Master of Arts in International Relations

A Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego offers students the chance to deepen their understanding of world politics while developing the necessary skills to advance their careers.

The USD Master of Arts in International Relations 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.

More and more often, attractive professional opportunities require postgraduate degrees and international careers require political sophistication.


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

Explore topics, regions and areas that are of particular interest to you, so you graduate inspired and prepared for your career.

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. We regularly offer courses overseas at roughly the same price as courses on campus, with course segments in Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Bucharest, Prague, Istanbul, Madrid and others.

Customized and Flexible Schedule

Design your own curriculum by selecting 70% of your coursework, and take advantage of scheduling flexibility, to accommodate your current employment. Complete the program part-time in two or three years, or full-time in sixteen months (three semesters). Or fast track the program in twelve months. Nearly all our seminars are in the evening, and you can start in the fall, spring or summer.

Research Opportunities

Academic courses often require literature reviews and research papers; some of the professional courses emphasize position papers and presentations, experience which can enhance your understanding and your career.

Partner Organizations

Students are encouraged to take courses at other schools within USD, such as the School of Peace and Justice, Business, and Law, and can also take advantage of relationships the program has with outside organizations such as NATO and Naval War College. This can help you create contacts in the profession that will advance your career.

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