Joint and Concurrent Degrees

Graduate students at Maxwell are encouraged to develop a course of study tailored to their professional and/or research interests. To do so, many tap into the resources of other schools and colleges at Syracuse University, and those of the neighboring State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Among many cross-disciplinary opportunities is a handful of formally structured joint degrees, offered to students in the professional degree programs. For example, the MPA. is offered jointly with a law degree, through SU’s College of Law, as is the MA in international relations. In each case, students must be admitted to both programs and can complete the degree in three years.

In addition, students pursuing public administration education in an international context sometimes choose to take both the public administration and international relations degrees, earning a dual MPA/MAIR Students take courses in both programs each semester and have access to all the off-campus opportunities of both. Similarly, the IR degree is offered jointly with a master’s in economics. These degrees may be completed in two years of full-time study.

Because of the blend of professional and social-science programs at Maxwell, many students who initially enroll in a professional degree decide to continue on for a doctorate in one of the social sciences—combining, for example, an MPA with a PhD in geography. The Maxwell School encourages the pursuit of concurrent degrees and makes it convenient. A student can earn two degrees for about 80 percent of the credits needed for the two separately.

Recently, Maxwell has entered into academic partnerships with other schools to create cross-disciplinary master’s programs focused on fields and careers that draw from both disciplines. These include:

  • The Master of Science in Public Relations and Master of Arts in International Relations, which combines curricula from Maxwell’s international relations program with that of SU’s Newhouse School of Public Communications to create a degree for professionals who craft messages and communicate on behalf of internationally active organizations—not just governments, but nonprofits, NGOs, and businesses, as well.
  • The Master’s in Documentary Film and History, a joint program of SU’s Newhouse School and Maxwell’s history department, intended for both historians and filmmakers interested in the medium’s proven potential to change society.
  • The Master’s in Public Health, a professional degree offered in conjunction with nearby Upstate Medical University, a teaching hospital of the State University of New York system.

Additionally, Maxwell’s Executive Education program administers a 12-credit certificate program in health services management and policy, in association with SU’s Whitman School of Management.