Pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations is a great way to gain knowledge and expertise in the field of global politics, economics, and diplomacy. However, the cost of a traditional on-campus program can be a significant financial burden for many students. That’s where online programs come in. Not only do they offer more flexibility in terms of schedule and location, but they can also be more affordable than traditional programs.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best affordable online Masters in International Relations programs that can help you achieve your career goals without breaking the bank. So, whether you’re a working professional looking to advance your career or a recent graduate seeking to specialize in International Relations, this blog is for you. Let’s dive in!
What is a Master’s in International Relations?
A Master’s degree in International Relations is a postgraduate program that focuses on the study of global affairs, international politics, and foreign policy. The program provides students with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of international relations, including the role of states, international organizations, and non-state actors in shaping global affairs.
The curriculum of a Master’s in International Relations program typically covers a wide range of topics, including international law, diplomacy, conflict resolution, global economics, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Students are encouraged to develop their critical thinking skills and to analyze the causes and consequences of global issues such as terrorism, climate change, and poverty.
Is a Masters in International Relations Worth It?
If you are interested in pursuing a career in international relations, you may be wondering if obtaining a master’s degree in this field is worth the investment. In this section, we will explore the benefits of pursuing a master’s degree in international relations and help you determine if it is the right choice for you.
Competitive Edge in the Job Market
One of the most significant benefits of obtaining a master’s degree in international relations is the competitive edge it gives you in the job market. This advanced degree will demonstrate to potential employers that you have a deep understanding of global issues and the skills needed to work in the field of international relations.
Higher Earning Potential
According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, individuals with a master’s degree in international relations can earn an average salary of $82,000 per year. This is significantly higher than the average salary for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in the same field, which is around $54,000 per year.
Opportunities for Career Advancement
A master’s degree in international relations can open up opportunities for career advancement, including leadership positions in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and international corporations. This degree can also help you specialize in a particular area of international relations, such as international law, global security, or diplomacy.
Pursuing a master’s degree in international relations also provides you with the opportunity to build valuable connections in the field. You will have the chance to interact with professors, alumni, and fellow students who share your interests and career aspirations. These connections can help you find job opportunities and advance in your career.
Finally, obtaining a master’s degree in international relations can be personally fulfilling. You will have the chance to learn about global issues, develop critical thinking skills, and engage in thought-provoking discussions with other students and professors. This experience can broaden your perspective and deepen your understanding of the world around you.
Benefits of Pursuing an Online Master’s Degree in International Relations
Are you interested in pursuing a career in international relations, but find it difficult to attend a traditional university program? Pursuing an online master’s degree in international relations could be the solution you are looking for. Here are some benefits of earning your degree online:
Flexibility and Convenience
One of the main benefits of pursuing an online master’s degree in international relations is the flexibility and convenience it offers. With an online program, you can study from anywhere in the world, at any time that works for you. You can fit your studies around your job or other commitments, making it easier to balance your personal and professional life.
An online master’s degree in international relations can open up a world of new opportunities for you. It can help you advance your career in fields such as diplomacy, international business, non-governmental organizations, and more. With an advanced degree, you will be more competitive in the job market and have a wider range of job prospects.
While pursuing an online degree, you will have the opportunity to interact with professionals and students from around the world. This will allow you to build your network and connect with people in your field. These connections can be invaluable when it comes to finding job opportunities or advancing your career.
Online master’s programs in international relations are often more affordable than traditional programs. You can save money on tuition, as well as on expenses such as housing, transportation, and textbooks. This can make earning your degree more accessible and affordable.
Online master’s programs in international relations often offer a variety of specializations, allowing you to tailor your degree to your specific interests and career goals. Specializations may include areas such as international security, global governance, conflict resolution, and more.
Read also: Online Supply Chain Management Degree
How to Choose the Best Affordable Online Masters in International Relations Program
International relations is a fascinating and complex field that involves analyzing the relationships between countries and the impact of globalization on world affairs. Pursuing a master’s degree in international relations can be a significant step toward building a career in this field, but finding an affordable online program can be a daunting task. In this section, we’ll explore some tips for choosing the best affordable online master’s in international relations program.
Consider the Program’s Accreditation
Accreditation is an essential factor to consider when choosing an affordable online master’s in international relations program. Accreditation ensures that the program meets specific academic standards and is recognized by potential employers. Look for programs that are accredited by recognized bodies such as the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
Look for Affordable Programs
Tuition fees are a significant factor to consider when choosing an affordable online master’s in international relations program. Look for programs that offer affordable tuition fees without compromising on the quality of education. Some universities offer reduced tuition fees for online programs, so consider this option when searching for a program.
Check the Curriculum
The curriculum is an essential factor to consider when choosing an affordable online master’s in international relations program. Check if the program covers the topics that interest you and if the curriculum is up-to-date with current events and trends in the field. Look for programs that offer courses that are relevant to your career goals.
Consider the Faculty
The faculty of a program can greatly affect the quality of education you receive. Look for affordable online master’s in international relations programs that have experienced faculty members who are experts in the field. Check their credentials, such as their education and work experience, and read their bios to see if they align with your interests.
