The MPA/IR Joint Degree Option


The joint MPA/IR option allows students to enroll in the two programs simultaneously and pursue a 58-credit joint professional degree in Public Administration and International Relations. The joint program is structured to allow you to fulfill the requirements for both programs within a two-year time frame. Students can usually also take advantage of the full range of global program offerings available.  

Maxwell’s MPA program delivers excellent preparation for the challenges of management in the public sector and provides a rich context for the professional study of public policy analysis.  The Master of Arts in International Relations emphasizes integrative interdisciplinary social science perspectives and practical and collaborative experiences that enable students to deal with global issues of governance and policy.

The interaction between the spheres of international relations and public administration makes the joint MPA/IR option an invaluable experience for students seeking a career which values the combination of international expertise and public management skills. The joint program offers excellent preparation for professions in government, global consulting firms, NGOs, and international organizations.

Application and Requirements 

Students wishing to undertake the dual course of study may apply directly to the joint degree program.  Students fulfill the core courses, specializations, and exit requirements for both programs. Upon completion of these requirements, students are awarded two degrees, the MPA and the MA in International Relations. An overview of the joint degree requirements can be found below:

MPA/IR Application and Requirements
IR CORE (6 credits):  PA & IR CORE (9 credits):  PA CORE (10 credits): 
International Actors & Issues  Economics for Public Decisions  Public Affairs Colloquium (1 credit)
Research Design for the IR Practitioner  Introduction to Statistics  Public Budgeting
  MGMT Core (select 1):  Public Administration and Democracy 
  Challenges of International Quantitative Analysis 
  Management & Leadership   
  Public Organizations & Mgmt  
(select one, 3 credits): 
(6 credits): 
History of International Relations    MPA Workshop 
Economic Dimensions of Global Power   Executive Leadership 
Comparative Foreign Policy     
Culture in World Affairs     
Development & Sustainability     
IR CAREER TRACK (12 credits):    PA AREA OF STUDY COURSES (9 credits): 
International Economics, Finance & Trade    International and Development Administration 
Democracy, Development & Humanitarian Assistance   State and Local Government Financial Management and Analysis 
Governance, Diplomacy & International Organizations    Social Policy 
(Aging, Health, Education & Welfare) 
Peace, Security and Conflict    Public and Nonprofit Management 
    International and National Security Policy
IR OPEN ELECTIVE COURSE (3 credits)   Environmental Policy and Administration 
    Technology and Information Management 
IR Total: 24 credits  Shared Total: 9 credits  PA Total: 25 credits
MPA/IR DEGREE TOTAL: 58 credits     


NOTE: Participation in a Professional Internship is a required part of your MAIR program. At least one IR Career Track course must be an internship relevant to your program of study.  

There are several ways to structure your joint degree program. Your particular plan  will vary based on your curricular interests and desire to study abroad or off-campus.