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MA in International Affairs

We live in an increasingly interconnected global environment where people, goods, ideas and conflicts traverse borders with rising frequency. Leaders in the activist, policy and academic spheres must learn not only how to critically analyze these phenomena but also to envisage harnessing their constructive potential. The Master of Arts (MA) in International Affairs is an interdisciplinary graduate program dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s global citizens.

A holistic approach to enhancing our understanding of the world must span the limits of any one academic field and embrace cross-disciplinary analytical competencies. Spanning several social sciences and humanities, our courses are taught by leading scholars who research democratization, gender, globalization, ethnic conflict and cooperation, human rights and international law, international relations, social activism, social justice and many other topics.

Consistent with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities commitment to the Experiential Liberal Arts (ELA), our program provides a range of experiential learning opportunities throughout the curriculum, including full-time professional experience through Northeastern’s signature cooperative education program.

The MA in International Affairs program is both rigorous and flexible, offering exposure to quality tenured faculty from an array of disciplines while encapsulating the global issues that affect our world today.


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Degree Requirements

To earn the MA in International Affairs at Northeastern University you must successfully complete 36 credit hours of credit in the prescribed curriculum. The curriculum consists of two required core classes, methods and public policy courses.

After fulfilling these requirements students may take their remaining free electives from a list of pre-approved courses. Among free electives students may take a thesis or a capstone.

In total, the IAF degree requires 36 semester hours, or 38 semester hours with co-op. Current and prospective students should refer to the 2018-2019 Graduate Catalog for a description of the MA in International Affairs curriculum.

Cooperative Education (Co-op)

All Graduate CSSH Masters programs will offer an optional Cooperative Education Experience (“Co-op”) to eligible students.

Northeastern’s signature co-op ecosystem provides qualified masters students with six-month research and work experiences in businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies in Boston and across the United States. Graduate students take their work from campus learning spaces, apply it outside of the classroom in a variety of environments, and then bring that knowledge and those skills back to our campus learning spaces during the one-credit Experiential Integration course.

To learn more, interested masters students should first meet with their Graduate Program Director to determine eligibility and where co-op will fit within the student’s curriculum.


Program Outcomes

  • Students will understand, analyze, and think critically about issues related to globalization, development, social justice, and international public policy.
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of key methodological and professional skills, including research, program development and evaluation, nonprofit management, and grant writing and organizational development.
  • Students will communicate effectively regarding relevant international issues in written and oral formats.
  • Students will combine classroom learning with practical research and/or professional experience.
  • Graduates will successfully design and carry out an independent research paper or applied professional project related to the themes of the program.


Additional information:

Requirements and policies are subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Brianna Freeman or view the official graduate catalogue for a full listing of graduate level courses.