Foreign Service and International Affairs
Below is a selection of foreign service and international affairs programs available at U.S. universities.
You can find more information about careers in the U.S. Foreign Service at the State Department website
Virtual Foreign Service
Working from college and university campuses in the United States, American students are partnered with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of our networked world. By combining the talents of young people across America and the right technology, we can forge the solutions that our century demands.
Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program
The Rangel program seeks students interested in working as Foreign Service Officers for the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship is open to undergraduate seniors and graduates entering 2-year master's programs in international affairs, public administration, business administration, public policy or related fields at U.S. universities. Rangle Fellows receive up to $90,000 to cover tuition, fees and living expenses. The Fellowship includes 2 summer internships, professional development opportunities and mentoring. Students must be U.S. citizens and a minimum GPA of 3.2.
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowships
The Pickering Fellowship prepares participants academically and professionally to enter the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. The award, up to $40,000 per year, funds fellows' senior years and their first year of graduate study at participating universities. Fellows study fields such as international studies, international affairs, public policy, administration, economics, political science or foreign languages.
The universities listed below offer programs and degrees related to the Foreign Service
American University School of International Service
The School of International Service is the largest school of International Affairs in the United States. The School was founded 50 years ago on the timeless principle of engaging its students and faculty in international public service through an interdisciplinary approach to the study of international relations that values human rights and social justice. The School has over 60 full time faculty and students from over 135 countries and its curriculum draws from its eight distinctive fields of study including comparative and regional studies, global environmental politics, international communication, international development, international economic relations, international peace and conflict resolution, international politics and United States foreign policy.
Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government
The Kennedy School of Government's newest degree program, the MPA in International Development (MPA/ID), is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in international development. This two-year program combines depth in economics training with a multi-disciplinary approach to solving the most critical problems facing the world today. The MPA/ID curriculum is built around a specifically designed set of core courses in advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics, quantitative methods, history and theory of development, governance, management, and law, with an emphasis on policy and practice. For exceptional, motivated people from all over the world, the program will deepen and expand analytic skills through intensive coursework and offer real-world experience through summer internships in international settings.
By creating this program, the Kennedy School is establishing a new career path towards leadership positions in international development. Existing programs emphasize either high-level technical training (as in master's and Ph.D. programs in economics), or professional training (as in master's programs in international affairs or public administration). The MPA/ID combines the two approaches. It positions its graduates towards all-around excellence in a field that requires skills of both types.
Although MPA/ID courses are taught at an advanced graduate level, the program is geared primarily to future practitioners, rather than future scholars or teachers. The policy areas of concentration offered by the MPA/ID program include: 1. Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management; 2. Social Policy; 3. International Economic Policy; and 4. Business-Government Relations and the Politics of Development. Both U.S. and international candidates are encouraged to apply. Applicants must demonstrate competence in economics and quantitative analysis and the potential for leadership in international development. Although a few students enter the MPA/ID program directly from undergraduate colleges and universities, most have between two and five years of work experience in government, central and regional banks, international development institutions, non-governmental organizations, or private businesses.
New York University's Center for Global Affairs
The Center for Global Affairs at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers a Master of Science in Global Affairs degree, as well as a Certificate in Global Affairs.
The Master of Science in Global Affairs offers students an understanding of critical issues in international politics, economics, dispute settlement, law, human rights, energy, the environment, and related areas. Knowledge and familiarity in these areas is critical for those preparing for careers in virtually every arena: international or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, diplomatic missions, foreign offices, government agencies, international business, press and media, law firms, foundations, and a host of allied institutions and professions.
The M.S. in Global Affairs rests on a multidisciplinary approach to education. Through focusing on the political, economic, cultural, and legal context of international transactions, the degree provides you with a broad framework for understanding the global economy--and the actors from international organizations, nation-states, and the private and public sector impacting the global community.
The Center's faculty are prominent players in the international arena; the Center offers workshops, networking events, and career advising to help students identify positions and potential employers that match their skills and ambitions; and its location in New York City—the commercial, cultural, and political hub of the world—provides students with the opportunity to study with renowned international experts who blend theory with real-world experience.
Johns Hopkins University
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
SAIS, a division of The Johns Hopkins University located in Washington, D.C., is one of the nation's leading graduate schools devoted to the study of international relations. At SAIS, the wisdom of universities, business, and labor merge with the knowledge and expertise of those currently engaged in government, foreign affairs and international economic practice.
