International Affairs

Globalization of economic, political, social and cultural activity has created opportunities and challenges for tomorrow's leaders in international affairs. Rarely have we lived in such an uncertain world. As a result, the need for increased international understanding and cooperation has become essential.

The Elliott School's M.A. program in international affairs is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the contemporary issues in international affairs while developing in-depth knowledge of at least one specialized area at either the global or regional level.


graphic: magnifying glass over world map



What You'll Study 

Students in the program will gain a a fundamental understanding of key political, economic, and historic issues in international affairs. You'll begin with three to four core courses before moving on to either a regional or global field to fulfill the elective requirements. 


Program of Study




Regional Specializations

If you find you're interested in studying conflict and extremism in the Middle East or the changing economies in Latin America, you can choose a regional field to fulfill your elective requirements. 


Thematic Specializations

In our increasingly complex and connected world, international affairs practicioners must be prepared to tackle challenges head-on.


Global Capstone

Global Capstone is the culminating experience and signature project for Elliott School graduate students.




graphic: an open laptop with a list on the screen. Beside each item on the list is a check mark, indicating steps that have been completed in a process.



How to Apply 


When you're ready to apply to the program, you will need to follow the graduate admissions process, including completing and submitting the online application with all of the required materials 


There are also certain prerequisites that applicants must meet to be able to apply to the program. 



High intermediate coursework in a modern foreign language is required at the time of application to the International Affairs program. Applicants may meet the language requirement in one of the following ways:

  • 4 semesters (or equivalent) of upper-intermediate, college-level language coursework
  • Certification from a language institute, professor, or tutor detailing your high intermediate proficiency
  • Native language experience

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite to help prepare students to complete the graduate-level economics course(s) required within the M.A. in International Affairs curriculum. Course(s) must be successfully completed through an accredited institutition in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics


  • Principles of Economics

In some cases, a student may be admitted who has not fulfilled the economics requirement*; in which case, the student is required to take course(s) at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School.

*Spring applicants are expected to have fulfilled this prerequisite at the time of application. 


Where You'll Go 

graphic: pie chart, 4% further education, 26% private, 29% public, 34% non-profit, 7% other, International Affairs



Our graduates continue to pursue a wide variety of exciting careers in diplomacy and public service, business, security, conflict resolution, development and public health. For 2016 graduates, the top employers included: 

  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Foreign Governments
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • U.S. Department of State


While you study with us and even once you leave, we'll provide you with resources and support to help you get the job you've always wanted post-graduation. From career counseling, workshops, site visits and information sessions, The Graduate Student Career Development Center has a variety of tools and tips to get you to where you want to be. 



Sahil Jain

Sahil Jain


"The MAIA program has effectively given me a toolkit to do policy evaluation with the real-world issues that we explore in the classroom and all throughout Washington, D.C. "