Master of Arts in International Affairs

Graduate 

Breathtaking changes in political, economic and social relations have taken place over the past several centuries. Living and working in a rapidly changing global environment presents great opportunities to advance the human condition, promote growth and development, create political liberties, recast bargains between governments and their societies, transform social welfare, and advance the boundaries of knowledge and scientific exploration.

Yet the same context presents great risks as people fear loss of identity, worry about economic subordination and loss to those beyond their borders, encounter environmental degradation, and confront potential decline in personal and social autonomy. Our heightened economic, political, social, cultural and environmental interdependence generates serious challenges in areas such as social justice, health, security, development, human rights, social welfare, inequality, diversity and technology. These challenges create the possibility for conflict, but also for cooperation and compromise.

Program Objectives

The Master of Arts in International Affairs offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding global issues. The program draws on teaching and expertise from Washington University faculty and experienced practitioners in the St. Louis region, and it provides knowledge and skills for understanding and working with some of the most difficult international and cross-cultural problems faced by states, societies and communities. Students have the opportunity to tailor their studies to explore topics such as global politics, global economics, development, international security and conflict, international business, human rights, the role of gender, the environment and sustainability, and issues of regional importance.

Whether students are studying full-time or part-time, a range of on-campus and online courses makes it possible for them to shape their degrees according to their interests and schedules. Please note, though, that this program is not fully online; some courses must be taken on the Washington University campus.

Curriculum

The Master of Arts in International Affairs is a 30-unit program that includes four core courses and a capstone research project. The purpose of the required core courses is to develop a coherent structure underpinning the MA by ensuring some common theoretical foundations, knowledge, and language shared by students in this program and with graduates of similar programs around the world. This contributes to the building of a professional community and identity. Remaining electives may be chosen from International Affairs seminars or from other graduate-level courses approved by the School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS).

Contact Us

Contact us today to see how CAPS can work for you.

All of my professors worked in the fields for which they were teaching. They are the reason I decided to work for the UN, and I know that CAPS will help get me there.”

Katlyn Keller;
MA in International Affairs
Application Requirements
Application Deadlines

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and typically take one to two weeks. An application is incomplete and will not be reviewed until all of the application requirements have been received or processed.  Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by the following dates:

  • Summer 2024: April 30, 2024
  • Fall 2024: July 31, 2024
  • Spring 2025: Dec. 31, 2024
Completed Application Form

The online application is available on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed and the required documents have been received.

Official Transcripts From All Previous College Work

Transcripts are required from each institution that you have attended and taken courses, received your bachelor’s degree, taken post-graduate courses, or where a higher-level degree was conferred.  Official transcripts must be sent directly from the school’s registrar to CAPS.  Electronic transcripts should be forwarded to caps@wustl.edu.  For transcript questions, please email caps@wustl.edu.

Non-United States course work transcript verification
If the transcript you submit for consideration is from a college or university outside the United States, a course by course transcript evaluation is also required. Evaluations will be accepted from World Education Services (WES), Spantran or another member institution of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). For Spantran evaluations, you must use this form

Personal Essay

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies? What are your goals, both academic and professional? Is there additional information we should know about you when considering your application?

TOEFL/IELTS Scores (if applicable)

All international students are required to submit TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores at the time of application. The TOEFL iBT and IELTS may be waived for applicants who, immediately prior to their application for admission, have done both of the following:

  • Lived for three years or longer in the United States or another country where English is the primary language of daily life (e.g. Canada or United Kingdom).
  • Completed three or more years of study at a college or university which is located in that country and where the language of instruction is English.

This policy applies to all international students, even those who have earned a degree from a United States college or university.

If an applicant moves away from an English-speaking country after living and studying there for three years or more, TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores are then required for admission. 

Changes to the English Language Proficiency Requirements (2022–23)
Effective March 23, 2022, if an applicant is unable to take the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS, they may document their efforts to take the tests, contact the CAPS Admissions, and request the Duolingo, TOEFL ITP Plus for China, or TOEFL iBT Home Edition as exceptions. 

International student application deadlines & fees

Additional TOEFL and IELTS information for international students adversely affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the CAPS International Student Information webpage.

US Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen

International students interested in undergraduate programs must hold a visa that permits part-time study (including F-2 and J-2 visas).  Students holding  F-1 visas are not eligible for these programs.  Students holding a B-2 visa may be eligible if the coursework is recreational or avocational in nature.

Three Letters of Recommendation

A college instructor or professional associate should complete letters of recommendation. If an instructor cannot be contacted, applicants may submit a waiver request to provide three professional recommendations. Letters can be submitted through the online application or mailed by the recommender.

Writing Sample

Please submit a relevant and recent academic writing sample, preferably one that is research-based. Alternatively, please submit an original essay in which you analyze a current international issue or problem.

Enrolling in School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS)

We are here for you every step. Getting started at CAPS is easy.

1. Meet with a Recruiter
2. Start Your Application
  • Applying is easy, and our advisors are here to help you find the path that fits your needs. Apply Today!
3. Plan Ahead

Take a course today. Apply later.

At CAPS, students can take courses without applying to a degree program. If you are interested in taking a class to get to know CAPS, to fulfill credits, for professional development, or to follow a passion, the non-degree option is for you. Learn more.

Course Work

REQUIRED CORE COURSES: 12 UNITS

Students must take four core courses aimed at the acquiring of a common understanding of foundational knowledge and skills for analyzing international affairs, thus enhancing their abilities to be thoughtful and critical users of academic research in applied settings and while pursuing careers in the field.

One required course is Process and Design of Research (U85 524), a research writing and methods seminar that helps students develop systematic tools for use as practitioners who write and present their work.

The other three core courses, selected from a list of core courses, provide a theoretical and substantive foundation for the analysis and understanding of international affairs. Students choose at least three core courses as indicated by the “International Affairs Core (IAC)” attribute in the course description. Examples include the following:

  • US Law and International Relations (U85 5080)
  • International Organizations (U85 509)
  • The United Nations and International Security (U85 510)
  • International Law and Human Rights (U85 511)
  • International Growth and Development, Inequality, and Transitional Justice (U85 519)
  • National Security Decision-Making (U85 5310)
  • American Foreign Policy (U85 535)
  • Alternative Analytic Techniques for International Affairs (U85 5410)
  • Politics of Global Finance (U85 5571)
  • International Relations (U85 574)
  • State Failure, State Success and Development (U85 5772)

These courses are designed to enable students to develop expertise and understanding of dominant analytical frameworks, tools, and common language in the field of international affairs so that they are better prepared to engage with other professionals in the field. A selection of three core courses, which are overlapping, ensures that this foundation will be sound and robust.

ADDITIONAL INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS COURSES: 15 UNITS

These courses may be chosen from International Affairs seminars or, with permission, from graduate-level courses in other departments.

CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT: 3 UNITS

After completing formal course work, all students are required to complete a capstone research project under the supervision of a Washington University faculty member. 

Learn more about the capstone research project.

Student Success Navigators

Every CAPS student is paired with a Student Success Navigator at the time of admission to help you navigate your path and needs. We will provide you with the tools to make each moment spent on your education as valuable as possible. Students will receive:

  • individual appointments with an experienced Student Success Navigator;
  • career planning services to prepare you for opportunities after graduation;
  • a partner throughout your journey to ensure success.

HOURS
Student Success Navigators are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Still have questions?

Program Coordinator: 
Zachary Bowersox
314-935-5810
bowersox@wustl.edu

Academic Advisor:
Rebecca O’Laughlin 
314-935-6742
Rolaughlin@wustl.edu