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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Public Administration & International Affairs

MA in International Relations

Language Requirement

Competence in a second language is especially important to success in a career in international affairs. In addition to developing depth of expertise in a specific career track or regional concentration, you must demonstrate a working knowledge of a second modern spoken foreign language, particularly one that relates to your area of study. As a graduation requirement, students must demonstrate competence in a second language, at least at a level which is achieved after completing two years of formal, university-level language instruction in the language. International students whose native language is not English can count English as their second language (in these cases we will accept the TOEFL or IELTS as documentation).

Competence in a second language can be demonstrated in several ways. You may present a college or university transcript showing completion of study in the language at the level of the fourth semester of instruction (specifically through the advanced intermediate level, see ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for "Intermediate High" proficiency in speaking, writing, listening and reading). You may sit for a proficiency test (which may be able to be administered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at Syracuse University in language offered by SU, otherwise you may wish to seek an outside proctor for a fee) and provide the documentation to our Department.  For certification of competence in languages which are not offered at Syracuse University, it is the student's responsibility to identify a competent examiner who can assess and document your proficiency (for example, the services provided by Language Testing International).

All MAIR students entering the program starting in the fall of 2013 will need to identify the language in which they plan to meet this requirement, describe how this language relates to their area of study and ultimate career goals, and provide documentation that demonstrates they have met this proficiency level expected within the last 5 years.  If the student has not met the requirement at the time of admission we will recommend that the student pursue language study for credit at the graduate level in lieu of an elective to ensure that the student meets our requirement.  Students are strongly encouraged to pursue language study prior to entry if they have yet to meet this requirement.