Master of Science in International Relations


Program Description

Master of Science in International Relations

In an increasingly interdependent world, it is important for professionals to have an understanding of the complex issues that go beyond our own borders. Virginia International University's Master of Science in International Relations is a graduate-level degree that arms students with the tools to not only understand the implications of global issues in today's world, but to work in a dynamic and fast-paced professional environment.

Graduates from VIU's Master of International Relations Program will be able to build careers in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, international organizations such as the World Bank, IMF, or United Nations; non-profit organizations; federal and local government agencies; multi-national corporations; non-governmental organizations; intergovernmental organizations; humanitarian organizations; news outlets; and many more.

The M.I.R. program offers two (2) concentration areas for students to choose from:

  • International Economic Development
  • International Business

Degree at Glance

The program consists of seven (7) Core Courses and students have the choice any three (3) Concentration courses as well as two (2) Elective courses. The elective courses provide the opportunity for the students to develop further competencies covered in the core courses, based on their area of interest.

Required Courses

Students in the M.I.R. program will take twelve (12) classes. These include seven (7) core courses, three (3) concentration courses, and two (2) electives. Students may be asked to take up to three (3) prerequisite courses depending on the area of their undergraduate studies. All students in the program take the same seven core courses. Students in different concentrations take different concentration courses. Each graduate class is worth three (3) credits. To complete the program, students should accumulate 36 credits.

  1. Students enrolled in the graduate program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B), out of 4.0, and a minimum of grade not less than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, in all courses to qualify for the MPA degree to remain in good academic standing and to graduate. The maximum time frame permitted for the completion of any graduate program is 54 semester credits.
  2. Only graduate-level courses may be applied toward the degree. A master's student may transfer up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited institutions.
  3. Beyond the prerequisites, the student must have completed 36 credit hours, of which 21 credit hours of required core courses and 15 credit hours of elective course must have been earned.
  4. No degree credit is earned by a graduate student for any grade below 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, received in a graduate-level course. However, any grades lower than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, will be calculated in the grade point average.


There are three (3) prerequisite courses for the M.I.R. program. Students who have no previous political science or international affairs background and whose bachelor's degrees did not include the following courses are required to complete these prerequisites: GEC 114, STAT 200, and ENGL 110 or ENGL 120. If students have taken similar courses in their undergraduate studies they may transfer their credits for those courses.


The program objectives of the Master International Relations are designed to enable graduates to be successful in the multitude of employment positions that an M.I.R. degree will garner including, government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and many more. Upon completion of the program, the graduates will be able to:

  • Exhibit global awareness & sensitivity to other cultures
  • Develop the knowledge of the theory and practice of international relations in the current, global arena
  • Exhibit ethical conduct while maintaining awareness of the large responsibilities of serving the global community
  • Analyze and understand the latest developments in the fields of international politics, economics, culture, and law that will lend itself to the field of international relations and public affairs
Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

VIU is a non-profit university committed to setting a new standard in higher education. Through our student-centered approach, we endeavor to provide the most positive environment for learning availab ... Read More

VIU is a non-profit university committed to setting a new standard in higher education. Through our student-centered approach, we endeavor to provide the most positive environment for learning available anywhere. Our programs are structured to allow students great flexibility in the design and direction of their own studies. At the same time, every student is assigned a personal mentor who acts as a guide in course selection and career orientation. VIU offers tuition scholarships to high potential students, because we believe that good education should be available to everyone, including those who do not have the necessary funds to pursue higher education. Read less