The M.A. degree in international relations requires two years of study during which candidates take four courses each semester and study a modern foreign language. Students must spend a minimum of three semesters in residence as full-time students. Students may choose to spend two years in Washington or to spend one year at the Bologna Center and one in Washington.
In addition to the Masters in International Relations, SAIS offers The Master of International Public Policy (M.I.P.P.) program. The MIPP program is intended for mid-career professionals in international fields who desire a year of intensive study or two years of part-time study in international relations, international economics or some combination of the sub-fields of these disciplines.
M.I.P.P. degree candidates are typically on educational leave from employment as diplomats, members of the military, business executives or journalists, and many are sponsored by their employers.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Political Science was formally established in 1955, within what was then the Department of Economics and Social Science, as part of a broad effort to develop research and training at MIT in the social sciences. The nucleus of a Political Science faculty had already been formed within the Center for International Studies, a pioneering, interdisciplinary research center working on American foreign policy and security issues, economic and political development in the Third World, Communist societies, and international communication.
First, a large number of faculty members now specialize in American politics. Second, the Department has developed considerable strength in political economy, both comparative and international. And third, it has extended its coverage of comparative politics by adding faculty members specializing in Europe, Japan, the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America.
The net result of this evolution is a broadly based Department that nevertheless retains the following features that have given it distinctiveness and strength within the discipline:1.high quality graduate training which emphasizes research and encourages apprenticeship relations with faculty members; 2. excellence in international relations and in comparative politics, now including an American dimension; 3. an orientation toward issues of public policy, both domestic and international; and 4. an ability to interact with scientists, engineers, and other social scientists at MIT on issues involving both politics and technology.
The Department's emphasis on research is reflected in the many affiliations which members of the faculty maintain with centers and major research programs at MIT, Harvard, and elsewhere in Boston and around the world. The projects conducted under the auspices of these organizations frequently provide graduate students with employment as research assistants. Regional studies are intended for those students who wish to specialize in the politics of a given country or geographical area. Examples of regional fields are: Indian and South Asian politics, Chinese politics, American politics, African politics, Western Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America.
Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs was founded at Princeton in 1930. The dual focus on international and domestic public affairs has been a marked feature of the school from its earliest years. M.P.A. students spend part of their first year acquiring core skills for public affairs careers; political and analysis that will help them formulate public policy and manage public programs; quantitative analysis that is widely used in creating and evaluating public programs; and economic analysis that has broad applications to public policy, including national fiscal and monetary policy, international trade and finance, and economic development in the Third World. First-year students also begin to work in a chosen field of specialization, selecting from the fields of international relations, development studies, domestic policy, and economics and public policy.
The second year of the M.P.A. curriculum extends the work in the field of specialization by providing courses that give the historical, cultural, and institutional context of major problems in the field. Second-year students also participate in policy workshops that allow them to bring their diversified analytic skills and substantive knowledge to bear on important problems of public policy. All course work is done on Princeton's campus. M.P.A. students are required to complete a 10-week summer internship; many students are placed overseas. Most students interested in international relations are already fluent in other languages unless their career goals do not require it.
The M.P.A. program has a core curriculum of statistics, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. We teach these courses in two tracks, one with a calculus-based methodology and the other using algebra, graphs, trigonometry, and some calculus. Although we do not require previous course work in these fields for admission to our program, there is a definite advantage for students who have already acquired these skills. In addition, Princeton offers the M.P.P. Program for Mid-Career Professionals, the Ph.D. Program in Public Affairs, and several Joint Degree Programs.
Stanford University Master in International Relations
The field of International Relations at Stanford includes the study of ethnic conflict, international political economy, and international politics. The department only reviews applications for students that will be entering our program during the fall quarter. The Master's program requires three quarters of full registration. Master's candidates must take 45 units of course work, and 25 of those units must be in graduate seminars. There is no examination or thesis requirement.
Yale University International and Development Economics (IDE) M.A
The International and Development Economics Program (IDE), which is administered by the Center on behalf of Yale's Economics Department, offers a one-year course of study leading to the Master of Arts degree. The program is designed to provide rigorous training to students whose careers are or will be in the area of economic development or international economics. The curriculum of the program is designed to help students develop a solid core of analytical skills that will be of value to them in subsequent professional work. Many students entering the program are early career professionals in the public or private sectors in developing countries, and graduates of the program serve in government ministries, planning agencies, central banks, academic institutions, private firms, and international agencies.
