2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Relations/Public Administration, MA/MPA

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Michael Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director
215 Eggers Hall * 315-443-4000 * mwilli08@syr.edu
Christine Omolino, Director, Admission and Financial Aid
215 Eggers Hall * 315-443-4000 * comolino@syr.edu

General Inquiries: paia@maxwell.syr.edu


The synergy between international relations and public administration allows the approved 58-credit joint degree program combining international relations expertise and public management skills to serve as an invaluable experience for students.

The coursework includes 34 credits of core coursework, 12 credits of career track coursework and 12 credits of elective coursework

The dual-degree is completed in two years of full-time study and allows for extended professional development opportunities.

Earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR), the joint degree program equips students to confront the management and thematic challenges facing organizations around the world.

Students complete the core curricula for both degree programs, combining advanced training in public policy analysis, quantitative and qualitative methods, organizational management, foreign language, and field-specific coursework.

Upon completion of the joint degree program, students will also apply academic training to real-world problems through a required consultancy and internship experience.

MA/MPA coursework includes

  • 34 credits of core coursework
  • 12 credits of career track coursework
  • 12 credits of elective coursework

Core Requirements (34 Credits)

Dual-degree students complete the core coursework for both the MPA and MAIR degrees, totaling 34 credits of coursework.

Statistical and Economic Analysis (9 Credits)

Dual-degree students are trained in applying analytical techniques to identify policy changes and assess responses. Students will complete the following three courses.

International Relations Requirement (3 Credits)

Students apply international relations theories to explain the emergence of events and to develop policies to address international problems.

Public Management and Administration (13 Credits)

Students will understand the tools for the effective management and leadership of public and non-profit organizations.

Management Options (3 Credits)

Dual-degree students select the management requirement that best fits their intended career path, choosing one of the following four courses.

Signature Class (3 Credits)

As international relations is an interdisciplinary field, students develop the ability to analyze policy and programmatic challenges from a variety of social science perspectives through the choice of the following courses.

Research Methodology (3 Credits)

Students are equipped to effectively use international relations research through the use of appropriate social science research methods to evaluate policies from a data-driven perspective. Students choose which one of the following courses is a best fit for their career preparation.

International Relations Career Track (12 Credits)

Each student must complete 12 credits of coursework in one of the following five career tracks.

  • Development and Humanitarian Assistance
  • Governance, Diplomacy, and International Organizations
  • International Political Economy
  • Peace, Security, and Conflict
  • Regional Concentration (by permission)

International Relations Professional Skills

Dual-degree students develop their professional skills through a graduate internship and a demonstration of second-language proficiency.

Professional Internship

The internship requirement for the international relations degree requires 250 hours of service time over a minimum of twelve weeks during the fall and spring semesters or 250 hours of service time over a minimum of seven weeks during the summer semester. The internship will count for three credits towards the MAIR degree and be applied as either a career track or elective course.  Internships can be conducted in the United States and around the world.

Second-language proficiency

Dual-degree candidates must demonstrate proficiency in a second modern spoken language.

The completion of four semesters of formal, university-level language study within the last five years will be considered as demonstrating this proficiency.

Electives (12 Credits)

Students round out their studies with four elective classes, three of which are taken in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs.

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