Social enterprises use business strategy to drive change in areas such as education, health, human rights, and economic development. This program is designed for socially conscious professionals looking to advance or begin a career in entrepreneurship that merges societal innovation and global policy. By taking a blend of management and social change courses, you will emerge prepared to launch or thrive within businesses, nonprofits, or NGOs that advance a mission.
The Social Enterprise Master’s, which can be completed in as few as 24 months, includes 12 credits of core courses that allow you to build a foundation in global social entrepreneurship and social innovation, and a variety of electives from different focus areas. The program merges classes from the School of International Service with classes from AU’s top-ranked Kogod School of Business, so you can build the international affairs background and essential business skills you need to succeed in this sector.
Residency and Capstone Requirements
To complete each of our three degrees, you will be required to visit the American University campus in Washington, D.C., for a weekend-long residency. The residency includes networking with peers, faculty, and professionals in your industry; participating in skills institutes; and visiting government, international affairs, and development organizations. Social Enterprise Master’s students can also participate in a second, optional immersion in an international location decided with each cohort.
Each program concludes with a capstone that will require you to apply skills and knowledge gained throughout your courses. You may choose to complete either a Substantial Research Paper (SRP) — which is recommended for those who will go on to pursue a PhD — or participate in a client-based team practicum project.
An Interactive Online Graduate Student Experience
A Flexible Online Format
In an increasingly interconnected world, American University’s International Relations Online degree programs allow you the opportunity to earn your master’s online from anywhere. Live, face-to-face video classes; self-paced weekly course work; and interactive case studies provide a flexible learning format that help advance your international affairs education and foster global connections without having to relocate.
International Relations Online is available to support you throughout your job search. During your studies and after graduation, you will have access to AU CareerWeb, a password-protected database of international affairs job and internship opportunities specifically for SIS students.
Benefits for AU Graduates
Upon graduation, you’ll join 15,000+ alumni serving their communities around the globe. Whether you’re an aspiring foreign aid officer or a newfound social entrepreneur, you can regularly tap into opportunities to connect and learn from this powerful network of international affairs professionals.
Military and Veteran Student Resources
Veteran and active duty military members make up more than 30 percent of the International Relations Online student body — and SIS is committed to providing the convenience and flexibility to allow these students to earn their international relations degree — and find a job in their field — no matter where they’re stationed. The International Relations Online application fee is always waived for military veterans and active duty members.
Meet our renowned American University International Relations Online faculty members, who are active leaders in the global affairs community.
Attend an upcoming webinar, where you can learn more about the program and experience our online campus.
Learn about issues related to international relations, security and development, U.S. foreign policy, and other topics.
Explore SIS residential degree programs, which are available on our main campus in Washington, D.C.