- Incoming Enrollment:
- 174 (83 MIA, 2 MIA-MPH, 5 MIP, 84 MPSA
- Avg GRE:
- 307 (optional for most)
- Avg GPA:
- Avg age:
- 24; 35 MIP
- Work Experience:
- desired but not required for most; MIP requires 4+ years int’l, professional experience
- % International:
- % Students of Color:
- 20% MIA; 42% MPS
- Employment sectors:
- Federal government, government contractors, private, nonprofit/NGOs, state/local government, other
- Degrees Offered:
- College Station, TX: Master of International Affairs (MIA-48 hrs); combined MIA-Master of Public Health (MIA-MPH-78 hrs); Master of International Policy (MIP-30 hrs); Master of Public Service & Administration (MPSA-48 hrs)
- Washington, DC: Master of International Policy (MIP-DC-30 hrs); Master of National Security & Intelligence (MNSI-42 hrs) – begins Fall 2022
- Online: Executive MPSA (EMPSA-39 hrs); Graduate Certificates in International Affairs (CAIA-12 hrs), Homeland Security (CHLS-15 hrs), Nonprofit Management (CNPM-12 hrs), Public Management (PBMG-12 hrs)
- MIA, MPSA: $13,400 resident costs per yr at 24 hrs; non-residents pay Texas rates due to non-resident waivers given with scholarship; MIP: $16,900 resident / $32,200 non-resident per
Prepare for Public Service. The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University is a nonpartisan graduate school home to on-campus master’s degrees in International Affairs (MIA), International Policy (MIP), International Affairs-Public Health (MIA-MPH), and Public Service & Administration (MPSA). Each provides extensive preparation for those desiring impactful careers. Students are taught from a mix of practitioners that include former diplomats, CIA agents, and federal administrators to academics that research cutting-edge topics and theories.
In the MIA and MIP, students focus on tracks of National Security & Diplomacy or International Development & Economic Policy. Concentrations include intelligence, international politics, conflict and development, diplomacy, defense, INGOs, regional studies, and more. The MIA integrates a professional summer internship or cultural study, a client capstone, and passage of a foreign language exam. The MIP focuses on executive-level/military students looking to enhance their professional skills, with no internship or foreign language requirement. The Bush School provides student development opportunities in leadership and writing, seminars and speakers, conferences, international study, collaborative learning, and student organizations.
The MIA enrolls 90 students per year with excellent employment rates (83-95% within 6 months of graduation). Admission is each fall and scholarships (and non-resident waivers) are awarded to all MIA students. The one-year MIP enrolls 2-10 students each fall and spring, but with no funding.
The Bush School’s online offerings include an Executive Master of Public Service degree as well as four graduate certificates in International Affairs, Homeland Security, Nonprofit Management, and Public Management. Students can earn an EMPSA of 39 hours or graduate certificates of 12-15 hours. Admission is year round and financial aid is available; veteran’s benefits are accepted in all programs. See our website for more information.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
Founded by Dr. William Norris, The Bush School’s Economic Statecraft Program is a national center of excellence for the study of economics and security that serves as a magnetic pole for bringing together and stimulating a growing body of scholarship on the topic of economic statecraft.
What is Economic Statecraft?
Economic statecraft focuses on the intersection of economics and security. Commercial actors (not states) conduct the vast majority of international economic activity. These interactions may carry important implications for states’ strategic security interests. States can manipulate the incentives facing commercial actors in order to encourage (or discourage) particular patterns of behavior that generate security externalities that are conducive to the state’s strategic interests.
Such manipulation is defined as economic statecraft.
Examples of economic statecraft include the rise of Chinese foreign investment (e.g. China’s Belt & Road Initiative), the leveraging of SWIFT and sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and the creation of the post-World War II Bretton Woods institutional architecture.
Why have a program on Economic Statecraft?
