Skip to content

Criteria, Deadlines and Materials

Application Criteria

A strong application will include the following elements:

  • Examples of prior foreign language study or international experience in a language other than English are preferred. In order to graduate, M.A. in international relations students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. Students who enter the program without sufficient language skills must complete this requirement during their studies.
  • Relevant internships or post-undergraduate work experience should demonstrate a public service ethos and appreciation of the Maxwell School’s mission to prepare graduates to contribute to the public good in all levels of government, nonprofits, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Undergraduate coursework should demonstrate strong academic ability and potential to succeed in a rigorous graduate curriculum. Students from a range of undergraduate majors/programs are welcomed to apply to the interdisciplinary M.A. in international relations.
  • Application should demonstrate a clear understanding of the applicant’s career goals as they relate to this field of study.

Maxwell reads applications holistically. This means that each element of the application is factored into the admission process.

There are no strict cutoffs or minimums or maximums when it comes to GPA. However, on average, our students have a cumulative GPA of 3.5.

The GRE is no longer required for admission to any of our department’s graduate programs.

    Priority Application Deadlines

    The Maxwell School’s professional master’s programs operate on a rolling, space-available admission basis, meaning that applications are reviewed as they become complete – both before and after the priority deadlines. However, if you are seeking financial assistance or are an international applicant, you are strongly encouraged to apply before the priority deadlines.

    • Fall admission: January 15
    • Spring Admission: October 15

    The Maxwell School participates in the Council of Graduate School’s “April 15 Resolution” and gives all admitted students until April 15th to accept or decline their offer of admission.

    Application Materials

    • Application and $75 application fee. In some cases the application fee can be waived. See application fee waiver details.
    • Personal statement
    • Résumé
    • Transcripts:  Unofficial undergraduate transcripts are acceptable at the time of application. Official transcripts will be required prior to enrollment.
    • Letters of recommendation: three (3) letters of recommendation from a current or previous faculty member or professional supervisor.
    • English Proficiency Exam (international students only): TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test, or the Cambridge English Language Assessment.

    100 - this is a minimum requirement for admission.
    The median TOEFL score has been above 105.

    Literacy - 125
    Comprehension - 110
    Conversation - 120
    Production - 95
    Total - 115 to 120

    The minimum score is a 7.0.

    Cambridge English Assessment
    B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency: 185 

    Funding Your Education

    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    The FAFSA allows U.S citizens and permanent resident graduate students to be considered for need-based aid. You should file the FAFSA as early as possible during the application process. Once filed, the Syracuse University Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs will contact you about completing the supplemental SU scholarship application, and aid disbursement details.

    Maxwell Scholarships and Fellowships

    The Maxwell School offers a significant number of merit-based scholarships and fellowships every year. While the typical scholarships simply require applicants to express interest in financial support on the application, some fellowships require additional application materials. See additional details via the link below.

    Public Administration and International Affairs Department
    215 Eggers Hall