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Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR): 30-Credit Comprehensive Option


The program is offered by the Department of Government and Politics and the Center for International Development & Conflict Management in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The program provides training for students with career goals centered in research and analysis that require sophisticated applied research and analysis of international relations issues.

Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. Students should contact Meqdad Ali via email: maali@umd.edu.

Overview

The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) has a 30-credit, 10-course curriculum that includes coursework in international political economy, international security, international law, and statistical methods of data analysis for international relations research questions.

  • Emphasizes developing research and analysis skills based on a solid background in international relations theory and quantitative empirical research.
  • Provides training for students with career goals centered in research and analysis that require sophisticated applied research and analysis of international relations issues.
  • Focuses on developing research skills for quantitative analyses of international relations issues in response to a growing need and recognition for analysts who can design and conduct statistical analyses on pressing international problems.
  • Program graduates will be ideally suited for a wide variety of careers in academia, government, journalism, law, non-governmental organizations, and international business.

Program Features

  • Plan of study includes eight courses that focus on international relations theory, international political economy, international security, and international law and institutions and two courses that focus on applied methods in the quantitative analysis of international relations. 
  • Courses are offered in a specific sequence. Students must enroll in the order in which courses are offered each semester.
  • Three foundational courses (9 credits) and seven core courses (21 credits) complete the program.

30-Credit Comprehensive Option

  • 30-credit option includes fifteen credits (five 3-credit courses) in the first year of study and fifteen credits (five 3-credit courses) in the second year of study.
  • Can be completed in eighteen months of continuous full-time enrollment. See Designation of Full-time/Part-time Status.
  • Designed for working professionals, students can earn a University of Maryland degree while continuing to work full-time with minimal disruption to personal and professional life.
  • Students assessed program tuition for all courses.

Courses

Below is a listing of all program courses. For a detailed course description that includes pre-requisites or co-requisites, see The Graduate School Catalog, Course Listing as follows: GVPT Course Descriptions.

Category Course Number Title
Foundational GVPT604 Introduction to War and Armed Conflict in World Politics
Foundational GVPT605 Introduction to Conflict and Cooperation in the World Economy
Foundational GVPT606 Introduction to International Law and Institutions
Core GVPT622 Quantitative Methods of Political Science
Core GVPT708 Seminar in International Relations Theory
Core GVPT729 Quantitative Analyses of International Political Economy and International Security
Core GVPT761 International Political Economy
Core GVPT803 Seminar in International Political Organizations
Core GVPT808 The Impact of International Economics and Security on Developing Countries
Core GVPT879 The Political Economy of International Power and Security Policy

Registration Overview

  • See the sample plan of study, below. Students should use this as a guide to develop a plan with the academic program director. 
  • Actual course offerings are determined by the program and may vary semester to semester. Students should note if a course has a pre-requisite or co-requisite. 
  • Specific class meeting information (days and time) is posted on UMD’s interactive web service services, Testudo. Once on that site, select “Schedule of Classes,” then the term/year. Courses are listed by academic unit. 
  • The program uses specific section codes for registration, which are listed on the sample plan of study.

Full-time, Sample Plan

Semester Category Year Course Number Section Code Credits
Fall Foundational 1 GVPT604 PCR* 3
Spring Foundational 1 GVPT605 PCR* 3
Spring Foundational 1 GVPT606 PCR* 3
Fall Core 2 GVPT622 PCR* 3
Fall Core 2 GVPT708 PCR* 3
Fall Core 2 GVPT761 PCR* 3
Fall Core 2 GVPT803 PCR* 3
Spring Core 2 GVPT729 PCR* 3
Spring Core 2 GVPT808 PCR* 3
Spring Core 2 GVPT879 PCR* 3

In-Person Learning 

  • Features dynamic and interactive seminar-style in-person learning.
  • Uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in fall and spring semester (16 weeks each).
  • Instruction provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field.
  • Classes meet in UMD College Park campus classrooms, offering a focused, distraction-free learning environment.
  • Students enrolled in a program that features in-person instruction are required to submit the University’s Immunization Record Form prior to the first day of their first semester/term. See Health Requirements.

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Articulate the central theoretical approaches to studying international political economy, international security, and international law and institutions as well as debates among researchers regarding the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches.
  • Identify and apply different IR theoretical approaches that can be drawn upon to study research questions and to assess how useful different theoretical approaches are to studying a given research question.
  • Interpret and explain quantitative empirical findings on international political economy, international security, and international law and institutions as well as debates among researchers regarding the strengths and weaknesses of these empirical studies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of different statistical models that can be used to test theories and hypotheses on international relations and the advantages and limitations of alternative statistical models.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles, theories, and concepts involved with quantitative research designs used to study research questions in international relations.
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