Check for Student Support Services
Student support services are essential for an online program, especially for students who are new to online learning. Look for programs that offer student support services such as academic advising, tutoring, and technical support. These services can help ensure that you have a successful learning experience.
Consider Career Services
Career services are an essential factor to consider when choosing an affordable online master’s in international relations program. Look for programs that offer career services such as job placement assistance, resume and cover letter reviews, and networking opportunities. These services can help you build a career in the field after graduation.
International Relations Careers and Salaries
Professionals with a degree in international relations could work for a government agency or an NGO. Other potential employers include businesses that operate internationally, nonprofit organizations, or the military. With this degree, you might even be able to pursue a position in the United Nations! Within such organizations, there are many different job opportunities.
For example, some professionals work as a manager or director of an NGO, a nonprofit, or a government agency. These types of positions may be available at home or abroad. Perhaps you’d like to work as a global economist, or you might have a political science career in mind. Some political scientists are researchers. Others work as policy analysts.
That’s not the only analyst role for which you might be suited. For example, some graduates work as management analysts or consultants for global businesses. With the right background, you may be qualified as a security analyst. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is a range of career paths related to the field of international relations.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Public Relations Managers||$125,780|
|Training and Development Managers||$120,130|
|Operations Research Analysts||$82,360|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$74,000|
|News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists||$48,370|
International business studies could lead to a variety of interesting careers, but it’s strategic to have a goal in mind before beginning your program.
If you have a strong understanding of finance, you might pursue a job as a financial manager. Risk management is a branch of finance that’s especially relevant to international affairs. There could be a classroom career in your future too. Some colleges may hire professionals to teach political science or international relations. Your academic options may be broader if you earn a PhD as well.
With state teaching licensure, this degree could be useful for high school teachers. You could teach classes like government and civics. A masters degree in international relations could also pair well with an established law career. Adding this degree could help you expand into international law. Finally, journalism is a career to consider, as some journalists specialize in international topics.
Master of International Relations Curriculum & Courses
As a student in an international relations program, you’ll take classes that prepare you for working in international settings and with cross-cultural teams.
Your program might include courses similar to the following:
- Comparative Politics: You’ll look at political systems from around the world, compare and contrast the approaches, and consider how governmental structures affect diplomatic strategies.
- Consulting: You might learn how to work as a consultant in global settings—analyzing organizational practices and presenting ideas for improvement.
- Diplomacy: As you discuss foreign policy and relations, you’ll also learn about departments and organizations that play a role in setting policies and building international relationships.
- Global Economics: You’ll discuss factors that influence economic trends—both growth and recession—around the world.
- Globalization: This class will focus on the interconnectedness of nations and how those relationships influence economics, politics, and more.
- International Human Rights: You can study the importance of basic rights for all people and take a look at ways to promote fairness and equality for everyone.
- Population Health: This course will address health equity, health policy, and access to healthcare services for communities around the world.
- Social Science Research: You’ll learn how political scientists and their colleagues conduct research and share their findings.
- Sustainability and Social Responsibility: Your time in this course might focus on the ways that international businesses can contribute to the global good through responsible, ethical operations.
- World Conflict: This course might cover war and terrorism as well as approaches to conflict resolution.
Your program might include case study analyses, an internship, a major research paper, or a capstone project.
MA in International Relations Admissions Requirements
Just as with an online international business degree program. it’s beneficial to pay attention to the admission requirements for online international relations masters programs. They can vary from school to school, so it’s necessary to put together a unique application packet for each college on your list.
Common requirements include:
- GRE or GMAT score (only required at some colleges)
- Professional references
- Transcripts from your bachelor’s degree and any other college programs
- Writing sample or personal statement
Having a minimum college GPA of 3.0, on average, is another common requirement for many masters programs.
Masters Programs in International Relations Accreditation
Regional accreditation is an important factor to consider when selecting a college for your graduate studies. Regionally accredited schools have proven their adherence to set standards, and they’ve demonstrated that they have reputable practices and educate students well.
Accreditation can boost your confidence that you’re investing your time and money wisely. Attending an accredited school is also a requirement for receiving federal financial aid. In addition, other institutions and employers typically appreciate the quality assurance that regional accreditation provides.
When it comes to your academic pursuits, accreditation is often essential for transferring between schools or applying to PhD programs.
Financial Aid and Scholarships for Masters in International Relations?
As you’re getting ready to go back to school, it’s helpful to make your financial aid search a priority. Financial assistance can turn the idea of grad school into a reality.
You can start by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may find out that you’re eligible for state and federal loans. It’s possible that there may be a grant program from which you can receive funding too.
Many colleges offer scholarship programs for some of their grad students. You might be able to pair an institutional scholarship with additional scholarships or fellowships from outside organizations. Sometimes, employers help their team members finance graduate studies. Workplace funding could be an essential part of your financial aid package.
What Can You Do with a Masters in International Relations?
Some professionals with masters degrees in international relations become policy analysts or political scientists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government is the biggest employer of political scientists. There may also be business or banking roles available to those with a background in international relations.
They might deal with risk management, regulatory compliance, or social responsibility. Perhaps they’d work for an American company overseas or in the US office of a foreign-owned company. Graduates might also consider working as a journalist who covers international affairs.