The IDE program offers two joint degree options. The joint IDE/Environmental Studies program allows students to earn both the Master of Arts degree in economics and the Master of Environmental Studies degree from Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The joint degree program with Yale's School of Management provides students with the option of earning the Master of Public and Private Management in addition to the M.A. in economics.
Duke University Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy
The Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy offers two new specializations within the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program - one in Journalism and Policy Analysis and the other in International Development Policy. These specializations provide a formal structure for students in the MPP program to take full advantage of the exceptional resources within the DeWitt Wallace Center for Communications and Journalism and the Center for International Development Research.
These specializations differ from the standard areas of concentration available to all MPP students in that they provide a formal link between students and the resources within the Centers. While students in these tracks will take many of the same required courses as all MPP students, they will work directly with faculty and other professionals in one of the two centers starting in the fall term of their first year of study and continuing throughout their two-year program. In this way, they will simultaneously benefit both from the rigorous analytical and professional training available to all MPP students and from the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty and professionals in their area of concentration.
The specialization in Journalism and Policy Analysis is designed for students who are early in their journalism careers or who wish to move into journalism from a background in policy analysis. The specialization in International Development Policy is designed for students with one or more years of experience working with developing countries. Students interested in these specializations should apply to the regular MPP program and should indicate their specialization interest in their application.
Duke Center for International Development Masters in International Development Policy
The Program in International Development Policy (PIDP) at Duke University is designed for mid-career professionals who are interested in a graduate-level program and who are likely to dedicate their careers to policy making and public service in developing countries and countries in transition. As part of the mission of the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), the PIDP provides interdisciplinary training in policy analysis on issues related to long-term social and economic development.
In contrast to most graduate programs in the development field, the PIDP is structured to cross the boundaries of academic, technical, managerial, and professional training. Upon successful completion of the program, PIDP Fellows will receive a Master of Arts degree in International Development Policy.
University of California - Berkeley Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California Berkeley Masters in Public Policy embraces the realms of both domestic and international policy. The School prepares students for careers including policy analysis, program evaluation, management and planning. The Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) graduates enjoy an outstanding rate of employment and career advancement, working in government, in the private and nonprofit sectors, in research organizations, and as consultants. The heart of GSPP is its two-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, with a core curriculum emphasizing practical and applied dimensions of policymaking.
The curriculum includes core courses that provide a foundation in subjects ranging from political elements of the decision-making process and legal analysis to such specific analytic tools and concepts as microeconomic theory and statistical modeling. The curriculum also includes five electives, taken either at GSPP or elsewhere on the Berkeley campus, that allow students to focus on a particular policy area or a set of policy tools. Because real public policy problems are often falsely defined and resistant to straightforward application of formal analytic techniques, the curriculum includes substantial fieldwork allowing students to apply their learning in the service of real-life policy clients.
Students work at a summer policy internship between their first and second years and complete an analysis, in groups and individually, during the spring semester of each year. As part of GSPP's multidisciplinary approach, the School's faculty are drawn from the fields of economics, political science, law, sociology, social psychology, demography, and public policy. Faculty members meet weekly and work to coordinate assignments so that students receive a well integrated and well paced course load.
University of Chicago Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies
The Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies offers a two-year program of professional study leading to the master of public policy (M.P.P.) degree. There are four components of the master's program curriculum which include: development of fundamental skills in policy analysis through a comprehensive core of analytical courses; focus in a substantive field of public policy through specialized courses in particular areas of policy study; ancillary skill training, through which students acquire the proficiencies necessary for professional positions in public policy and administration; leadership training and an emphasis on the practical application of academic training to real policy analysis.
International policy at the Harris School focuses on two major areas: international security and international political economy. The dissolution of the Soviet Union has revived debate over the most basic questions of U.S. national security policy: should the United States retain, and even expand, its Cold War alliances, or should it instead adopt isolationist policies and withdraw from Asia and Europe? Should the United States pursue nuclear disarmament, or only more incremental arms control agreements? If the key threats to U.S. security now stem from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorists, is the United States allocating its defense dollars correctly? Should the United States intervene in ethnic conflicts for humanitarian purposes? If so, under what conditions should the U.S. intervene?
We seek candidates with the academic preparation, intellectual ability, experience, and motivation to undertake a rigorous program in public policy studies, and who have the potential for academic and professional success.