Although Chinese economic statecraft has become a prominent feature of the global strategic landscape and emerging US-China competition, there was no clear academic center of gravity in the U.S. for studying the important emerging phenomenon of how nations leverage economic tools of national power. Efforts to understand the crossroads between economics and security are scattered across institutions, scholars, and geography. Present-day conflicts increasingly involve economic statecraft, making it a central phenomenon of interest to policymakers and students alike. As an institution dedicated to educating the next generation of public servants, the Bush School seeks to connect methodologically rigorous scholarship with policy needs through the Economic Statecraft Program.
What does the Economic Statecraft Program do?
The program supports, sponsors and coordinates an active scholarly effort engaged in policy-relevant work designed to advance state of the art understanding of economic tools of national power. ESP hosts two working groups: the China Working Group, which focuses on research questions related to China’s economic statecraft, and the Eisenhower Working Group, which focuses on developing strategically sustainable responses to such developments. ESP works to establish partnerships and build stakeholder momentum across academia, policy, and business sectors. Key components of the program include our weekly “Tuesday Talks” speaker series and our annual symposium hosted at the Bush School’s DC Teaching Site. ESP also supports the production of reports and academic papers on various theoretical and empirical aspects of economic statecraft. ESP frequently collaborates with other researchers in related fields in an effort to foster an integrated community of top scholars doing work at the intersection of China, economics, and security.
How does economic statecraft fit into your work?
My first book was on the subject of China’s economic statecraft. The ESP has built on several of those insights and extended that research. I also work and teach on other aspects of China’s grand strategy more broadly, including China’s foreign policy and domestic politics as well as East Asian security. I enjoy working with our graduate students who aspire to careers in government working on these types of important issues.
The state of Texas is no stranger to border and immigration issues that have been in the forefront of national headlines for years. The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University recently expanded its regional focus to include Latin America, providing a rigorous and interactive option for those interested in studying the border, Mexico, and Latin America. Dr. Aileen Teague brings a global perspective to the coursework, both as a PhD in diplomatic history specializing in U.S.-Mexico relations and having travelled the world in a military family before serving in the Marine Corps.
What makes the Bush School’s Latin America concentration unique?
With the Brownsville-Matamoros border crossing located only 6.5 hours south of our College Station campus, the interdisciplinary Latin America concentration—drawing from history, politics, development, and border studies—provides students with a dynamic curriculum and practical tools to gain expertise in the region.
Our faculty help students gain a multi-perspectival understanding of regional issues both within nation-states and across country borders, where the social, political, and economic interconnectivity between the United States and its Latin American partners have reverberations on a global scale.
Students’ training in U.S.-Latin America relations integrates cutting-edge academic research with high impact learning experiences. For instance, as an historian of the drug trade in Mexico, I instill in my courses an appreciation for the ways in which historical legacies contextualize and complicate current policymaking.
American domestic politics and interactions also play a role when we bring in practitioners and policymakers to engage in dialogue with our students. A former assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security joined us in seminar recently to discuss the possibilities for comprehensive immigration reform and improved border security, given the highly partisan political environment.
Additionally, a capstone project features students interfacing with real-world governmental and non-governmental agencies operating in Latin America and internships that help students develop their professional networks. With the backing of one of the largest public universities in the country and alumni dedicated to giving back and supporting service, our students make their mark all over the world.
How does the Bush School promote new voices and new perspectives in U.S. relations with Mexico and Latin America?
While research is a bedrock of our Latin America concentration, we also highlight a range of perspectives from U.S. and foreign practitioners. In 2020, we launched “The Other Side of the Border: Ties that Bind and Issues that Divide,” a speaker series featuring human-centered and practitioner perspectives on issues related to the border, Mexico, and Central America.
We live in uncertain times when it comes to achieving reforms in immigration and border security in the post-Trump era. This project aims to facilitate dialogue between policy practitioners and our graduate students and is intended to unearth “off-the-book,” grassroots perspectives, which are often where the road begins to achieving reform. This year, for example, the series will feature a discussion with a Mexican journalist on the dangers of reporting on the drug war, as well as a conversation with an Amazonian activist on the challenges of utilizing international aid in the aftermath of the 2020 fires.
The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University offers students rigorous training and opportunities to interface with policymakers preparing them to meet the challenges of careers in public service and international affairs today.
How is the Bush School preparing students to manage crises and global risk?
