The Executive Master of International Service (MIS) is an accelerated degree designed for professionals with seven or more years of experience in the field of international affairs or international service. This program helps experienced professionals cultivate expertise in a subfield of international affairs and strengthen their leadership skills to stay at the forefront of the ever-evolving world of international relations.
Students will improve their ability to analyze international and intercultural issues, helping them better evaluate programs; interpret conflicts; understand negotiation and adaptation; and appreciate how culturally determined values, beliefs, and worldviews shape behavior at all levels.
Students will expand their knowledge and proficiency in specialized subject areas that match their career goals through in-depth study of one of four specialization subfields: Global Security, International Development, International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, or United States Foreign Policy and National Security.
Students will build their leadership skills throughout the program, specifically during the executive leadership course offered during the required in-person immersion, and through the capstone course. Because students can attend classes online and continue working, they have the opportunity to apply these leadership skills immediately to their job.
Students will explore current and evolving concepts, organizations, and policy debates in the field of international relations, including the economic forces that continue to drive the globalization process. They will take an in-depth look at theoretical assumptions underpinning arguments and proposals as they refresh their knowledge of the major theories of international relations.
Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills
Students will enhance their critical and analytical writing, presentation, and thinking skills in the analysis of international relations, and they will develop skills in quantitative research methods.
The MIS program upholds the same admissions standards and requirements as the on-campus Master of International Service degree program. MIS students are required to have at least seven years of relevant professional experience in an international relations field and an accredited bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least B+ (3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale).
Applicants who qualify for the MIS program based on their work experience are not required to submit standardized test scores. The following information is needed in order for your application to be considered:
Completed online application form
Statement of purpose
$55 application fee
Official transcripts from all academic institutions from which you earned credit
1 Applicants who qualify for the MIS program will be required to complete 30 credits. Depending on their professional international experience, applicants may be eligible to apply for advanced standing to reduce the number of required credits to 27 or 24.
Concentration Electives (15 credits)
Students can focus their studies by taking elective courses in any of the following concentration areas:
MIS students attend an immersion as part of the required 3-credit Executive Leadership course. The immersion is a four-day event that brings MIS students to the AU campus to participate in various academic and professional development activities. The immersion is designed to allow students to meet faculty, staff, and peers in person, as well as connect with employers and alumni in the Washington, D.C., area. Learn more about the immersion.
Capstone (3 Credits)
Completed in the final semester, the capstone experience bridges theory and practice as students work directly with real-world organizations and apply their expertise to solve these organizations’ problems. Students may also choose to apply their knowledge to an academic or policy-driven substantial research paper. Learn more about the capstone here.
Students also have the opportunity to supplement their studies by taking courses from other online graduate programs delivered by several top-tier colleges and universities. Learn more about cross-university courses.
Students have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one career coaching appointments with a career advisor to discuss job search and career transition strategies, practice interviewing, and polish their résumé and cover letter. In addition, students may attend virtual and on-campus events, such as employer information sessions, career panels, site visits, networking events, and skills-building workshops.
Our faculty and career staff proactively create opportunities for students to connect with members of our global community of more than 20,000 School of International Service alumni, many of whom work to address and analyze international challenges in leadership positions at some of the most respected public, private, and nonprofit employers in the field.