M.A. in International Studies
University of San Francisco - College of Arts & Sciences
San Francisco, USA
USD 30,200 / per year *
Earliest start date
* tuition costs per year are estimates only; costs may vary based on actual enrollment in classes
SF’s Master of Arts in International Studies is a two-year program, which provides students with in-depth, interdisciplinary knowledge of the issues and challenges that face the global community. Our curriculum focuses on the development and the environment, political and economic aspects of globalization, human rights, peace and conflict resolution, and international law and organizations.
Our students graduate with the skills needed for a variety of careers, including international and governmental affairs, advocacy work, policy and project development, foreign service, international non-governmental organizations, international development, and further graduate study.
Our students arrive on campus from all over the world, representing different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. That diversity makes our classrooms rich and dynamic, with perspectives and experiences that cross generations and borders.
Our internship program provides an opportunity for students to gain practical professional work experience by working at one of the many international studies-related organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. Our students have completed internships across five continents.
Our professors are not only scholars, they've also held leadership positions in governmental and non-governmental agencies. They’re activists in fields such as development, regional conflicts, refugees, law, human rights, environmental protection, and indigenous rights.
The San Francisco Advantage
San Francisco is a vibrant, intellectual, global environment, and our campus is uniquely situated in the middle of it all. Students take advantage of our location through internships, volunteering, and attending talks and activities at the World Affairs Council, the Commonwealth Club, and nearby academic institutions.
The Master of Arts in International Studies program provides a comprehensive perspective on international issues, including globalization, development, peace and conflict, human rights and international law. It prepares students for careers in international affairs, including non-governmental organizations, foreign service, and international organizations.
The International Studies program is a two-year, 34-unit program that begins each fall and consists of the following:
- Elective and skills courses
- A research methods course
- Final capstone thesis or applied project
- Proficiency in a language other than English
- Summer fieldwork and research opportunities are available
Choose a core concentration to gain expertise in a subject area aligned with your passions and career goals in International Studies. Each concentration will let you develop closer working relationships with faculty and fellow students.
Culture, Power, and Social Movements
In this concentration, examine the role of culture, the meaning of identity and belonging in a globalized world. Explore theories of social change as a way to better understand how they shape contemporary global processes. Analyze diverse social and political movements, constituted through race, class, gender, religion, and other forms of inequality. Learn how to effectively address the most critical issues facing our world today.
Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice
Evaluate government, agency, and practitioner programs aimed at economic growth, poverty reduction, and environmental protections. Topics include:
- the relationship between development and environmentalism
- how development impacts communities
- the ways in which local strategies, beliefs, and movements shape development
Governance and Global Justice
Explore the meaning of justice and the best practices for international enforcement. Consider the relationship between local efforts to promote and protect human rights and the global entities and processes that makeup world governing systems.
You will participate in a 120-hour minimum internship experience. Program staff, faculty, and the Career Services Center can help you find an internship related to your interests and expertise. You can intern at an organization anywhere in the world. Typically the internship is completed in the summer between the first and second year of study.
The program provides a comprehensive perspective on international issues, including globalization, development, peace and conflict, regional problems, human rights, and international law that prepares students for careers in international affairs, including non-governmental organizations, foreign service, and international organizations.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master of Arts in International Studies program, students will be able to:
- Understand the major structural, cultural, and relational shifts that have emerged in response to globalization from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, with a special emphasis on non-state actors
- Identify key organizations, institutions, and global and regional norms and how they interact with sub-state forces to shape policy, advocacy, and social movements
- Develop an understanding of the diverse aspects of global civil society and the political, economic, legal, environmental, social and cultural forces that are shaping contemporary global issues through the local-global connection
- Demonstrate an ability to critically engage categories of cultural difference and diversity and evaluate their influence on a contemporary phenomenon
- Utilize mixed research methodologies, an interdisciplinary perspective, and community engagement skills to analyze key issues in international studies
Scholarships and Funding
Master in International Studies Specific Financial Aid
Our program offers several scholarships that are awarded to students on a competitive basis, as well as teaching and research assistantship opportunities.
Program scholarships are merit-based scholarships awarded to new students. They are limited in number and vary in amount and cover part of tuition costs. Scholarship awards will be indicated in your admission letter. Applications completed by February 15 give priority consideration for a program scholarship.
- Rue W. Ziegler Research and Travel Scholarships are awarded to assist students with the costs of conducting their capstone project research and travel related to research and conferences. These scholarships, which are limited in number, are awarded in three cycles — summer, fall, and spring.
- The Schmidt Family Foundation Fellowship is awarded to a student who is focusing their research on topics related to the environment, sustainability, and agriculture and food security. This fellowship is awarded once per year.
- The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program is for returning Peace Corps volunteers who wish to pursue a graduate degree. Recipients receive financial support equal to at least 25 percent of tuition and mandatory fees of the MAIS program.
Teaching and Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships – Each semester, several teaching assistantships are available to qualified students to assist faculty with introductory International Studies courses. Current students can apply. Opportunities are posted every August and January in the MAIS newsletter.
Research Assistantships – Occasionally faculty have funds to hire research assistants. These are advertised, when they become available, through the MAIS newsletter.
Our graduates pursue careers in government and foreign service, global and community service, nonprofit management and advocacy, and development and social responsibility. Some students may also pursue further study in international studies in a PhD program.
a partial list:
- African Diaspora Network
- African Women's Development Fund
- Alterna Center for Social Innovation
- American Red Cross
- Amnesty International
- Asian Law Caucus
- Bay Area Immigration
- Consortium of Universities for Global Health
- Credit Suisse
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Fair Trade USA
- Foundation for Sustainable Development
- Future Worlds Center
- German American Chamber of Commerce
- Give 2 Asia
- Global Fund for Women
- International Rescue Committee
- Jubilee USA
- Mekong Energy & Ecology Network
- Mission Housing Development Corporation
- Nestbuilders International
- Pivot Learning Partners
- Reintegration International
- Royal Norwegian Consulate General
- Sacred Heart
- Silicon Valley Innovation Center
- The Women's Foundation
- UN Development Project
- West Coast Children's Clinic
- World Affairs Council of Northern California
a partial list:
- Claremont Graduate University
- George Mason University
- John F. Kennedy University
- Rutgers University
- University of California Los Angeles
- University of Wisconsin
English Language Requirements
Certify your English proficiency with the Duolingo English Test! The DET is a convenient, fast, and affordable online English test accepted by over 4,000 universities (like this one) around the world.