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International Relations Graduate Programs in California

Here are 10 universities in California that offer graduate programs in international relations with various specializations. Learn about the areas of study, curriculum requirements, coursework timelines, and tuition costs of these programs.

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego offers a 30-unit master's program in international relations that can be completed in one year on a fast-track arrangement or up to three years on a part-time basis; students get to choose 70 percent of their coursework on a flexible schedule. The curriculum involves 11.5 units of core courses that focus on the theoretical foundations of comparative politics and international relations, and 18.5 units of electives, which include courses on foreign policy, regional politics, ocean regulations, transnational law enforcement, and human rights.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California's five-year, 70-unit Ph.D. program in political science and international relations offers concentrations in American political institutions, global political economy, transnational security and foreign policy, comparative politics, political science research techniques, and a customizable track that students can design with their advisors. Students must complete courses in three concentrations and take qualifying exams in two of them; intermediate proficiency in a foreign language is also a requirement in some specializations.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University's Master of Arts in International Relations offers an academic track for candidates who want to work in academia and research institutions, and a professional track for those who seek an international career in public policy, business and finance, environmental work, and other related fields. The 33-unit graduate program requires 18 units of core courses and 15 units of electives dedicated to a student's chosen concentration, all to be completed while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

California State University, Sacramento

The master's program in political science with specialization in international relations/comparative government at California State University, Sacramento is ideal for students who aim to teach public administration, work in politics and public policy, or obtain a doctoral degree in a similar discipline. The program requires 30 units of coursework, with 18 units devoted to core courses, nine units for the selected concentration, and three units for a culminating experience, which can either be a thesis or a comprehensive exam.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers a master's degree in political science with an emphasis in international relations and comparative politics, a 30-unit program that can be completed in 2-2.5 years. The program focuses on the political landscapes of various regions including Asia, Europe, and Latin America, with a curriculum that trains students on a variety of research methods for comparative analysis.

University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego has three graduate programs related to international relations: Master of International Affairs (MIA), Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs (MAS-IA), and Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs. The two-year, 98-unit MIA program offers concentrations in global political trends, business management, environmental policies, political economy, and international development; the 48-unit MAS-IA, which takes 9-18 months to finish, provides career tracks in Asia-Pacific security studies, environmental governance, global public policy, economics, and international relations; while the doctorate program offers specializations in international and comparative policy research.

Stanford University

Stanford University's graduate degree in international policy is a two-year, full-time program offering concentrations in cybersecurity, environmental management, global healthcare systems, transnational security, and governance. The master's program requires 80 units of coursework and can also be completed as a joint or dual degree with programs at Stanford Law School, Public Policy Program, and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

The 60-credit master's program in international policy and development at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey offers specializations in intercultural communication, financial crimes, conflict intervention, economic inequality, transnational migration, and program design and evaluation. The coursework, which takes four semesters to complete, includes 34 credits of core courses in development and economics and 26 credits of concentration courses and electives.

Chapman University

Chapman University's two-year graduate program in international studies requires 39 credits of coursework, foreign language proficiency, a 240-hour internship, and a master's thesis. The curriculum, which prepares students for careers in foreign service and international aid agencies, includes courses in political economy, armed conflicts and human rights issues, cultural diversity, security, and diplomacy.

University of San Francisco

The two-year international studies graduate program at the University of San Francisco provides specializations in transnational governance and laws, cultural identity and social change, and environment and sustainability studies. In each concentration, students must complete 34 units of coursework, a language course, and 120 hours of internship.

School Name Programs Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of San Diego Master of Arts in International Relations $26,712
University of Southern California Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations $44,712
San Francisco State University Master of Arts in International Relations $7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
California State University, Sacramento Master of Arts in Political Science (International Relations/Comparative Government) $7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
San Diego State University Master of Arts in Political Science, International Relations/Comparative Emphasis $7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
University of California, San Diego Master of International Affairs
Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs
Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs
$11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state
Stanford University Master's in International Policy $50,703
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Master of Arts in International Policy and Development $40,778
Chapman University Master of Arts in International Studies $31,168
University of San Francisco Master of Arts in International Studies $24,930

Source: *NCES College Navigator

A graduate program in international relations provides training in a range of disciplines including public administration, political science, economics, foreign policy, international development, environmental studies, and business management, among others. With this degree, students can expect career opportunities in foreign relations, international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations, multinational companies, and academic institutions.