Accelerate Your Global Career Combine your BA with an SIS MA degree

The Combined BA/MA program is an opportunity for advanced AU undergraduate students to begin a professional master’s degree program in international affairs while completing your bachelor’s degree. By taking shared courses that count towards the requirements of both degrees, our BA/MA option can open doors to more advanced careers more quickly,  saving you time and money.

Potential Benefits

  • Save upwards of $22,000 in tuition costs by sharing credits between the two degrees. But there are credit limits, so please talk to your academic advisor early.
  • Reduce the overall time required to earn both degrees.
  • Obtain a competitive edge in the job market.
  • Earn an advanced degree from a top 10-ranked, DC-based professional school of international affairs.
  • Enjoy unique curricular flexibility so you can work or intern in DC while completing your graduate training.

Program Details

  • Undergraduate students may apply up to 15 credit hours of approved, graduate-level coursework to satisfy both degrees’ requirements.
  • Shared credits vary depending on a student’s current major/minor and master’s degree program.
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours in graduate studies must be completed in residence after the undergraduate degree has been awarded.
  • Interested students should meet with their academic advisor and are encouraged to meet with a career advisor.

Example of Credit Sharing

Example of an SIS undergraduate student combining a master’s degree in Global Governance, Politics & Security.

Example of an SIS undergraduate student combining a master’s degree in Global Governance, Politics & Security.
Graduate Course Semester Application in BA Application in MA

SIS-619 Statebuilding

Fall (Senior)

GCG Thematic

Concentration

SIS-707 History of Global Politics

Fall (Senior)

GCG Thematic

Core Course

SIS-681 Intelligence & Foreign Policy

Spring (Senior)

Elective

Concentration

SIS-708 Foundations of Global Security

Spring (Senior)

PGSCR Thematic

Core Course

Eligibility

Admission to the combined BA/MA program requires completion of 75 credit hours. Interested students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor earlier to discuss academic plan. SIS also welcomes applications from non-SIS AU undergraduate students seeking a career in the field of international affairs. Non-SIS students should meet with the advisor as early as possible to discuss credit-sharing opportunities.

Program Options

The following SIS MA programs are available for the BA/MA combination:

Scholarship Process

BA/MA students will be considered for SIS scholarship before they commence their MA programs. Students will be contacted in the final semester of their BA for an updated resume, and will then be added to the pool of students for funding consideration. All students, whether awarded funding or not, will be notified.

BA/MA Application Checklist

  1. Meet with your undergraduate advisor to learn more about the BA/MA program (please note that this is not required for you to submit an application).
  2. Complete online graduate application by submitting the following documents (more details):
    • Online application form
    • Resume
    • Personal Statement
    • Two recommendation letters
    • Official undergraduate transcript(s) (including AU transcript)
  3. If admitted, complete the online admissions reply form to accept the offer; BA/MAs do not need to submit the enrollment deposit.
  4. After admission, you will jointly meet with a degree advisor in the SIS Office of Graduate Academic Advising and the BA/MA advisor in Undergraduate Academic Advising.
  5. At any time during your BA/MA planning process, if you would like to know more about the number of credits you can share between your BA and your MA, please consult with your BA/MA advisor in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

What to do now?

Freshmen
Discuss your interest in the BA/MA program with your first-year advisor.
Sophomore
Discuss your interest in the BA/MA program with your SIS academic advisor. Consider delaying your completion of the SIS thematic area courses. Courses can typically be shared using your Thematic Area courses.
Junior
Discuss the BA/MA program with your academic advisor. Follow the BA/MA application checklist to apply after you have completed 75 credits (ideally no more than 90 credits).
Junior/Senior
After being admitted to the BA/MA program, begin taking shared graduate courses.
Global Scholars
Global Scholars students are eligible to apply with at least two semesters remaining. Note that admission is not guaranteed, and you will be evaluated as any other applicant.
Some graduate courses are available during summer terms. However, summer courses are limited. It is better to plan shared BA/MA classes for fall and spring terms. If one of your two remaining semesters will be a summer semester, it is especially important that you consult with the advising office as soon as you reach 75 credits.

Application Deadlines

Fall
February 28
June 1
Spring
November 1

Students are recommended to apply by no later than their penultimate semester, i.e. they would have at least two undergraduate semesters remaining after they are admitted to the BA/MA program. This is to allow maximization of shared credits.

Questions?

Contact the SIS Graduate Admissions Office at sisgrad@american.edu or 202-885-1646.

Bringing International Expertise to Journalism

Ayman Mohyeldin, SIS/BA '00, MA '01

The role of journalism is to offer transparency into how our society's governed.

If you come into journalism, I think you have added value if you bring expertise in, let’s say, Latin America or international relations or business....You can come into American University, study international relations, live abroad, learn a foreign language, and because you did that, you have something very unique to offer as a reporter. Learn more about Mohyeldin's experience as a journalist.