MA in International Relations

Core Requirements

The 16-month MAIR Program features five curricular components. 

Students: (1) complete five core courses to prepare them with general knowledge and skills needed in the global workplace; (2) focus their studies by choosing from five comprehensive career tracks, while also integrating regional studies; (3) depending on their chosen Career Track, take one of five interdisciplinary signature courses – courses that draw on the Maxwell School’s expertise in public affairs and up-to-date/cutting edge applied social science research (4) take a capstone course at the end of their second semester in preparation for their summer internship; and (5) complete an internship through one of the Program’s global opportunities. 

More detail on these components is below.

Core Courses

The core course for the MAIR degree cover a series of skills needed for success in the international affairs arena.  For more detail on the core requirements, please consult the Syracuse University Graduate Course Catalog.

Signature Courses

The signature courses draw on Maxwell's competitive strengths in comparative political analysis and cultural studies for international relations. The signature courses are Comparative Foreign Policy (PSC 783), Culture in World Affairs (PAI 707), Development and Sustainability (GEO 606), Economic Dimensions of Global Power (PAI 716), and History of International Relations (HST 645).  


The Capstone Seminar is a one-credit course to be offered during the Maymester, offering professional training to students before they embark on their summer internships.  The object of the seminar is to provide students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a professional (albeit simulated) setting. Students will be engaged in a policy simulation exercise, confronting an alternative future policy problem or crisis.  We see the capstone as the culminating experience of your first year of studies here at Maxwell and as a way to bridge the academic and professional aspects of your education.

Global Internship 

Practical training is an integral part of the MAIR degree program.  As such, all students will be required to complete a 3-credit internship.  The IR Program offers students multiple global program opportunities in the United States and abroad.  See the “Global Programs” section for a more complete description.