In addition to faculty who specialize in international institutions, the Bush School prepares students to engage in comparative analysis of countries and issues with faculty who specialize in almost every region from China to the Middle East, from Africa to Latin America. In this increasingly globalized world, most economic, social, and political phenomena do not stop at country borders. Understanding how issues arise and play out in one region can be instructive to understanding that in another region. In one example, my capstone classes have been collecting recent event data from across the globe on how leaders erode democratic institutions. Working closely with capstone clients in USAID, the State Department, and nongovernmental organizations, our analyses help us understand similar trends emerging across the globe and help inform U.S. investment in supporting civic space in closing contexts.
The capstone program is one of the highlights of the Bush School experience—giving students an opportunity to work closely with a policy organization to understand the types of questions they ask and to practice applying the research skills they’ve gained in class to thoroughly answer these questions. These experiences, along with the internships students complete between their first and second year, are instrumental in solidifying networks between the Bush School and the policy community with positive results: Bush School students find careers that matter to them, with between 81 and 95 percent employed within six months of graduation.
How does the Bush School prepare students to adapt to a rapidly changing policy context?
In these uncertain times, one of the best skills we can offer future public servants is adaptability. As policies constantly need to be reevaluated to match the changing context, our students will need the tools to assess where we are and how to change course. The Bush School offers a rigorous core curriculum on data collection and analysis as well as a menu of options for students seeking to deepen their methods skills. In addition, the Bush School is part of a large research university of over sixty thousand students that features world-class departments and institutes in a variety of fields, which offer further instruction in methods, like GIS or statistics, and in substantive areas that include public health, engineering, or agriculture.
Training we offer in the social science methods is key to informing broad, interdisciplinary policy issues, such as access and inequality. For instance, in the wake of COVID-19, the policy community, in addition to seeking advice from health experts, has also turned to colleagues in the social sciences to answer questions about the political and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and how existing inequalities can exacerbate its impact among some groups. With rapid-response surveys informed by theory, we can generate evidence to inform quick policy decisions—skills we are teaching Bush School students in our Methods sequence.
For over twenty years the Bush School of Government and Public Service has prepared the next generation of public servants to deal with the complex challenges of a changing world. In a strictly nonpartisan environment, Bush School students discuss and debate the key international and domestic issues affecting our country and the world as a whole. A typical class could be led by a distinguished academic expert on the Middle East, a former administrator of the Agency for International Development, or an experienced practitioner in the field of international NGOs. The focus is clearly on the future: how can Bush School students make a difference in a world where power centers are changing, technology is rapidly altering how ideas are transmitted, and the once bipolar international arena has been replaced by a multiplicity of threats?
How is the Bush School different from other schools of international affairs and public service?
Probably the most distinctive feature of the Bush School is its professional focus. There is an expectation that the majority of Bush School graduates will go into careers in government, nonprofit management, or some other form of public service. As a result, the faculty is a blend of academic professionals and nationally recognized practitioners from the worlds of diplomacy, intelligence, the military, law enforcement, homeland security, nonprofit, development, and state and local government. In our experience, this has been a winning formula in preparing students for professional careers. Bush School graduates are comfortable in their academic fields but also have the hands-on skills and knowledge that employers value. Our intelligence and counterterrorism classes, for example, include practical training in professional tradecraft.
What are some of the other advantages of the Bush School experience?
All students accepted into the Bush School’s two-year programs receive a financial award and in-state tuition, reducing their debt load. Additionally, College Station offers an affordable cost of living, much lower than many competitor programs offer. These cost savings enable our students to choose jobs of interest to them, not what best repays their loans. Bush School students participate in culminating capstone projects where they deliver high-quality, faculty-guided research to real-world clients, such as the State Department, the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. military commands, and state and local governments. To develop their language skills, international affairs students are given no-cost access to foreign language software and discussion groups led by native speakers. In the summer between their first and second years, students either complete internships with government agencies or other sponsors or, alternatively, do intensive foreign language study. Finally, the Bush School is part of a large research university of over 60,000 students that features world-class departments and institutes in a variety of fields, including public health, cyber, nuclear engineering, transportation, agriculture, and many others. The Bush School’s close collaboration with these other units enables students to design tailored academic programs to address specialized career goals. With dedicated career staff and faculty helping along the way, Bush School students find careers that matter to them, with between 81 and 95 percent employed within six months of graduation.
