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    Jul 04, 2020  
American University Catalog 2019-2020 
    
American University Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Affairs Policy and Analysis (MA)


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Offered by the School of International Service , the International Affairs Policy and Analysis (MA) provides students with the professional and analytical skills necessary to answer questions and solve global and foreign policy problems and secure research, policy, or administrative careers in international affairs. The program emphasizes a cross-disciplinary approach to tackling global challenges and training in transferable professional tools such as data collection and analysis, policy and intelligence analysis, project management and leadership, or finance and economics. By emphasizing job-ready skills and competencies applicable across a wide range of substantive interests, students are well-positioned to excel in their intended career pathways. Students have the flexibility to select concentrations and pursue career paths that address the global and foreign policy challenges that motivate them, and to adapt to the demands of the ever-evolving world of international politics.

Admission to the Program


Applicants must meet the minimum University requirements for graduate study. To be considered for admission, all applicants must submit a resume, statement of purpose, official transcripts, applicable test scores, application fee, and two letters of reference evaluating previous academic performance and suitability for graduate study in international affairs. Cultural factors are considered in evaluating transcripts and examination results. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution and should have had social science coursework relevant to international studies. Admission decisions are based on each applicant’s total record and not any single strength or deficiency.

All applicants whose native language is English or those whose degrees are from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Applicants with five or more years of relevant professional experience may request a GRE waiver by submitting a statement describing their relevant professional experience. The program values applicants who have acquired practical experience before beginning their professional degree program. Applicants who are required to take the GRE may substitute the test with the GMAT if applying for the MA/MBA dual degree with the Kogod School of Business.

Non-native English speakers are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE)  unless they hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S.-accredited institution before enrollment at SIS. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. The minimum PTE score is 68.

Requests for the transfer of a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from other accredited institutions to be applied to a master’s degree must be completed in the student’s first semester in the graduate program at American University. A minimum grade of B in each course is required for transfer. Transfer courses must have been completed within five years of admission and must fulfill stated requirements of the degree program.

Admitted students may defer matriculation for no longer than two semesters provided that a written request for deferment is submitted to and approved by the SIS Graduate Admissions Office.  

Degree Requirements


  • 36 credit hours of approved graduate coursework
  • Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA required to remain in good academic standing and to earn the degree
  • Evidence of professional experience in the field: Relevant internship or work experience must be certified
  • Capstone Experience: 3 credit hours of Integrated Policy Exercise coursework with grade of B or better

Course Requirements


Professional Competency Track (9 credit hours)


Complete 9 credit hours of approved coursework in one of the following professional competency tracks:

  • Methodology and Analytics
  • Leadership and Management
  • Global Policy Analysis
  • Economics and Finance

Concentration (12 credit hours)


  • 12 credit hours of graduate coursework constituting an academically-sound functional area with approval of faculty advisor 

Capstone (3 credit hours)


  • 3 credit hours in Integrated Policy Exercise (with grade of B or better)

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