Become a Foreign Affairs Professional

In the International Affairs program in Graduate Professional Studies, you will study important issues in international relations, such as the interaction of International politics and regional political systems, as well as the current shifts in global economic power. You will study international and cross-cultural communication, peace and conflict resolution, and the role of international law and organizations in international affairs. Students have used this program to transition to careers as foreign affairs professionals - whether in government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international institutions, business and industry, or academia.

Your GPS Semester

The three credit graduate seminar provides a conceptual and practical understanding of the main fields of the discipline of international affairs through lectures by a professor from American University's School of International Service and seminar sessions with guest speakers from the U.S. Congress, Departments of State, Defense, Commerce and other executive branch agencies, as well as other experts. The fields of study include International Politics, International Law and Organizations, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, Comparative and Regional Studies, International Communication, International Economic Relations, International Development, Global Environmental Politics, and US Foreign Policy.

One of the greatest advantages to studying in Washington, D.C. is the unparalleled access that you have to internships. As a Graduate Professional Studies student, you will have access to our Internship Database—the largest of its kind focusing on internships in the Washington, D.C. area, along with resume and cover letter reviews and one-on-one internship advising. Our staff provides you with unparalleled resources to help you through the internship search process, so you can add relevant work experience to your resume.

Graduate Professional Studies students select a graduate level elective from across the universities course offerings. This is a good opportunity to explore potential areas of interests, add an additional skillset to your expertise, or to start fulfilling degree requirements for a future Master's degree. To explore course offerings, please review the AU Schedule of Classes and look for evening elective courses that are at the 500 or 600-level and do not require prerequisites.

Set the Foundation for a Future Degree

By participating in Graduate Professional Studies in International Affairs, you can start to earn credits that could count toward graduate programs in American University's School of School of International Service.

As you think about your GPS semester, you may want to reference the course requirements of degree programs that you may want to attend in the future. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree after GPS with American University's School of International Service then you may want to take one of the following recommended elective options. 

Our program office is happy to discuss how your GPS program and elective options could count toward a future degree program at American University or elsewhere.

Recommended Electives for International Affairs

International Affairs: Comparative and Regional Studies
  • SIS-672 Theories of Comparative and International Studies
  • SIS-619 Global Political Economy
  • A regional course in your region of interest
International Affairs: Global Governance, Politics, and Security
  • SIS-619 Global International Relations Theory
  • SIS-619 History of Global Politics
  • SIS-619 Foundations of Global Security
  • SIS-619 Foundations of Global Governance*
    *course will depend on student's concentration of interest or economics background. 
International Affairs: International Economics Relations
  • SIS-616 International Economics
  • ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory*
  • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    *course will depend on student's concentration of interest or economics background. 
International Affairs: US Foreign Policy and National Security
  • SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes
  • SIS-653 Diplomatic Practice
  • SIS-653 U.S. National Security Strategy
  • SIS-653 Continuity & Change
  • SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making
International Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • SIS-606 Culture, Peace & Conflict Resolution
  • SIS-619 Econ. of Violence & Peace
  • SIS-609 Conflict Analysis & Resolution
  • SIS-607 Peace Paradigms
Online MA in International Affairs
  • SIS-600 Intl Affairs Statistics & Research Methods
  • SIS-619 IR Theory
  • SIS-619 Foundations of Global Governance
  • SIS-642 Intercultural Communication


Lana Surface
Associate Director
Graduate & Executive Education
(202) 895-4859