The Bush School of Government and Public Service was founded in 1997 to educate the next generation of leaders for careers in international affairs and public administration. President George H.W. Bush said that “public service is a noble calling,” and the Bush School’s mission reflects his values and ideals. The Bush School offers one- and two-year professional master’s degrees and several online certificates, as well as one of the lowest tuition and most generous scholarships among schools of foreign affairs in the United States.
How does the Bush School prepare students for dealing with the rise in international conflict and instability?
The next generation of leaders will face a more unstable world order as the post–World War II international system unravels, buffeted by ultra-nationalist, nativist, isolationist, and protectionist trends across the globe. Instability has manifested itself in increased great power rivalry, cyber and asymmetric warfare, violent non-state actors, state failure and civil conflict, and the greatest forced migration of people since World War II.
To prepare its students, the Bush School recently established research centers and programs focused on cyber policy and security, grand strategy among the great powers, gender in international affairs, pandemic preparedness, and the management of nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. These programs are led by a blended faculty of leading academics with cutting-edge research and practitioners with extensive experience and networks in the military, intelligence, diplomacy, and international development.
Bush School faculty prepare students for the fast-paced professional environment in which they will work. Students learn to prepare interagency memos used to inform senior policymakers, as well as how to present briefings, through National Security Council crisis simulations, classroom group exercises, and capstone projects with U.S. government and international organization clients. Building on the applied approach, several capstone projects involve student travel abroad to undertake research in crisis areas.
The School’s curriculum develops crisis management skills from a diplomatic, humanitarian, intelligence, and military perspective, and the faculty emphasize evidence-based, rather than ideologically driven, research to inform student educational outcomes. Students then build that knowledge by taking internships in the U.S. intelligence community, Department of Defense, State Department, USAID, and UN agencies, among others. Upon graduation, more than 80 percent of Bush School students secure jobs in their career tracks.
In what ways does the Bush School collaborate with other Texas A&M University professional schools?
With over 60,000 students, Texas A&M is a tier-one research university with some of the highest ranked professional schools in the world—in business, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and engineering. Bush School students can take elective courses in those schools to supplement their studies, as well as pursue internships at on-campus research centers, such as the Borlaug Institute and the Center on Conflict and Development in the College of Agriculture, both funded in part by USAID. Together, faculty and students work on innovative policy and research.
Furthermore, the Bush School, Bush Foundation, and Texas A&M collaborate to bring in well-known scholars, journalists, and public figures to engage in conversations with our students about international issues and policy. Speakers have included Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright, Robert Gates, John Negroponte, Anne Applebaum, Andy Card, George Weigel, and David Axelrod.
In its 20th anniversary year, the Bush School of Government and Public Service is fulfilling its mandate from President George H. W. Bush to prepare the next generation of principled public servants to cope with the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century international landscape. Bush School faculty and students hold and express a wide variety of views on the challenges facing our nation, and they do it with integrity, civility, and mutual respect. The blended faculty of scholars and practitioners, many of whom served in government and NGOs, offer guidance on both the theory and practice of effective and ethical service in public institutions charged with ensuring national security. Texas A&M offers Bush School students access to the myriad of resources of a 60,000-student, Tier One research university and membership in the Aggie network of thousands of graduates already serving in government, the armed forces, diplomacy, and the private sector.
How does the Bush School help students acquire the critical thinking and communication skills essential to effective public service?
Bush School students learn by doing: researching, analyzing, and framing complex issues for policymakers. Students write both original research papers and two-page action memos designed to extract a decision from a harried policymaker. They are challenged to think on their feet, deliver cogent and poised oral arguments, and defend their conclusions in spirited and respectful debate. The principles of effective leadership in public policy institutions are integral to our curriculum and to the many opportunities for practical public service available to students. Foreign language study, international internships or language immersion, and study abroad trips to countries like China and Germany deepen the international experience. A capstone research project for a real-world client, such as the CIA, the State Department, or the United Nations Development Program, provides hands-on research experience and the opportunity to personally brief senior policymakers.
