- Annual Enrollment:
- 134 total
- % International:
- Employment Sectors:
- Non-governmental organizations (33%); for-profit businesses (33%); government agencies (23%); multilateral organizations (10%)
- Degrees Offered:
- Master of International Affairs; J.D./M.I.A. joint degree program with Penn State Law; and resident, one-year certificate programs in International Affairs, International Development Policy, International Public Policy, and International Security Studies
- $21,540 per academic year (Pennsylvania residents); $36,974 per academic year (non-Pennsylvania residents)
The School of International Affairs (SIA) is uniquely situated to provide an innovative education for the next generation of global leaders. Our Master of International Affairs (M.I.A.) degree is a small, hands-on, customizable, interdisciplinary program with access to all of the resources of a leading public research institution. The SIA faculty is comprised of internationally recognized scholars and seasoned former officials from a variety of disciplines, which allows us to offer a curriculum that can be tailored to meet students’ individual career goals. Through our program, students can take advantage of myriad opportunities including internships in Washington, D.C., New York, and across the globe; education abroad programs in more than a dozen countries; and optional concentrations in focus areas based on the student’s personal interests. To further prepare students for a professional career, SIA offers a dedicated Office of Career Services that helps students identify goals and develop a plan for attaining them. Our Career Services team also coordinates career exposure trips, professional development workshops, and visits by recruiters. When our students graduate, they are ready to help shape the future of our complex world.
Our mission is to prepare exceptional students for careers and leadership positions in both the private and public sectors of an increasingly interdependent world. The School of International Affairs fulfills this mission through a flexible degree program taught by elite, interdisciplinary faculty; experiential learning, including internship and education abroad opportunities; and a dedicated Office of Career Services that works with each individual student.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
How does the Penn State School of International Affairs prepare students for their future careers?
Our program puts a priority on experiential learning with ample opportunities for role-playing simulations, briefings, negotiations, mock trials, drafting United Nations memos, team exercises, and more. We hold an annual school-wide simulation with the Army War College in which students and faculty spend a week negotiating an international crisis. Led by professor and retired U.S. Ambassador Dennis Jett, the International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise simulates a UN negotiation and provides hands-on experience in strategizing and diplomacy. Our students also actively coauthor with faculty and accompany them on international research trips.
What separates the Penn State School of International Affairs from its peers?
Our students truly get the best of both worlds as part of a small, hands-on program within an internationally ranked research university. In the classroom, our 8:1 student–faculty ratio allows students to receive personal attention from faculty. Our student body is about 50:50 U.S. to international, so everyone learns new ways to think about global problems. SIA students have the freedom to access all that Penn State offers, including interdisciplinary coursework in leading graduate programs in business, education, engineering, law, science, and technology, not to mention all of the cultural, social, and athletic events at Penn State. And, when they graduate, they leave Happy Valley with a built-in network of more than 645,000 Penn State alumni worldwide.
What is your favorite part about teaching at the Penn State School of International Affairs?
For me, it’s all about our small size and my ability to really know and work closely with our terrific students. I have coauthored academic research papers with more than a dozen students over the last two years. For instance, I teach the world’s only experimental mediation class, in which students create a group-based experiment and conduct a study with more than 600 subjects. We then write a paper together and present it around the world. I took a student with me to present in Stockholm and presented the class’s work last year in New Zealand and Australia.
What is the culture like at the Penn State School of International Affairs?
Penn State’s and the School of International Affairs’ modern, multicultural, and international community of students, faculty, scholars, and researchers all share the goals of enhancing international understanding, knowledge, and discourse while serving the public interest. Our SIA faculty consists of internationally recognized scholars and seasoned former officials (including former ambassadors, admirals, and faculty who have served with the African Union, CIA, FBI, National Counterterrorism Center, National Security Council, State Department, and UN) who are also engaging and passionate educators. Through their research contributions and frontline global negotiations, they have made, and continue to make, their mark in global affairs. And of course, our program is greatly enriched by the perspectives of the current student cohort, which represents 16 countries and five continents. This all comes together to create a program where our students thrive and are positioned for fantastic global careers.