MAIR Academics and Curriculum
The traditional Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) degree program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in international relations theory and practice, develop their professional skills, and cultivate expertise in a subfield of international affairs.
Coursework in the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program will provide students with the following competencies:
Students will gain knowledge of concepts, organizations, and policy debates in the field of international relations. They will explore the theoretical assumptions underpinning arguments and proposals, and understand the major theories of international relations.
Critical and Analytical Skills
Students will be able to demonstrate critical and analytical writing, presentation, and thinking skills in the analysis of international relations as well as develop skills in quantitative research methods.
Students will learn how to analyze policy to evaluate the effectiveness of programs. They will also acquire the intercultural skills to analyze and interpret conflicts that involve people of different cultures; to understand the process of intercultural negotiation and adaptation; and to appreciate how culturally determined values, beliefs, and worldviews shape behavior at all levels.
Students will develop proficiency in a subject area beyond foundational knowledge through in-depth study of a specialization subfield.
The MAIR curriculum is designed to prepare students with essential foundational knowledge and skills for understanding international relations.
Core Course Credits
Method and Analysis Credits
Skills and Elective Credits
* Students who have previously completed approved introductory macroeconomics and microeconomics coursework will be eligible to forego 3 credit hours of economics.
Students select from one of four concentrations to gain expertise in a particular field:
United States Foreign Policy & National Security
International Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
The immersion is a weekend-long event that brings online graduate students to campus to participate in various academic and professional development activities. The School of International Service is well known for its strong alumni network. The immersion is designed to introduce students to this powerful resource by giving them a chance to meet faculty, staff, and peers in person, as well as connect with employers and alumni in the community. MAIR students are required to attend at least one immersion over the course of their graduate program. Learn more about the immersion.
Completed in a student’s final semester, the capstone experience blends professional skills training with an applied policy or research project that bridges theory and practice. Learn more about the capstone.
Modern Foreign Language Proficiency
All students’ research competency in English and another language relevant to their objectives must be certified. Learn more about the language proficiency requirement.
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 access to a comprehensive set of career development tools and resources, including a career advisor dedicated to working with online graduate students in the School of International Service. From exploring career paths, to preparing for interviews, and to negotiating job offers, the IR Online team offers support and guidance to help students set and achieve professional goals. Learn more about Career Support Services for MAIR students.
To learn more about the Master of Arts in International Relations curriculum, contact an admissions counselor at admissions@IRonline.american.edu or 1-855-306-2847.