How does a Bush School education set students apart?
Bush School students have wide latitude to shape their study program to meet current interests and prepare for a great career in public service. We encourage unconventional thinking about pressing issues that range from gender in American foreign policy to grand strategy to the politics of trade and development. A typical second year at the Bush School might include an internship with the Defense Ministry of Latvia or the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, a simulated NSC meeting with the President on an international crisis, a VTC with students at the Russian Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, and a briefing of the Commanding General of the U.S. Special Operations Command on the results of a student-led capstone research project on emerging terrorist threats.
The Bush School offers this quality education at an affordable cost so students can pursue their fields of interest without acquiring burdensome debt. As a public institution, Texas A&M offers some of the lowest tuition/fees among the APSIA schools. As a premiere graduate school, the Bush School tops that with scholarships to all admitted MIA students, backing our commitment to educating future public servants.
The Bush School opened its doors on the Texas A&M University campus in 1997. The University’s service and leadership ideals, which reflect those of our namesake, George H.W. Bush, are a guiding force in our instruction. We offer a high-quality and affordable education for those who desire careers in public service and international affairs.
How does the Bush School help students understand the changing global landscape?
The Bush School offers an extensive curriculum that prepares students for an array of careers in international fields. In my own specialization of international development and economic policy, we offer courses in international economic development, international trade, gender, famines, field research methods, state building and state failure, and the economic development of China, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. The School also has an extensive curriculum in our national security and diplomacy track, including courses covering international relations theories, intelligence, civil wars, American foreign policy and diplomacy, as well as critical regional areas.
Understanding global change requires studying the reality of policy implementation and the theory behind it. A number of our faculty have had outstanding careers in government, including a former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, a former U.S. ambassador, and a former CIA chief of counter-intelligence. Academic faculty include Fulbright Scholars, recipients of major international grants, and authors publishing in the most prestigious and influential presses and journals.
We emphasize skills, substance, and theory in our teaching. Our premiere hands-on research experience is a capstone project where student teams work for a professional client. Clients have included the World Bank, USAID, the United Nations Development Program, CYBERCOM, the State Department, and the CIA.
How have Bush School graduates been doing in the job market?
The Bush School employs faculty and career services staff who are connected and resourceful. They assist students with their internship and employment searches, empowering them with contacts and guidance. Students pursue career options in federal agencies and government contractors, local and state government, corporate and nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and international organizations. And they consistently gain employment in relevant fields at a rate of 85% or higher within six months of graduation.
What attracted you to the Bush School?
The combination of talented academics and accomplished practitioners was attractive, as was Texas A&M’s global reach. And there is a phenomenal culture of academic and professional excellence that makes each day exciting. I’m teaching small classes with opportunities for interaction inside and outside the classroom, and the School continues to expand its opportunities for both students and faculty. There is incredible support for research and high expectations for students and faculty alike, creating a challenging and rewarding environment. The Bush School is a great place to work and learn.
I was also impressed that students receive a quality education at a reasonable cost. Our tuition/fees are among the lowest of APSIA schools (under $12,000 per year before scholarship) and all students earn merit aid. I enjoy being part of a school that offers its students unlimited potential without burdening them with substantial debt.
The Bush School opened its doors on the Texas A&M University campus in 1997. The University’s service and leadership ideals, which reflect those of our namesake, George H.W. Bush, are a guiding force in our instruction. Through residential master’s degrees and online graduate certificates, we offer a high-quality and affordable education for those who desire careers in public and international affairs.
What attracted you to teach at the Bush School?
I was inspired by the vision that President George H.W. Bush had for the school. He has a quote engraved on the limestone exterior of his library that says, “Let future generations understand the burden and the blessings of freedom. Let them say we stood where duty required us to stand.” The purpose of the Bush School is to train and prepare the new generation of public servants. I feel honored to be a part of that undertaking.
