- Annual Enrollment:
- Average GPA:
- Average GRE:
- 55.8 percentile
- Average Age:
- Work experience:
- 0-5 years
- % International:
- Employment Sectors:
- Government/Security, NGOs, Private Consulting, Academia
- Degrees Offered:
- Master of Arts in International Relations
- Complete program tuition: $43,650
The University of San Diego Master of Arts in International Relations program offers students a unique combination of knowledge and experience to pursue international careers in government, the private sector, and in non-governmental organizations. Poised on the axis of the US-Mexico border and the Pacific Rim, USD positions our students at the center of the global crossroads: both north-south and east-west.
Our highly-accomplished faculty have diverse research, teaching, and practical experience across several key areas, including international diplomacy, security and intelligence, international development, environmental policy, humanitarian relief, and human rights advocacy in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.
The MAIR program features a rigorous and varied 30-unit course of study, which students primarily choose based on their own interests and career goals. Our students obtain interdisciplinary perspectives by taking up to 6 units from other programs (including our Law, Education, Peace, and Business schools), and gain unique professional and international experiences through internships and our signature travel seminars in locations around the world.
Our typical enrollment stands at around 30-35 students during a given academic year, so our students enjoy small class sizes (8-12 students on average) and close faculty-student interaction (with student/faculty ratio of about 3:1). With regular evening classes, our program is accessible to professionals who are currently employed, and offers special discounts and accommodations for active duty and former military personnel and dependents.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
Immediately after the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), you headed to Washington, D.C., as a research analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. What are you working on now, and how did your graduate studies help?
Currently, I track various metrics for measuring the North Korean economy to ascertain how and at what levels their economy is growing. I also have an ongoing project assessing the extent of South Korean humanitarian and economic aid in North Korea.
I have always wanted to be in the mix of discussions on U.S. foreign policy in East Asia, and Washington, D.C., is the hub. GPS combines quantitative analysis skills and top-notch research and was the best place for my studies.
What lessons prepared you to work at a leading think tank?
I use my quantitative skills every day. The economics training at GPS is great, and so is the broad training in public policy. In a town like Washington, D.C., you are never too far removed from politics, and I gained a superb foundation for understanding this. It is not about learning facts; it is about acquiring that foundation to analyze problems in many contexts.
North Korea represents uncertainty for many in the world. What are your thoughts on the current tensions?
We are in a very difficult time. We need bold new ideas to signal the intent of the U.S. toward long-term peace and engagement with North Korea while simultaneously improving sanctions enforcement and continuing to punish aberrant behavior. This is not an easy balance to find.
Just as important as analyzing these complex policy issues, it is necessary to connect them with stakeholders. That is why I maintain relationships with government officials, diplomats, and members of the media. This makes my work better but also allows for opportunities to share it with others.
As a graduate student, how pivotal were your multiple fellowships?
Immensely pivotal. The Robertson Foundation for Government Fellowship provided unparalleled financial assistance to support my training in public policy with an eye on public service. The Boren Fellowship provided funding to study Korean in South Korea, and the Rosenthal Fellowship supported my U.S. Department of State internship. The Career Services staff at GPS kept me up to speed with fellowship deadlines and made sure my applications were solid.
To what extent has your collaborative work with faculty benefitted you?
While a student, I had the chance to work with truly fantastic professors such as Stephan Haggard and Susan Shirk—experts in Korea and China, respectively. It is hard to imagine a better place to study if you want to think deeply and critically about Northeast Asia policy.
I am currently working on research with Stephan Haggard and writing posts for his and Marcus Noland’s blog, North Korea: Witness to Transformation. Faculty members Susan Shirk and Emilie Hafner-Burton also have been very helpful in encouraging me in my career and carrying on policy discussions even after classes ended.