International Relations Graduate Programs in Washington, D.C.

Oct 19, 2018

With its unique role as the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., offers a wide range of graduate programs related to international relations. Learn about the different programs available and the distinctive learning opportunities they offer.

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Graduate degree programs that focus on international relations may go by other names, such as international affairs or foreign service, and several of these programs are offered at schools in the Washington, D.C., area. These programs are typically offered at the master's level and often include additional areas of concentration. Explore a handful of the Washington, D.C., schools with these programs.

Schools in Washington, D.C., with International Relations Graduate Programs

The George Washington University

The George Washington University offers an on-campus Master of Arts (MA) in International Affairs. Students in the program complete a capstone course prior to graduation that explores an international policy issue in depth and may choose to complete an optional thesis. Core coursework covers topics in international affairs, history and economics. In addition to core coursework, students can take electives that give them a regional specialization, such as the Middle East and Latin America, or a thematic specialization, like global health and nuclear policy.

The Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America offers an on-campus Graduate Certificate or MA in International Affairs with small class sizes and evening courses. The program requires a thesis or seminar paper and a comprehensive exam. Students must also take a research methodology course to demonstrate research skills proficiency. Other course topics include foreign policy, international politics, political economics and policy evaluation.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University has an entire International Affairs area of study that includes multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs related to international relations, such as a Master of Science (MS) in Foreign Service, master's degrees in specific regions (Asia, Latin America, etc.) and dual master's degrees in areas like foreign service, public policy and global history. The MS in Foreign Service is designed to integrate topics in international relations, economics and history with courses in areas like international trade, finance and intersocietal relations. Students in the MS program must complete an internship experience and oral capstone exam. The program has available concentrations in international development, global politics and security, global business and finance or a self-designed concentration.

American University

American University offers five MA in International Affairs degree programs with different concentrations, including international economic relations, United States foreign policy and comparative and regional studies. These master's degree programs are offered in part-time and full-time formats and depending on the concentration, may offer additional concentrations and/or learning experiences, like studying abroad, within the field. The university also has a unique dual program with the American Graduate School in Paris that allows students to earn an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris and a Master of International Service with the International Studies track in Washington, D.C. Students in this program spend the first two years in Paris and then complete the final year on-campus in Washington, D.C. or online.

Institute of World Politics

The Institute of World Politics has an MA in Statecraft and International Affairs or a professional MA in Strategic and International Studies. Students in the MA in Statecraft and International Affairs must choose a specialization in conflict prevention, American foreign policy, international politics, comparative political culture or in peace building, stabilization and humanitarian affairs. This program requires an oral and written comprehensive exam prior to graduation. The MA in Strategic and International Studies is designed for working professionals and discusses topics in foreign and national policy, strategy and statecraft.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students applying to master's degree programs in international relations/affairs in the Washington, D.C., area will usually need to submit the appropriate application with their official transcripts, GRE or other standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, a resume or CV and/or a personal statement. These degree programs typically require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree and some professional programs may require years of work experience. It is also fairly common for these programs to require students to have some level of proficiency in a foreign language. Some of these programs may also expect students to have prior coursework in areas like economics.

Although they may go by various names, a variety of master's degree programs related to international relations are available in Washington, D.C. These degree programs usually offer areas of specialization and often culminate in a final project and/or examination.

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