UMass Boston

International Relations MA

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Prepare to bring academic rigor and scholarly insight to pressing policy challenges.

Expand your understanding of strategies for successful political and economic development, of international organizations that make a difference, and of techniques for building peace and security on a global scale. Professionals with a master's degree have a higher earning potential. An international relations degree is listed on the highest salary report published by World Economic Forum.

Careers & Skills

The International Relations MA Program equips individuals with the skills needed to work in international organizations, globally-oriented national or local government agencies, nonprofit or non-governmental organizations, international business consulting, or to continue on to an academic career.

Program Strengths

  • The Study of International Organizations. Our faculty has extensive experience working in and alongside international organizations. Students can benefit from their expertise and personal familiarity with these important international actors.
  • International Environmental Politics. Students and faculty within our department have engaged directly in international environmental debates. Students can access resources at the Center for Governance and Sustainability and work with scholars dedicated to sustaining and preserving our global environment.
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation. Students interested in international diplomacy can draw from resources from our programs in conflict resolution, acquiring practitioner skills to bring to the study of international politics.
  • International Development and the Politics of the Global South. Our faculty and affiliates have both academic expertise and extensive field experience in the global south. Students also benefit from the resources of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development to further their practical skills in international development.

Housed within the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance.

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A writing sample is required (5-10 pages of original, single-authored work).
  • Resume/cv is required
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts (completed Bachelor’s degree required)
  • Provide a 1500-word statement explaining why you wish to study international relations, discussing the research goals you would pursue as a graduate student, and describing your career goals after completing the program.

Please visit the International Graduate Applicants if applicable

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: March 15 (priority) and June 1 (final) for fall

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Required Courses (18 Credits)

  • INTREL 611 - Theories of International Relations 3 Credit(s)
  • INTREL 612 - Issues in World Politics 3 Credit(s)
  • INTREL 613 - International Relations Research Methods 3 Credit(s)
  • INTREL 614 - International Political Economy 3 Credit(s)
  • INTREL 621 - International Development 3 Credit(s)
  • INTREL 638L - Global Governance 3 Credit(s)

Electives (12 Credits)

Complete four courses in any relevant UMass Boston subject of interest with approval of the graduate program director.

Capstone or Thesis Course (6 Credits)

  • INTREL 691 - Capstone in International Relations 6 Credit(s)
  • INTREL 699 - Master’s Thesis in International Relations 6 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 36 credits from eleven courses including six required courses, four electives, and one capstone or thesis course.

Capstone: Completion of a project or master’s thesis.

Statute of limitations: Five years.

Learning Outcomes

The MA in international relations prepares students to face a wide range of global policy problems through a flexible, interdisciplinary program. Our program specializes in helping students bring academic rigor and scholarly insight to pressing policy challenges.
Students will gain:
  • A solid intellectual foundation for understanding our increasingly dynamic international system
  • Systematic insight into pressing issues in international politics
  • Advanced academic skills in research design and methods


Graduate Program Director:
Joseph M. Brown
conresglobal [at]
(617) 287-7489

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