Your degree will prepare you to lead through service

SIS graduate degrees equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a difference in our complex and interconnected world, whether in government, non-profits, or business. SIS offers nearly 20 degree programs, including:

  • two-year, on-campus master’s degrees
  • an executive degree for mid-career professionals
  • an online master’s degree in international relations
  • a one-year master’s degree for partner institutions
  • an interdisciplinary doctoral program for international relations scholars
  • an undergraduate degree in international studies

Connect with SIS

Sign up to receive email notifications about upcoming events, application deadlines, and opportunities to connect with the SIS community.

Sign Up

Master's degrees

Development Management is for those who have at least two years' prior field experience and a strong applied and practical focus. You'll work on development projects and programs, capacity building, organization or institution building, NGO management, or monitoring and evaluation in developing countries or among disadvantaged communities abroad. You can use the elective concentration courses, such as gender and development, environment and development, or social entrepreneurship, to focus on a sector of your choice or to deepen your management skills.

More on DM program

Offered jointly through the School of International Service and the Department of Philosophy and Religion in AU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs program offers an ethical approach to contemporary global problems. The purpose of this interdisciplinary program is to prepare you in the practical application of ethical theory and policy analysis so you can approach difficult ethical choices in global affairs.

More on EPGA program

The Global Environmental Policy program helps you understand causes of environmental harm and identify ways to build a more sustainable world. Particular areas of program focus include climate change, sustainable energy, water, food and agriculture, environment and development, peacebuilding, and urban design and sustainability.

More on GEP program

The Global Media program offers you a unique opportunity to learn international communication theory while developing professional production skills. You will take courses from SIS and AU’s School of Communication that emphasize strategic communication, data analysis, public and cultural diplomacy, and global media. Our hands-on courses are designed to hone your writing skills over a broad range of media and introduce you to filmmaking, newswriting, digital imaging, web design, and photography.

More on GM program

The Intercultural and International Communication program prepares emerging global leaders to shape communication at the international, inter-organizational, and interpersonal levels. The first program of its kind in the United States, the program's faculty and alumni continue to lead the field in concentrations, including public and cultural diplomacy, international education, intercultural relations, global social media, technology and policy, and global health communication.

More on IC program

The Comparative and Regional Studies program encompasses Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, and Islamic Studies. Innovative in its use of comparative inquiry, the program enables you to gain knowledge of specific countries while engaging in cross-regional analysis. Our program provides a distinctive education and the ability to apply advanced theoretical tools to a world region of which you have deep, substantive knowledge.

More on CRS program

The Global Governance, Politics, and Security program takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding relations among states and societies. Our graduates find careers in multilateral organizations, government agencies, the private sector, and NGOs. In the program, you will apply global historical, political, and economic dynamics to contemporary policy problems and learn analytical techniques and professional competencies in order to make sense of data and turn rigorous analysis into policy innovation and practical action.

More on GGPS program

This interdisciplinary program provides you with the range of skills needed to understand contemporary international economic and financial problems. Our focus on using analytical tools from economics and political science to examine international trade, finance, investment, development, and governance distinguishes our program.

More on IER program

Natural Resources and Sustainable Development is a dual master’s degree in which you will receive degrees from both American University and the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica, where you’ll spend your second and third semesters. American University offers international relations and environmental politics studies and unique exposure to Washington, DC, policy institutions and NGOs, while the University for Peace provides practical experience in sustainable development. Courses are taught in English, with mandatory free Spanish instruction provided for one year.

More on NRSD program

The United States Foreign Policy and National Security program presents courses on defense policy; intelligence; the formulation and implementation of foreign policy; and the social, political, economic, strategic, and historical underpinnings of U.S. foreign policy. It is a rigorous course of study that combines considerable programmatic flexibility with the benefits of specialization in a concentration you select.

More on USFP program

For more than 40 years, the International Development program has trained students to participate effectively in driving socio-economic, political, and environmental change throughout the world. The program's primary focus is improving opportunities for the world's poor and disenfranchised. It has one of the largest concentrations of faculty both teaching and researching international development and has approximately 1,200 alumni in development-related positions around the world.

More on ID program

This program is offered by the School of International Service in cooperation with AU’s Department of Economics and is designed for those who have previously majored or minored in economics and wish to apply substantive economic analysis in the international spectrum. The program offers a rigorous mix of theoretical, empirical, and policy-oriented courses in economics, political economy, and policymaking focused on international trade and finance.

More on IE program

The International Peace and Conflict Resolution program is the premier choice for those seeking careers related to conflict and peace. We prepare graduates to be peacebuilders in a wide variety of professional settings and political contexts. You will gain deep insight into the causes and impacts of war. You will learn the strategies and practices for resolving armed conflict and for preventing its resurgence, and you will learn to stand with populations impacted by war so that they can be collaborative agents of peaceful transformation. The program is committed to contributing to sustainable peace by addressing root causes and overt manifestations of violent conflict.

More on IPCR program

International Relations Online offers you a foundation in the international relations field and the chance to gain specialized expertise through concentrations in global security, international development, international negotiation and conflict resolution, and U.S. foreign policy and national security. Classes are delivered to you on an engaging learning platform—wherever you are located around the globe—and combine self-paced content with live virtual class sessions. No other highly ranked program offers a comparable online master’s degree in international relations

More on IR Online program

The Social Enterprise program has the flexibility for you to build a master's degree around your passions. It's a way to engage with other activist students who want to use business techniques to drive social change, either by creating a new venture or leading change in an existing NGO, agency, or company. You'll have a hands-on, practitioner-oriented experience and will apply what you learn about innovation in the classroom to real-world problems.

International Studies Track

The international studies track is designed for you if you are currently enrolled or have recently completed a master's-level program in international affairs or a related field at a partner institution. You’ll benefit from cross-continental academic experiences that augment your educational and personal development. Graduates from the program are conferred a dual degree from SIS and the partner institution. 

More on MIS program

Executive Degree

The executive track is designed for professionals with at least seven years of professional experience. As a true executive program, the program places emphasis on decision-making, strategic communication, leading multicultural workforces, and change and crisis management. Additionally, you will be offered a wide variety of possible concentrations in fields such as foreign and security policy, peace and conflict resolution, international negotiation, and international development. Most course offerings are available after business hours to accommodate the needs of part-time students. Both on-campus and online options are available.

More on MIS program

Doctoral Degree

The PhD program trains you to produce new knowledge of the highest scholarly caliber. The program prepares you for a career as a teacher and scholar at universities and research institutes in both the private and public sectors. The core curriculum covers the foundational fields of international studies: international relations, comparative and regional studies, and social theory. You will pick one of eight concentrations and also take a three-course, multiple-methodology sequence that introduces you to the major qualitative and quantitative research techniques used in the social sciences today. SIS provides you with generous financial support, which includes tuition remission and a stipend, both of which can be renewed for up to four years. You will have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on their teaching and research

More on PhD program

Certificates

A certificate awarded by American University's School of International Service is a symbol of professional achievement widely recognized by international organizations, non-profit agencies, corporate and government employers. SIS graduate certificates are credit programs designed for individuals who want an advanced academic credential without necessarily enrolling in a degree program. Applicants to Graduate Certificate programs at SIS are not required to submit GRE scores.