The MIA degree program requires two years (four semesters) of full-time study and completion of 48 credit hours. Students must take six core courses (18 credit hours) as well as three courses (9 credit hours) in each of two concentrations. During the summer between their first and second year, students must complete an internship or a language immersion experience. In their final semester, students will work on a capstone project alongside a faculty member and a group of peers.
Students are required to take the following five core courses (15 credit hours), which will help them acquire foundational knowledge and critical skills for international public service:
Students in the national security and diplomacy track must also take the following course:
Students in the international development and economic policy track must also take the following course:
MIA students must select a track (either national security and diplomacy or international development and economic policy) and a minimum of two concentrations that will enable them to focus their studies on areas of interest. One concentration must come from within their track. The other may be chosen from any MIA or Master of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) concentration, or students may choose to create their own concentration.
The curriculum as described above creates a degree plan consisting of six core courses (18 credit hours) and two concentrations of three courses each (6 courses; 18 credit hours). To complement the program of study thus constructed, every degree student in the Master of International Affairs selects four additional courses that maximize their professional development. These courses can be any course offered in the Bush School (either in international affairs or in our MPSA program) or any graduate course offered elsewhere in the University. A student may also use these "free electives" to create a third concentration.
The final component of the international affairs degree at the Bush School is a capstone seminar (3 credit hours) in the student's second year. During the capstone, each student is a member of a small team working under the supervision of a faculty member on a problem of interest to a client, usually a government agency or a nongovernmental organization. The capstone replaces a traditional thesis in order to provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world situation.
A foreign language background is not required for admission into the program. To graduate, however, a student must successfully pass a foreign language exam administered in accordance with the ratings of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The student must demonstrate a minimal proficiency in speaking and comprehension at the established rating of “intermediate low.”
During the summer term between the two years of study, a student is required to either participate in an internship related to the student’s international career plans or enroll in an intensive foreign language and cultural study. Internships in the United States or abroad provide practical experience in an organization or agency engaged in the conduct of some dimension of world affairs. Students who require more preparation to successfully complete the foreign language test requirement or who wish to improve their language skills may substitute enrollment in an approved immersion program in place of the internship.