Jun 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

International Affairs, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies


  • Security and Diplomacy
  • Society and Development


The M.A. in International Affairs is a professional degree program which prepares students for careers in public and private organizations with global missions by developing their critical thinking, analytical writing, and public speaking skills, while learning and applying international relations theories to analyze major trends and events in world politics. 

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • GRE recommended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from an academic source
  • A 500-word statement of purpose which explains why you are applying to the Program
  • Official transcripts

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 30 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements – 6 credit hours
  • Research Methods - 3 Credit Hours
  • Concentration - 9 Credit Hours
  • Electives – 6 Credit Hours minimum
  • Thesis/Non-Thesis – 6 credit hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Research Methods (3 Credit Hours)

Select one:

Concentration (9 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students may pick one of the following concentrations: 

Concentration in Security and Diplomacy -9 Credit Hours

Concentration in Society and Development - 9 Credit Hours

Electives (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

All 5000- and 6000-level courses with prefixes AFA, CPO, INR, LAS, POS, or POT that are open to master’s students are eligible electives.  Elective courses taken outside of the School of INterdisciplinary Global Studies must be approved by the Graduate Director.

Comprehensive Examination

For students in the thesis option, successful completion of the thesis serves in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam. Students in the non-thesis option satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement by submitting a portfolio of written work completed in their couress includeing a major research project.  It will be reviewed and evaluated by a two-or three-person faculty committee.

Thesis/Non Thesis (6 Credit Hours Minimum)


Students must enroll in POS 6971 Thesis: Master’s   for a minimum of 6 credit hours. In their thesis, students must provide new insight into a relevant topic in international affairs. As students approach the thesis stage, they need to compose a thesis committee consisting of a major professor, who must be a member of the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, and two readers. One of the two readers can be from another department, but that person must first be approved by the Graduate Director. Students must prepare a written thesis and defend their work in a formal oral presentation before their committee.


Students who choose not to write a thesis take an additional six (6) credit hours of graduate coursework in the School of Interdiscipilnary Global Studies, or another department at USF.


Other Requirements

Students may apply a maximum of three (3) credit hours of POS 6909 Independent Study  and three (3) credit hours of POS 6919 Directed Research  toward degree requirements.