Other still choose to continue their educations in a doctorate program, such as an online PhD in Global Leadership, for example.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree in International Relations Online?
You can generally complete an online international relations graduate program in 2 years or less. Online programs are often designed to have a quicker completion time than on-campus programs. Contributing features include year-round classes and shorter course terms that are usually about 8 weeks each.
Your program’s requirements will also influence how long it takes you to graduate. The fewer credit hours you need, the shorter the studies may be. Also, non-thesis programs may take less time than those requiring a major research project. For example, a 36 credit hour program with no thesis could potentially be completed in 1 year with full-time online studies.
What is the Difference Between International Studies vs. International Relations Master’s Programs?
Graduate-level training in international studies and international relations can both lead to careers with a global focus.
|International Studies||International Relations|
Together, these two disciplines make up the field of international affairs.
What’s the Difference Between a Political Science vs. International Relations Master’s Degree?
If you’re interested in world affairs, you could choose to study political science or international relations.
|Political Science||International Relations|
A political science job could stem from either degree.
Best International Relations Graduate Programs
American Public University
American Public University’s Master of Arts in International Relations and Global Security is available online. Students must choose one of four concentrations: International and Transnational Security Issues, Peacekeeping, Conflict Resolution, or Comparative and Security Issues. Classes start monthly, and each one is 8 or 16 weeks long.
APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
American University offers an online program for a Master of Arts in International Relations. The program requires the completion of 39 credit hours, one weekend immersion experience, and a capstone project. Students in the program take live classes via webcam and participate in discussions and collaborative exercises. The curriculum emphasizes both theory and practice.
American University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an online program for a Master of Arts in International Affairs and Leadership. The program consists of 10 required classes for a total of 30 credit hours. Each class is 7.5 weeks long. The program also requires two weeklong, in-person experiences in Washington, DC, to gain hands-on experience.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Harvard University’s extension school offers a Master’s in International Relations that can be earned online. Most students in the program work full-time and take just one or two courses each semester. Students may use their elective choices to earn a stackable certificate in international security, social justice, or nuclear deterrence.
Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Liberty University offers a 36 credit, online program for a Master of Science in International Relations. Each class is 8 weeks long, and students can typically graduate in 1.5 years. Liberty is a Christian school that focuses on helping students develop leadership skills so they can make an impact on the world.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Norwich University offers a 100% online program for a Master of Arts in International Relations that usually takes about 18 months to finish. Students may choose a concentration in Cyber Diplomacy, National Security, International Security, Regions of the World, or International Development. Norwich caps class sizes at 15 students.
Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Regent University offers a Master of Arts in Government—International Relations that can be earned on campus or online. The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours. The curriculum consists of courses such as International Relations and Cyber Politics, Christian Ethics and the Law of Armed Conflict, and Mid-East Politics.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
St. Mary’s University – San Antonio
At St. Mary’s University—San Antonio, the Master of Arts in International Relations can be completed online, on campus, or in a combination of both. There are two concentrations to choose from: Security Policy or Sustainable Development and Conflict Transformation. Internship opportunities are available in the United States and abroad.
St. Mary’s University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Troy University offers an MS in International Relations with concentrations in Global Studies, National Security Affairs, and Regional Affairs. All concentrations require the completion of 36 credit hours and are available 100% online. Troy’s online classes are each 9 weeks long, and there are five start dates throughout the year.
Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Webster University offers a flexible program for a Master’s in International Relations that has full-time and part-time scheduling options. Students may study abroad and have the opportunity to earn a dual MBA. Webster offers classes online and at multiple campus locations, in a traditional semester format, and in 8 or 9 week blocks.
Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
What are the career options after completing a Master’s in International Relations?
A Master’s degree in International Relations can prepare you for a wide range of career paths. Some common career options include:
- Diplomacy: Many graduates of International Relations programs pursue careers in diplomacy, working for their country’s foreign service or international organizations such as the United Nations or the European Union.
- International Development: Another popular career path is international development, where graduates can work for non-governmental organizations or government agencies to promote economic and social development in developing countries.
- Journalism: Graduates can also pursue careers in journalism, reporting on global events and issues for news organizations.
- Consulting: Consulting firms often hire graduates with a Master’s in International Relations to advise clients on international business or political risks.
- Academia: A Master’s degree in International Relations can also prepare you for a career in academia, where you can teach and conduct research in the field.
In conclusion, pursuing an affordable online Master’s degree in International Relations can be a smart investment for individuals looking to advance their careers in global affairs. With the increasing globalization of businesses and political systems, there is a growing demand for professionals with specialized knowledge in international relations. Fortunately, many accredited universities now offer flexible and affordable online programs that allow students to balance their work and personal lives while pursuing higher education.
By choosing an affordable online Master’s program in International Relations, students can gain a competitive edge in the job market, enhance their knowledge and skills in global affairs, and make a positive impact on society. Whether you aspire to work in government, NGOs, international organizations, or multinational corporations, an online Master’s degree in International Relations can help you achieve your career goals. So, start exploring your options today and take the first step towards a brighter future in the field of international relations.