New York University Master of Arts in Politics
The Department of Politics offers six fields of study: Political Theory, Political Methodology, American Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and International Relations. In addition, we offer a concentration in International Business/International Politics in conjunction with the Stern School of Business (see the Special Master's Programs section). In each field, we offer a core course that serves as a graduate introduction to theories, concepts, and debates in the respective field.
This MA is a degree in Politics, and so the preponderance of courses you take here should be in Political Science. Students must take at least 24 points (6 courses) given by the Politics Department. It should be noted that the department cross-lists various courses, primarily in politics and area studies. These count towards the six required courses in the department. You should check whether or not a course is cross-listed and whether it counts towards your degree.
Rice University School of Social Sciences
The political science department has no M.A. program as such and students seeking only a master's degree will typically not be admitted. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program may seek an M.A. as an interim step in their studies.
The Master of Arts degree requires 36 semester hours of course work, all of which must be taken at the graduate level (500 level or above except with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies), and the completion of two research papers in seminars taken over the course of study. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for awarding the M.A.
In the third semester of study, students should complete the petition for approval of candidacy form available from the Director of Graduate Studies. The university deadline for such filing is February 1 of the year the M.A. is expected.
The Political Science Department requires that not more than three years elapse between the time the student is admitted to the graduate program and the completion of the M.A. degree, unless an extension is approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The university requires that students complete their program for the Master's degree within five years of initial enrollment.
Pennsylvania State University - University Park Department of Political Science
Penn State's M.A. and Ph.D. programs offer rigorous training in the subfields of American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Political Methodology. Penn State is also one of only a few programs nationally to offer a dual-degree in Political Science and Women's Studies. Details of these fields, and several cross-cutting subfields, are available under the "Areas of Study" section.
We devote significant attention to training students in both research and teaching, with an emphasis on the development of analytic and research skills that apply across fields. Our program emphasizes rigorous training for our students in methods of research including statistical analysis and research design, with an eye toward producing scholars who will be excellent researchers. We offer a range of methods courses within the department, and provide funding for summer training at ICPSR to all interested students. In addition, our graduate students benefit from strong programs in other departments, including Sociology (which has superb social movement scholars and demographers), Economics (which has outstanding econometricians and game theorists), African and African-American Studies, Geography, and Philosophy.
International relations at Penn State emphasizes the study of the causes and consequences of international conflict, the development of international cooperation, conflict resolution, bargaining, and international political economy (including specialties in international development and world trade). The subfield includes the Program on Empirical International Relations, a formal program that emphasizes training in scientific research methods applied to international relations.
Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) is the oldest school of international affairs in the United States and the largest of its type in the world. In 1919, Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., founded the School to provide an education, "particularly devoted to preparation for foreign service in public or private interests." The Washington environment is central to the School's curriculum and co-curricular activities.
Classroom work emphasizes the practice as well as the theory of international relations, and stresses the interdisciplinary analysis of key global and foreign policy issues. The MSFS degree requires 48 semester hours of study in residence. The Program requires every student to master a core curriculum of required and elective courses. Offerings combine the development of analytic skills with advanced study in international economics and analysis, applied history, quantitative methods in foreign service and business, international relations theory and practice, and electives in a designated program concentration.
Suggested concentrations include: 1. Foreign Policy/International Security, 2. International Commerce and Finance, 3. International Business-Government Relations, 4. International Development, 5.International Economic Policy Analysis, and 6. Self-Designed Concentrations (regional studies and others). The campus frequently is a site for major foreign policy addresses as well as international seminars and debates.
Cornell University Master of Professional Studies
Cornell University Master of Professional Studies with an emphasis in International Development embraces the philosophy that successful development administrators require a combination of skills. In addition to knowledge of the substantive areas for which they are responsible, practitioners need the analytical tools by which such knowledge is transformed into action.
Recognizing the limited opportunities for development suitable training, the Cornell University Graduate School offers a professional degree program in international development. The Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD), which is based in the International Agriculture Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, oversees this degree program.
The Master of Professional Studies in International Development program provides an interdisciplinary program of study for those who are experienced in international development and are seeking to upgrade or update their educational qualifications. Training is offered in both a substantive specialization (such as population, regional planning, science and technology policy, or nutrition), and in areas of analysis for implementing objectives (development administration and planning, development economics, development politics, development sociology, or international communication).
A specialized concentration in some area of development policy, such as women in development, may serve as the student's concentration with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the student's advisor.