Prepare for internationally focused positions in the U.S. or abroad with our practical, interdisciplinary and interactive Master of Science Degree in Global Studies and International Relations.
Duration of Program
Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Meets F1 Visa Requirements
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, global corporations, nonprofits, and governments have an increasing need for leaders with deep analytical, research, and cross-cultural skills. Our Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations prepares students for internationally focused positions in the U.S. and abroad to take on the complex challenges formed by modern globalization.
Our unique interdisciplinary program concentrates on both global studies and international relations, allowing students to gain one comprehensive degree. Classes focus on real-world fieldwork such as analyzing the investment portfolios of developing nations, staging mock debates, crisis management, and the art of speechwriting for top embassy officials—preparing you for leadership roles in international organizations and areas like consulting, nonprofit management, business and industry, education, foreign service, or banking.
With students coming from more than 24 countries and over 34 states and faculty with decades of experience working as ambassadors, foreign service officers, diplomats, and more, there are rich opportunities for discussion and debates on international perspectives.
Unique interdisciplinary degree that applies theory to practice: Gain expertise in global studies and international relations in one comprehensive degree. The curriculum is designed to give you an understanding of both subjects, with class assignment examples taken from the workplace, such as policy analysis and speechwriting.
Accomplished faculty with decades of experience: Take courses taught by distinguished policymakers, former ambassadors, diplomats, foreign service advisors, and more.
Opportunity to travel and participate in our International Field Study Experience: Serve as an international consultant for global organizations on a current challenge they’re facing. Present your findings in a working session on site in a foreign location.
Past trips have included workshops at the Innovation Academy in Freiburg, Germany; consulting for Education First at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland; and consulting for SME in Tuscany, Italy.
Tailor your degree to your career goals: Focus on the industry or skill set that most interests you with one of four concentrations: Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, International Economics and Consulting, or Global Health and Development. You’ll also choose one of the globe’s six major regions to focus your area of study.
Flexible learning formats: With courses offered 100% online, on campus in Boston or Seattle, or a combination of online and on campus, you can complete your degree without putting your life on hold.
Join an international network: Take advantage of a wide international network made up of classmates, faculty, and dedicated alumni.
Other experiential learning opportunities: You’ll have the option to participate in co-ops, capstone projects, and internships at the United Nations, U.S. Department of State, Pathfinder International, Human Rights Watch, Charity Water, Refuge Point, and many more.
Participate in the Diplomacy Lab: Explore real-world challenges while contributing to the policymaking process in conjunction with the US State Department.
What You'll Learn
Specialized Knowledge: Incorporate foundational global and intercultural knowledge, theories, research methods, and approaches to investigate global issues from government, private, and nonprofit viewpoints.
Broad and Integrative Knowledge: Frame and evaluate global challenges in international political, economic, security, or diplomatic areas in the selected region or concentration, drawing on perspectives and methods from diverse fields of study.
Applied and Collaborative Learning: Apply the advanced knowledge gained in the field of global studies to a practical challenge, articulate in writing the insights gained from this experience, and assess approaches, scholarly debates, or standards for professional performance applicable to the challenge.
Civic and Global Learning: Assess and develop a position on a contemporary social issue from a socio-historical perspective and from multiple viewpoints of the stakeholders.
Experiential Learning: Synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within course work or beyond the classroom.
Graduates have gone on to work in diverse areas such as international business, journalism, defense, international security, for NGOs or the UN, various embassies and consulates, and nonprofits around the world. Our international faculty and alumni are established in their careers and can serve as advocates during your job search. Northeastern’s renowned co-op and internship program allows you to gain hands-on work experience.
"My regional studies class on Central Asia with Professor Beshimov was absolutely incredible. As a former member of parliament and ambassador for Kyrgyzstan, his insight in the region was unparalleled. I cannot think of another class where I was so engrossed in the material. It really catalyzed a lifelong interest in the region."
Jack Dooley, College of Professional Studies, Global Studies, MS’18
"The program gave me a better understanding and an increased curiosity about what is occurring on a global scale."
Kathleen H., Program Graduate
"I couldn't be happier with this program. I searched for programs to fit my busy schedule, and no one offered anything quite like Northeastern. Every professor I have taken has surpassed my expectations."
Mariah Walker, College of Professional Studies, Global Studies, MS’18
A graduate degree or certificate from Northeastern—a top-50 university—can accelerate your career through rigorous academic coursework and hands-on professional experience in the area of your interest. Apply now—and take your career to the next level.
How to Apply Learn more about the application process and requirements.
Statement of purpose (500–1000 words): Identify your educational goals and expectations of the program. Please be aware that Northeastern University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to your statement of purpose.
Unofficial undergraduate transcripts; official transcripts required at the time of admission
Two letters of recommendation from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities such as a faculty member, colleague, or mentor, preferably one from your current employer
English language proficiency proof. Students for whom English is not their primary language must submit one of the following:
Official associate or bachelor's degree transcript from an accredited college or university in the U.S., stating degree conferral and date
TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo, or NU Global Exam scores
*International deadlines are only applicable if the program is F1 compliant.
Industry-aligned courses for in-demand careers.
For 100+ years, we’ve designed our programs with one thing in mind—your success. Explore the current program requirements and course descriptions, all designed to meet today’s industry needs and must-have skills.
Northeastern's signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace. This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.
Northeastern University faculty represents a broad cross-section of professional practices and fields, including finance, education, biomedical science, management, and the U.S. military. They serve as mentors and advisors and collaborate alongside you to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
By enrolling in Northeastern, you’ll gain access to students at 14 campus locations, 300,000+ alumni, and 2,900+ employer partners worldwide. Our global university system provides students unique opportunities to think locally and act globally while serving as a platform for scaling ideas, talent, and solutions.
Below is a look at where our Political Science and Security alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.