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International Relations, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #801 (QS) , CA,
A Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego offers students the chance to deepen their understanding of world politics while developing the necessary skills to advance their careers.


The USD Master of Arts in International Relations mixes academic and professional instruction in an effort to connect theory and practice, both substantively and pedagogically. Our courses are all organized in seminar or semi-seminar format, with close faculty-student interaction.

  • Classic academic seminars survey the rich theoretical traditions in international relations and comparative politics. They are normally offered by the permanent faculty in the department, all with PhDs from distinguished universities.
  • Professional seminars and workshops focus on empirical and policy challenges and are typically led by guests from outside the university.
  • The research design short course adds a methodological component to the academic side of the program.
  • Short course workshops and some of our semester long seminars (not to mention our international courses) bring accomplished professionals into the program.

More and more often, attractive professional opportunities require postgraduate degrees and international careers require political sophistication.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Law of the Sea
  • Research Methods
  • Research Design 
  • Comparative Politics
  • Politics in Latin America

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    30 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3.2

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3.2 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • At least some academic preparation from courses in political science, history, economics, and/or other subjects relevant to international affairs; students do not need to have majored in these fields as long as they have strong intellectual aptitude and international interest
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Minimum GRE scores of 50 to 60 per cent ranking on the verbal section, 40 to 50 per cent ranking on the quantitative section, and 50 per cent ranking or 4.0 on the analytical section. All applicants are required to take the GRE, other examinations are cannot be substituted for this requirement.
  • Official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended; transcripts that do not bear the registrar's signature and/or institutional seal or not official. Institutions that can send secure electronic transcripts can send them to International applicants must have their transcripts processed and should contact graduate admissions for details.
  • Three letters of recommendation (normally at least two from academic referees)
  • A current resume
  • A statement of purpose (500 words) explaining why you are pursuing a MAIR degree and why USD is the proper fit for your aspirations
  • An application form
  • An application fee of $45 (checks should be made out to University of San Diego)

Tuition Fee

  • International

    1495 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1495 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    1495 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1495 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.
  • In-State

    1495 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1495 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

*cost per unit

Living costs for San Diego

  • 1400 - 2460 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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