Many schools offer fully online master's degree programs in international studies, although students may still have to complete an internship or research project in person. The courses give students foundational knowledge in international politics, human rights, and economic development. Students may be required to own or download specific software and/or plugins. Some programs allow students to take courses that focus on particular geo-political areas, such as the Middle East or Latin America. Students may have to research, write a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam at the end of the program.
Master's Degree in International Studies
This graduate program focuses on political, cultural and geographical issues, as well as the relationship between such issues and global politics and economy. Students complete work in an online setting but are often required to complete some sort of fieldwork or independent research.
Information and Requirements
Prospective students are generally required to have a bachelor's degree before they can study at the graduate level. Coursework offered for online master's degree programs in international studies is not different from that offered in a campus setting. Students may not have to complete a thesis, but if this is the case, a comprehensive examination must be passed in order to demonstrate proficiency in the field.
Everything from lecture notes and discussion forums to reading materials and tutoring is typically available on the Internet. Online work may require students to download and install appropriate software. Plug-ins, such as Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player, may be required for some online coursework.
Coursework tends to cover a variety of topics directly related to issues of globalization, human rights and economic development. Although classes are completed online, students are typically required to complete a practicum or internship to display the proficiency needed to enter the professional realm of international studies.
Introduction to International Relations
This course addresses foundational elements of globalization, politics, human rights and conflict. Students look at how such factors produce international congruity and conflict.
International Political Economy
Students learn a variety of economic concepts and how they relate to global politics. This course emphasizes the idea that economics and politics are heavily influenced by one another.
Students study advanced economic, political, social and cultural concepts as they relate to the international community as a whole. This course tends to focus on globalization in graduating depths by looking at each issue locally, nationally and internationally.
A master's degree in international studies prepares graduates for many job options such as with a government agency, an international non-profit organization or multinational business. Pursuing a career as an economist is a popular choice for those holding a master's degree in international studies, though a strong mathematics background would be essential for such a position.
As of May 2015, the median annual wage for economists was $99,180, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between 2014 and 2024, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow by 6%, which is fast as average compared to all occupations.
Many master's degree programs in international studies are available entirely online. These programs involve courses in globalization, international relations, and the political economy, and may require students to complete an internship or research project prior to graduation.