Furthermore, three aspects stand out in the Bush School mission. The first is that President Bush emphasizes students should not leave his school saddled with debt. A significant proportion of our fundraising goes to scholarships, which all degree students receive, and our tuition is among the lowest of the APSIA schools (about $11,500 per year before scholarship support). The second is that we have a world-class faculty comprised not only of leading academics whose work is shaping national and international policy agendas, but also practitioners with decades of experience in the fields of diplomacy, intelligence, and development. The third is that we place equal emphasis on skills, substance, and theory. Whether it’s hands-on experience with technical collections or running regressions, whether it’s language and internship programs, or whether it’s learning about grand strategy or global gender issues, our students receive a remarkably holistic preparation for public service.
Are students able to work with professors on their research projects?
Yes, and I’m a good example of that opportunity. The Bush School is home to The WomanStats Project, which is both a research project and a database. In fact, the WomanStats database is the most comprehensive compilation of information concerning the status of women in the world today. I involve eight students in that project as coders, researchers, event coordinators, and social media assistants—and one has even co-authored a paper with me. In addition, all degree students participate in a capstone project, where 6-8 person teams perform research on behalf of a professional client. Recent clients have included the World Bank, USAID, the United Nations Development Program, SOCOM, PACOM, CYBERCOM, the State Department, and the CIA.
Does the Bush School assist in employment efforts?
The Bush School employs faculty and career services staff who are incredibly connected and resourceful. They assist students with their internship and employment searches, empowering them with contacts and guidance. Students routinely pursue career options in federal agencies and government contractors, local and state government groups (both in and outside Texas), corporate and nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and international organizations. Relevant employment statistics six months after graduation have been hitting 85% or higher.
The Bush School opened its doors on the Texas A&M University campus in 1997, primarily because of the university’s service and leadership ideals, which reflect those of our namesake, George H.W. Bush. The School offers a high-quality and affordable education for those pursuing careers in public and international affairs.
Tell us about the Bush School community.
The environment is highly interactive, challenging, and collaborative. We’ve brought together practitioners with distinguished careers and academics who study current topics and theories. These dedicated faculty push and inspire our students, as do their classmates. And when our students finish their degree, they stay engaged in the Bush School and Texas A&M through former student organizations that offer unparalleled alumni support and recognition.
Because international relations is always evolving, how does The Bush School keep pace?
The Bush School offers degree students the opportunity to tailor their learning via tracks and concentrations. A Conflict and Development concentration, led by former USAID administrator Andrew Natsios, was recently added. We expanded course offerings in diplomacy, international politics, development, China, and the Middle East. In 2013–14, students traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, and Senegal, seeing the world’s problems from the ground. For more than ten years, the Bush School has featured online graduate certificates to accommodate student and industry demand, covering areas of international affairs, homeland security, and nonprofit management.
As a career ambassador, what advice do you offer students interested in the demanding field of diplomacy?
This is a troubled world and has to be understood in its own complicated terms. Students must pour themselves into the study of politics, history, culture, and language. With that education, they must be ready to ask hard questions: What happens the day, the month, the year after a strategy is initiated? Education and understanding are essential, but so are dedication, drive, and courage. Students must go to hard places and do hard things. As the 41st president exemplified in his life—service before self. This is what the Foreign Service is all about.
What makes the Bush School stand out among its peers?
The Bush School engages its students with quality experiential learning opportunities at an affordable price. We feature internship programs, interactive language groups, and leadership and professional writing programs. We offer challenging courses and simulations, client capstones, and international travel and immersion opportunities. Students can take courses from other Texas A&M departments and study with world-renowned research institutes. We are committed to affordability, offering all degree-seeking students merit scholarships and in-state tuition/fees (about $11,000 a year). Online graduate certificate students can use veterans’ benefits and apply for financial aid and scholarships.
How can the Bush School help students find internships and jobs? Where do your graduates work?
The Bush School employs faculty and career services staff (including a representative in DC, our largest alumni city) who are incredibly connected and resourceful. They assist students with their internship and employment searches, empowering them with contacts and guidance. Students routinely pursue career options in federal agencies, local and state government groups (both in and outside of Texas), corporate and nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and international organizations.