Online International Relations Graduate Programs

If you are interested in understanding, researching and finding solutions to complex global problems, there are a variety of online programs in international relations that allow you to complete your graduate studies from anywhere in the world. Schools offering International Relations and Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Comparing Online Graduate Degrees in International Relations

Master of Science in International Relations

Students who elect to enroll in an online master's of international relations will take a diverse range of classes in global business and economics, regional studies, foreign policy, and intercultural relations. Many programs require students to choose a specific focus in one region of the world or on a topic like national security, development or peace and conflict studies. Because this program can be completed online, you might find yourself working on a group project with a human rights activist in Sweden or a business owner in Nigeria. Programs generally last 1-2 years. Graduates are prepared to work in international business, international security, nonprofit organizations or embassies and consulates.

Master of Business Administration in International Business

A Master's in Business Administration is the go-to degree for students who wish to pursue a career in business. With a concentration in international business, students focus on understanding how globalization, the interconnected economy and international law affect business practices. Students study intercultural communication skills, global politics and economics, and international finance. This online course can be completed in 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Master of Arts in Global Development

If you are more interested in international policy-making than business, you may want to consider an online M.A. in International Development. Scholars of global development use statistical analysis, in-depth research and policy innovation to solve global problems. While there are 100% online options, the importance of intercultural experiences means that some degrees offer short-term international experiences at the beginning or end of the online coursework. Programs generally last 1-2 years (depending on whether you complete the work part-time or full-time). Graduates can find work in international aid, policy advising and research.

Master of Arts in International Security

Students of this program study complex and interconnected security threats, like terrorist organizations, cybercrime networks and organized crime. Not only do students study these threats, but they also learn practical skills to innovate, strategize and combat such threats. Students take a variety of content- and skills-based classes in criminology, global trafficking networks, threat assessment and risk management. Students may also study advanced math and research tools like inferential statistics. Graduates can go on to careers in foreign policy, education and research, or security and intelligence.

Ph.D. in International Relations

Ph.D. programs in international relations differ from M.A. programs because, although some programs require initial coursework, they are far more independent and research-based. To apply, students submit a proposal for an original research project (most applicants have a master's degree or relevant work experience before beginning the Ph.D.). Accepted applicants spend 3-7 years developing and eventually defending their research. In an online program, students have the flexibility to work anywhere and complete the program part-time while maintaining a full-time work schedule. Ph.D. candidates work independently but receive advice and feedback from top experts in their field of research. Graduates can go on to careers in research or college-level teaching.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
Master of International Relations 2 years Undergraduate degree *Foreign service officer
*Policy Advisor
*College-level instructor
Master of Business Administration in International Business 1-2 years Undergraduate degree *Sales director
*Business Development Manager
*Global growth business consultant
Master of Global Development 2-3 years Undergraduate degree *Government analyst
*Nonprofit manager
Master of International Security 1-2 years Undergraduate degree *Strategic intelligence agent
*Counterintelligence analyst
*Policy advisor
Ph.D. in International Relations 3-5 years*Master's degree
*Prior accomplishments in the field of International Relations
*Political consultant

How to Earn an Online Graduate Degree in International Relations

In general, master's degrees in international relations are open to competitive applicants with a bachelor's degree in any field. Most programs also have a foreign language requirement; students must have advanced skills in a language before joining the program or take language classes through their degree program.

Diplomacy and Negotiation

One essential skill that students in a graduate program of international studies should come away with is the ability to communicate across cultures to solve complex problems. In this class, students study the strategies of the most talented negotiators and diplomats in our modern world. Students learn the tools and strategies for effective negotiation. They may even practice their new skills through mock debates and discussions with other classmates.

International Political Economy

International Political Economy is a growing social science that explores the connection between economics and politics. In our increasingly interconnected world, international studies students must understand how international law, policy and diplomacy interact together to create a global economic system. This class may include units on globalization, trade deals, international financial law and power-dynamics.

Research Methods

At the graduate degree level, students do not merely take in information; they research, theorize and postulate solutions to international problems. To effectively research their solutions to real-world problems, students must have a basic understanding of research practices, statistical analysis, and economic theory. In a research methods class students focus on the practical and mathematical skills necessary to work as a professional social scientist.

If you're interested in the ways in which countries and cultures interact, an online graduate degree in international relations can start you on your way. Online graduate degrees offer students a flexible way to pursue their research interests in everything from security measures to international business to policy-making.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

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  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

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  • University of Florida

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville
  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available