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Master of Arts in International Relations


Newsaper ReaderThe College of Arts and Science is the intellectual hub of the University of San Diego and home to the Master of Arts in International Relations. Postgraduate education is a vital part of the USD academic community and is uniquely defined by close working relationships between graduate students and their program's professors.

The Master of Arts in International Relations graduate program has been developed by scholars who strive to give students the highest quality of education along with personalized mentoring and support. MAIR students pursue advanced understanding of world politics and enhance their career options in a wide array of international fields, including government, education and academia, private business, and non-governmental organizations.

The full time political science faculty supervise the MAIR program and eight of the ten courses required for the degree must be taken in that department. The two remaining courses must be approved by the graduate adviser and are selected by the student from internationally oriented courses in the fields of history, economics, law, business, and/or political science. The culmination of the program is a comprehensive exam. Its purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to use the knowledge gained during the program to deepen their understanding of a particular issue of interest.

Full-time students typically need one and a half years to complete the coursework and two years to complete the program. The comprehensive exam generally takes place in the semester after the coursework is complete and can be done in absentia, although the oral exam must take place at USD. Part-time study is also welcomed and accommodated by a schedule that convenes graduate classes one evening per week.

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