Master of Arts in International Relations

The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program offers students the chance to deepen their understanding of world politics while developing the necessary skills to advance their careers.

The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program mixes academic and professional instruction in an effort to connect theory and practice, both substantively and pedagogically. Our courses are all organized in seminar or semi-seminar format, with close faculty-student interaction.

  • Classic academic seminars survey the rich theoretical traditions in international relations and comparative politics. They are normally offered by the permanent faculty in the department, all with PhDs from distinguished universities.
  • Professional seminars and workshops focus on empirical and policy challenges and are typically led by guests from outside the university.
  • The research design short course adds a methodological component to the academic side of the program.
  • Short course workshops and some of our semester long seminars (not to mention our international courses) bring accomplished professionals into the program.


Why Choose the Master of Arts in International Relations from USD?

Graduate inspired and prepared for your career by focusing your MAIR program on the topics, regions and areas that are of particular interest to you.

Study Abroad

Because of our commitment to global competence and responsibility, you'll have the opportunity to travel globally to see international relations first-hand. Courses are offered during the Intersession and Summer semesters at roughly the same price as courses on campus, and run anywhere from 1-3 weeks in order to accommodate your busy professional and personal lives.

Customized and Flexible Schedule

Design your own curriculum by selecting 70% of your coursework, and take advantage of our evening courses in order to accommodate your current employment. Complete the program part-time in two or three years, full-time in sixteen months (three semesters), or fast track the program in twelve months. We accept students for the fall and spring semesters.

Research Opportunities

Your academic courses, and in particular your experiences during our travel courses, will lead to your final Capstone course, where you'll conduct research on a topic of your choosing, and present your project at a public symposium. Your research experience will not only help enhance your understanding, but will build credibility for your career as well.

Professional Exposure

Tailor your program to your career aspirations by taking up to six units of your electives through other schools within USD, such as the Kroc School of Peace Studies, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, School of Business, and School of Law. Our students also take advantage of relationships the program has with outside organizations, such as NATO and the Naval War College.

Alumna Spotlight: Sarah Weber '09

The latest episode of alumni zoom trips features Sarah Weber MA '09, alumna from the Master of Arts and International Relations program, who serves as Senior Advisor to Assistant Secretary of Economic and Business Affairs at the State Department. She is also a former Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. See how USD's MAIR program played a key role in her success.