Master of Arts in International Relations Application Requirements

To apply to the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program, applicants are required to submit the following: 

  • Completed online application form
  • Current résumé/CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions from which you earned credit
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $55 application fee

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Your résumé/CV allows the admissions committee to review your background and previous experiences. We encourage you to be detailed and thorough in preparing your résumé and to include internship and volunteer experience in addition to traditional full-time work experiences.

Statement of Purpose 

Your statement of purpose should clearly state your reason for undertaking graduate studies in your chosen field, what you expect from the program, and how you can contribute to the program. It should include your research interests and your academic and career objectives. As your statement offers the committee the opportunity to get to know you, discussion of your relevant qualifications and experiences is encouraged. The statement should also demonstrate your composition skills and analytical ability. While there is no minimum or maximum length, we suggest a length of approximately 1,200 words. 


All applicants to the School of International Service’s (SIS) graduate programs must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the date of anticipated enrollment. Applicants are required to submit transcripts from all institutions attended, including community colleges and transfer credits. 

Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own Web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institutions you attended, please specify that your transcript(s) be sent to or select American University International Relations Online if listed as an option through a vendor. This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

If you wish to mail your transcripts, the sealed, official transcripts from U.S. institutions should be sent directly to:

Application Processing Services
American University International Relations Online
Suite 501
7900 Harkins Road
Lanham, MD 20706 

Students who completed degrees at institutions outside the United States are required to submit a transcript evaluation (and a translation, if applicable) in addition to original transcripts. Please contact your admissions counselor for specific information about acceptable transcript evaluation services. 

Economics Preparation  

It is highly recommended that students have previous microeconomics and macroeconomics course work prior to enrolling in the program. However, prior economics course work is not a prerequisite for admission to the program. Students who have not previously completed approved economics course work will be required to take SISG-773 Introduction to Economic Theory. Registration and sequencing of this course, if applicable, will be coordinated between the student and academic advising.

Letters of Recommendation

All applicants to SIS graduate programs are required to submit two letters of recommendation to support their application. Letters of recommendation should evaluate your suitability for graduate study in international affairs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Application Fee

The application fee for SIS graduate programs is $55. The application fee is waived for:

  • Active duty members or veterans of the U.S. military
  • Active or returned Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and LanguageCorps volunteers
  • First-generation college students 

If the application fee is paid off-line, the check must be sent, payable to American University, to the following on-campus address:

International Relations Online 
Attn: Matthew Meekins 
School of International Service 
American University 
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20016