Entrepreneurship
  • SIS-750 International Policy Analysis
  • SIS-750 Project Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation
  • PUAD-684 Organizational Analysis
  • SIS-619 Leading Social Innovation
  • SIS-620 Democracy and Environment
  • SIS-635 Social Accountability
  • SIS-647 Governance and Development
  • SIS-650 Economic Globalization & Development Alternatives
  • SIS-712 NGOs in Global Governance
  • SIS-750 GIS for International Affairs
  • SIS-753 Global Financial Governance
  • FIN-700 International Finance
  • SIS-637 Comparative Political Economy
  • IBUS-645 Trade and Project Finance in Global Markets
  • IBUS-745 Global Supply Chain Management
  • SIS-606 Culture, Peace, & Conflict Resolution
  • SIS-611 International Negotiation
  • SIS-619 Intercultural Relations
  • SIS-619 Peacebuilding Theory and Organizations
  • SIS-619 Reconciliation and Justice
  • SIS-619 International Law and the Global Order
  • SIS-653 Cyber Warfare, Terrorism, Espionage, and Crime
  • SIS-653 US Defense Politics
  • SIS-653 US National Security Strategy
  • SIS-653 National Security Resources
  • SIS-653 US Public Diplomacy
  • SIS-681 Intelligence and Foreign Policy

Work with the MIS academic advisor to design a concentration that best fits your professional and academic goals. Select from a wide range of SIS graduate courses to create a cross-disciplinary or regional-focused degree.


All MIS students must complete a capstone and can choose from three different options to fulfill their capstone requirement.

The Practicum in International Affairs is designed to give students in their final semester real-world experience in project management and consulting while preparing them for post-graduate careers. Students work in teams with expert clients, including US and international government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses to conduct policy and program analysis. Students draw on their substantial research, as well as qualitative and quantitative skills, to prepare final oral and written analysis and recommendations.

The substantial research paper refers to a research or policy paper based on independent research. The scope and topic of the paper may vary by concentration and program.

Application At a Glance

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

Alternatively, view deadlines and requirements for the online program

Entrance Semester
Fall and Spring
Priority Deadline
March 15 for the fall semester
October 1 for the spring semester
Applications are accepted after the priority deadline and will be considered on a space-available basis.
Additional Requirements
Undergraduate degree
TOEFL/IELTS score if international applicant
Two letters of recommendation
Statement of purpose
Complete your application for MIS