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MA in International Relations Admission Requirements

Here's what you need to know about applying to the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program.

Admissions Information

Applicants should keep in mind that admissions process is competitive and that meeting the minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission. They should also understand that the application package is considered as a whole, and that weaknesses in one dimension may be more than offset by strengths in another dimension.

Admission Requirements and Guidelines

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • At least some academic preparation from courses in political science, history, economics, and/or other subjects relevant to international affairs; students do not need to have majored in these fields as long as they have strong intellectual aptitude and international interest
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Minimum GRE scores of 50 to 60 per cent ranking on the verbal section, 40 to 50 per cent ranking on the quantitative section, and 50 per cent ranking or 4.0 on the analytical section. All applicants are required to take the GRE, other examinations are cannot be substituted for this requirement.
  • For international students whose undergraduate work was not in English, a score of around 90 on the TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language)
  • Official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended; transcripts that do not bear the registrar's signature and/or institutional seal or not official. Institutions that can send secure electronic transcripts can send them to grads@sandiego.edu. International applicants must have their transcripts processed and should contact graduate admissions for details.
  • Three letters of recommendation (normally at least two from academic referees)
  • A current resume
  • A statement of purpose (500 words) explaining why you are pursuing a MAIR degree and why USD is the proper fit for your aspirations
  • An application form
  • An application fee of $45 (checks should be made out to University of San Diego)

Requirements for the MAIR Degree

  • Approval of courses by the MAIR director for all 30 units.
  • At least 24 units of political science at the 500-level, including Theories of International Relations (POL 570 3 units,) Comparative Politics (POL 500 3 units,) Research Design or Research Methods (POL 596 1.5 units or POL 530 3 units,) and Capstone (POL 595 1.5 units.)
  • 0 to 6 units of relevant coursework chosen from undergraduate political science and/or graduate history, business administration, peace studies, and law.
  • 0 to 6 units of travel courses.
  • 0 to 6 units of graduate coursework in international relations from another university.
  • 0 to 6 units of coursework in specified US Navy courses offered in seminar, on line, and other formats but not for cd-rom.
  • Only one course (or 3 units) with a grade of "C+", "C" or a "C-" may count toward the degree. No courses with a grade of "D" or "F" count toward the degree (although all grades are calculated in the GPA.) One course (or 3 units) can be repeated (or a substantially similar course can be taken) to substitute for a course with a D or F grade.
  • An average grade of "B" in the program (or GPA of 3.0) and a capstone grade of B or better.