Online International Relations Graduate Program Options

Get information about online graduate programs in international relations. Read about program requirements, course topics, as well as career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

There are several fully online online international relations programs offered at the master's degree level. In addition, there are online master's degree programs in international affairs and diplomacy that teach many of the same principles. Doctoral degree programs in international relations are not likely to be available online.

Applicants to an international relations or diplomacy degree program may have a bachelor's degree in business, law enforcement, government, or other field. Master's degree students may be able to choose a focus area, like international justice, conflict management, global health, or sustainable development. Graduation requirements may include proficiency in a foreign language, a research project, and/or a thesis. If programs don't offer practical training, students may consider applying for internships upon graduating.

Master's Degree Programs in International Relations

Online master's programs in international relations provide learning and research opportunities for students to analyze historical foreign policies, precedents, and relations related to current political trends. Students evaluate past and present theories and practices pertaining to national and global issues and the impact of governmental unity on the world. Some or all coursework may be available online.

Program Information and Requirements

International relations master's students study topics in government and military history, regional power shifts, foreign policies, and the evolution of national security measures. Some programs may allow students to focus on a particular concern, such as conflict management, national and global security or international justice.

Materials and assignments are commonly delivered online through course management systems, such as Blackboard. Lectures, class discussions, library resources, and technical assistance are typically available through the course website. Specific hardware and software may be necessary for certain components, such as live streaming video, interactive classroom participation, or various media employed in the program.

Common Coursework for Master's Degree Programs in International Relations

Courses tend to take an interdisciplinary approach to teaching students the multitude of issues that affect international relations. Lessons typically combine political, geographical, and legal topics to offer a well-rounded understanding of the facets of global alliances, foreign policy, and international affairs. Students explore research methods to examine the past, understand the present, and forecast future concerns.

International Relations

This course examines national interests and foreign policy. Students assess globalization and world organizations and their relationships to international relations.

Research Methods in International Relations Course

Students explore research methods used in studying international relations. Topics include research design, variables and hypotheses, citations, qualitative analysis and quantitative techniques.

International Political Economy

This course looks at the relationships between international politics and economics. Students examine topics in trade, foreign investment, foreign aid and globalization.


Career Information

Graduates of a master's program in international relations may qualify for several career opportunities in businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Business owners and entrepreneurs may find studies in globalization provide sufficient information to push a company into the world market. Several private, public, and humanitarian efforts extend relief and aid to depressed and third-world nations, making international relations topics significant to global outreach projects.

Diplomats, politicians and military strategists are typically viewed as responsible for maintaining or securing peace in the world, evaluating complex political climates and organizing foreign trade. Additionally, economists must take global issues into account in order to provide an accurate financial status and outlook. These careers rely on the education and training available through a master's degree program in international relations.

Continuing Education

Graduates of an online master's program in international affairs may continue their education to pursue a doctorate degree in the field. Those with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree typically qualify to become professors at institutes of higher learning. Additionally, doctoral programs may include advanced training applicable to a particular career.

Individuals who want to study international relations at the graduate level in an online format can enroll in a master's degree program, which is most commonly available. These programs incorporate a variety of social science disciplines, including history, political theory and economics.

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