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    Feb 23, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
    
American University Catalog 2023-2024

International Affairs Policy and Analysis (MA)


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 hold an earned bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by one of the six United States regional accreditation agencies or a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an international institution with a similar level of accreditation or recognition by its home country. Assessment of a foreign degree will be based upon the characteristics of the national system of education, the type of institution attended, its accreditation, and the level of studies completed.

Competitive candidates may demonstrate their potential to excel in diverse ways, including a strong academic record, demonstrated success in relevant coursework and/or professional experience, the presentation of a compelling motivation and objective for graduate work, or a combination of some of these factors.

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. Admission decisions are based on each applicant’s total record and not any single strength or deficiency.

A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional. Applicants who have completed the exam are welcome to submit their scores as part of their application. 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 work
  • 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: SIS-762 Integrated Policy Exercise (3)  with grade of B or better

Course Requirements


Professional Competency Track (9 credit hours)


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

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

Concentration (12 credit hours)


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

Capstone (3 credit hours)


International Affairs Policy and Analysis (MA) and Business Administration (MBA)


For approved dual degree program, see International Affairs Policy and Analysis (MA) and Business Administration (MBA) .