Master of Arts in International Relations

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Admission to Program

To receive serious consideration, applicants will have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with relevant course work and a grade point average of at least 3.3 (out of 4.0) in the last 60 units of undergraduate study. Students below the 3.3 GPA threshold may still receive consideration if the other elements of their application portfolio are strong. Applicants who have taken appropriate undergraduate courses in international relations could be admitted without conditions. Applicants without an appropriate background in international relations may be admitted conditionally, and must meet conditions before taking graduate level courses. Detailed, current application requirements and procedures are available on our Prospective Applicants webpage.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The University has a requirement for written English proficiency that is to be assessed at two different points in a student's program.

Level One

Completion of I R 720 with a grade of B or better.

Level Two

Completion of I R 898 or I R 892 with a grade of CR (credit).

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor on a regular basis. During the second semester or after having completed 9 units, students should prepare in consultation with the graduate coordinator an Advancement to Candidacy (ATC). At this time, all general requirements for advancement to candidacy and all conditions imposed at the time of admission to the program must have been met.


Students in the graduate program must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. A grade lower than B in I R 720 is sufficient to disqualify a student from the program.

International Relations (M.A.) — Minimum 33 units

Core (18 units)

I R 720Theory and Approaches in International Relations3
I R 725The Analysis of Foreign Policy3
I R 728International Political Economy3
The International System and its Problems:3
a course in the range I R 730 to I R 739
Comparative Foreign Policies:3
a course in the range I R 740 to I R 749
Select one additional class from either of the above series (I R 730 to I R 739, or I R 740 to I R 749)3

Academic Emphasis (16 units)

I R 750Methods and Thesis Selection in International Relations3
I R 751Alternative Research Methods in International Relations (or equivalent- any course covering multiple regression such as PSY 772 or SOC 393)4
Select 6 units of Electives in international relations or related disciplines6

Culminating Experience

I R 898Master's Thesis3

Professional Emphasis (15 units)

I R 750Methods and Thesis Selection in International Relations3

Thematic Courses

Thematic combination of courses (total 9 units) in fields of inquiry and training such as: public administration; international business, management, or finance; international development; international environmental studies, or other fields related to international careers. Approval of graduate advisor required.

Culminating Experience

I R 892Sponsored Graduate Internship in International Relations3