Online Masters Degrees in International Relations

If you have an interest in doing your part to preserve relationships between different countries, then you could be well-suited to enroll in an online Masters in International Relations degree program. Such programs are aimed at providing scholars with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand, build and sustain cultural, economic and political relations between nations. Depending on the program and your specific career goals, you may be prepared for either a career in the private or academic sector. If you prefer to learn at your own pace and would like to work while completing a degree program, you could be better suited for an online distance learning program rather than a traditional on-campus program.[i]

Common Coursework for Students Enrolled in a Masters in International Relations Program

The specific courses in which students enroll while earning their masters degrees in international relations often vary from school to school. However, there are some common classes you are more likely to take. Such fundamental courses include:[ii]

  • International Political Economy: Here students pinpoint the international economic and political influences molding international development. Instructors may also concentrate on the politics shaping decisions regarding the economy
  • International Development Environments: This course provides international relations scholars with knowledge of the basics of international development as students study environments scattered around the world. You might conduct analysis on theories, history, changing definitions and management as they’re related to international development
  • Global Religions and Belief Systems: Students take a close look at the religious practices, traditions and beliefs of different cultures around the globe. Examples of such religions include Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity. The course is likely to focus on the differences as well as the similarities between these religions
  • Social Marketing and International Development: This particular international relations graduate program course takes a look at how marketing and advertising techniques and ideas address social issues and influence citizens. Instructors could also give scholars the chance to study how international development programs are used for social and economic reasons

Concentration Options for an International Relations Graduate Program[iii]

Some online Masters in International Relations programs offer students the opportunity to concentrate their studies on a specific aspect of the degree area. Programs that offer an international security concentration might include such courses as international security, American foreign policy and international relations. The targeted program may be geared toward conflict avoidance, learning about military intervention and post-conflict reconstruction.

If you’re more intrigued by the concept of cyber diplomacy, you might be able to find a Masters in International Relations program that offers a policy track as well as a technical track, allowing you to focus your studies even more. The policy track could be composed of coursework concentrating on cyber policy, international relations and the international system. Courses for the technical track might be more focused on studies in cyber systems and major theories concerning international relations.

No matter your concentration, you’re likely to have to compose a research paper in order to complete the masters program and earn your degree. You could be paired with an international relations department faculty member as you develop a paper pertaining to a topic of your own choosing. There’s also a chance the program includes a residency requirement where you might engage with other students and instructors.

What International Relations Career May I Pursue?

Once you’ve graduated from an international relations graduate program, you may be ready to start on your professional career path. One option is to pursue a career as a political scientist who examines the evolution, creation and operation of political systems. Some of the primary subfields you’re likely to research include political theory, international relations and comparative politics.[iv]

If you prefer to teach the next generation, you might like the idea of jumpstarting a career as a postsecondary political science teacher. While a PhD is normally required to to pursue a career as a postsecondary teacher in a four-year colleges and universities, you may be able to pursue a teaching position at a community college with a masters degree. You could also pursue a position as a postsecondary teacher if a college or university employer feels you are a doctoral degree program candidate, but this might only apply to certain specialties or a part-time job. What’s more is that having experience might aid you in pursuing a career or technical school.[v] As for job outlook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports postsecondary teachers are likely to see a 13 percent increase from 2014 to 2024.[vi] Median annual pay for the position in 2014 was $70,790.[vii]

Consider enrolling in an online Masters in International Relations program today. Options are offered all over the world, and enrolling in an online degree program might make it easier for you to attend a school you like that’s located in a far location. Explore your options and take the first step in taking part in international relations.

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii]