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Getting Your Master’s Degree in International Relations

Master's Degree in International Relations

Master’s Degree in International Relations

Going into international relations would allow you to study different societies as well as the different interactions between them. You would find coursework in topics such as history, politics, economics, world languages, geography, and more. If you have a desire to get to know other parts of the world, travel to those locations, and learn about the political and economic systems that are being used, international relations is a good career path to pursue.

When looking at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a job such as an interpreter or translator is projected to grow 24% from 2020 to 2030. This is much faster than other occupations. With much easier access to all parts of the world, these types of jobs will continue to be needed for years to come. 

Online or In-person Master’s in International Relations

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in international relations, you can find an in-person program or an online program. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience. Some online programs could have an in-person element to them. 

A Master’s in International Relations

While you should be able to find a job in international relations with an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree, going on to get your master’s degree in international relations can open more doors and allow you to earn a higher income. With a master’s in international relations, you can find many different global careers to work towards. 

Concentrations in International Relations

Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some concentrations that you might find in a master’s of international relations program:

Global Studies

Students will study global policies, economics, ecology, culture, law, and anthropology.

Security Policy

Students will study the examination and the analysis of national and international security issues.

Diplomacy

Students study the essence of foreign policy as a public policy. 

Classes in International Relations

The classes you take in a master’s of international relations program will depend on your concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s degree. 

  • Global and International History– this class is about the historical analysis of global interactions during different time periods from early modern to modern and contemporary periods. 
  • Research Methods in International Relations– this class gives a broad overview of how to be able to design and research policy papers in international relations. 
  • World Economy – this class is about the core concepts, issues, and different theories of world economics. 
  • International Negotiation and Conflict – this class is about the different approaches to managing as well as resolving conflict in an international setting. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Students can have a bachelor’s degree in international relations or in another field. 

Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

How to Choose a Program

There are many different factors when choosing the right International Relations program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Programs are usually two years long. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost. 

Top Master’s in International Relations Programs

There are many different master’s in international relations programs, some are in-person, and some are online. 

Here are 10 of the top master’s in international relations programs: 

  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • Tufts University
  • Columbia University
  • George Washington University 
  • American University
  • The University of Chicago
  • Stanford University 

Top Online Master’s in International Relations Programs

Here are 10 of the top online master’s in international relations programs: 

  • Northeastern University
  • American University
  • Troy University
  • Arizona State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Harvard University
  • George Washington University
  • Tufts University
  • The University of North Carolina
  • American Public University

Jobs With a Master’s Degree in International Relations

Diplomat

Annual Median Pay: $90,304

Diplomats are appointed by a state or an intergovernmental institution such as the United Nations.

Political Affairs Officer

Annual Median Pay: $82,045

Political Affairs Officers analyze developments in foreign politics and other policy matters. 

National Security Agent

Annual Median Pay: $74,802

National Security Agents are responsible for global monitoring, collection, and the processing of information as well as data for the purposes of foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence.

International Trade Specialist

Annual Median Pay: $73,979

International Trade Specialists analyze foreign trade and monitor the global market to guide strategic international business decisions.

Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in International Relations

Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in international relations. You can also find more scholarships for International Relations as well as other scholarships for military and veterans at College Recon. 

Boren Fellowships

This fellowship is for those in a graduate degree program at a college or university. It is to provide unique funding opportunities for students in order to study less common languages in less common world locations. Students will need to apply with a country and language in mind, although that can be changed later. Students will receive up to $25,000 for 25-52 week programs, up to $12,500 for 12-24 week programs, with up to $12,000 for domestic language study. 

NCITD Scholarship Program

This scholarship from NCITD, the National Council on International Trade Development, is to help promote education and careers in international trade. Winners will receive a minimum of $1,000 and a one-year NCITD membership. They will also be welcomed to monthly meetings. Students must be currently enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate degree related to international trade studies, including international relations.

WIIT Scholarships

This is a merit-based scholarship from WIIT, the Association of Women in International Trade, to support and encourage women to study all aspects of international trade. Students must identify as female and be currently enrolled at an accredited U.S. university or college, either full-time or part-time. They also must be a junior or senior or be enrolled in graduate studies. In addition to the $1,500 award, students will also receive a full year of personal mentorship by a WIIT member and one full year of WIIT membership.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

This program is a summer study abroad program for American college and university students to learn languages. It is open to students of diverse disciplines and majors. They allow for 15 different languages which are: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. The program is from the U.S. Department of State. Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level, be at least 18 years old by May 15, 2022. The award is for $5,000.

Women in Defense Scholarship

This scholarship is for women currently enrolled or expected to be enrolled at an accredited university or college by the next academic term. Students can be full or part-time, undergraduates or graduates. They must have a desire to pursue a career in national security or defense and show financial need. The award is for $1,000. 

International Relations Related Majors

  • International Affairs
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • International Business
  • Public Administration 

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.