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M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy

Program Overview

The M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy at the American Graduate School in Paris is a two-year program qualifying you for a broad range of careers in international affairs, from local governance to foreign affairs, to international development, human rights advocacy, global communications, international business, and many other areas involving interaction with different countries and cultures.

A US-accredited Program in France

The M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy at AGS combines the wide recognition of an American degree with the unique experience of a Paris-based program. It is accredited in the US as an affiliated program of Arcadia University (Pennsylvania) and taught at the American Graduate School in Paris, a private nonprofit institution of higher education recognized by the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Classes are taught in the heart of Paris. The French capital – which is also one of Europe’s capitals and an international hub – is an ideal location for the study of international affairs. The program takes full advantage of this through guest speakers, site visits, and networking events. These all represent opportunities to get exposed to the international scene and make connections with the many diplomatic missions, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs that the city hosts.

The language of instruction is English; no knowledge of French is required to enroll. You have the opportunity to learn French through AGS’s partner institution Alliance Française Paris-Ile de France.

Expertise in International Affairs

The program draws on AGS’s specific expertise in the field of international relations, in which the school has specialized since it was founded in 1994. At the core of this expertise, the faculty of the program is comprised of both accomplished scholars conducting research at the forefront of their discipline, and practitioners sharing their knowledge and professional experience, such as retired Ambassadors or government officials.

See AGS faculty

The curriculum strikes a careful balance between academic thoroughness and practice-oriented approaches to fully prepare you for the professional arena. It examines the interaction between State and non-State actors at an international level through a multi-disciplinary scope covering political as well as cultural, historical, economic, geographical, social, legal, and humanitarian aspects, all updated to include the most current international issues.

Required courses cover the core subjects of international relations theory, economic policy, international public law, foreign policy formulation, and methodology. A broad rage of electives is available to explore other areas of international affairs such as NGO management, environment policy, gender issues, geopolitics, conflict resolution, and area studies.

See course catalog

A Multicultural Learning Environment

A unique aspect of the program is the diversity of perspectives infused in the classroom, with students as well as faculty coming from many different national origins. This combined with the American-style interactive teaching methods, makes for an enriching and mind-opening class experience.

Master’s thesis

The program culminates in the completion of a Master’s thesis. Through the in-depth research and writing involved in the thesis process you will form a specialization in an area of your interest, as well as strengthen your ability to plan and complete a substantial project.

The thesis topic is elaborated in coordination with the Academic Committee and faculty advisors based on your area of interest and professional objectives.

Foreign Policy component

You may choose to include a foreign policy component in your thesis. This exercise will offer you the opportunity to apply the international relation theories and methods learned to construct new solutions to current international problems, thus leading to concrete solutions supported by solid academic research.     

Degree Requirements

In order to obtain the degree of Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Pre-intermediate level of French language by graduation (1 on the ALTE scale, A2 on the CEF scale French Language Proficiency Level Scale).

    Note : to help you meet this requirement, AGS offers optional French language courses with its partner institution Alliance Française Paris-Ile de France (more information here).

  • Research and writing of a 25,000 to 35,000-word thesis complying with the academic standards set forth by the school.

Program options

A range of options allows you to tailor the program around your particular interests and career objectives.

Internship

While in the Master’s program, you have the opportunity to perform an internship in a Paris-based organization: diplomatic/consular mission, intergovernmental organization, NGO, multinational corporation news media outlet or another type of relevant international institution.

Internships are optional and can be pursued either for credit (then counting as a an elective course in the curriculum) or not-for-credit. In all cases, you may benefit from AGS’s guidance and support for internship placement. (Note that in all cases, the student is ultimately responsible for finding his/her internship.)

Area concentrations

You may specialize in a particular sector of international affairs and obtain, in addition to your M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy, a Certificate of Concentration in your area of specialization. The requirements for this option consist of elective courses in the said area, directed readings, comprehensive exams, and an area-focused thesis.

Area Concentrations Available include:

  • African Studies

  • Asian Studies

  • Middle Eastern Studies

Dual degree options

A number of dual program options with partner universities allow you to earn a second degree in a complementary discipline in addition to your US-accredited M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy:

  • European accredited Master in Diplomacy and Strategic Negotiation (with Université Paris-Sud, Sceaux, France): more information here

  • European accredited LL.M. in French and European Union Law and Business Ethics (with Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France): more information here

  • US-accredited M.A. in Peace and Conflict Resolution (with Arcadia University, USA): more information here

International opportunities

You may spend one of the semesters of the M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy program abroad, studying at one of AGS's partner institutions while earning credits toward your AGS degree. Options include the United States (Arcadia University) and Italy (University of Siena). You may also spend the summer at UC Berkeley Extension, completing an additional module in leadership and management.

See more information

Combined M.A.-Ph.D. program

AGS offers a combined M.A.-Ph.D. program per the American model. The combined M.A.-Ph.D. program allows you to credit the required courses toward both degrees simultaneously. Ph.D. candidates having successfully completed their M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy at AGS would therefore be exempt from taking the required courses, and would only have to take seven elective courses for the Ph.D. program. Note that admission into the Ph.D. program is not automatic after obtaining the M.A.

Timeframe options

Full-time two-year track: the program is designed to be completed in two years on a full-time basis, involving nine to twelve hours of classes per week in addition to readings, assignments, and the research and writing of the thesis.

Accelerated 18-month intensive track: You have the option to complete the program in three semesters instead of four. You would then be required to take twelve to fifteen hours of classes per week.

Part-time track: EU students and other students who do not need to be enrolled on a full-time basis for visa purposes may undertake the program over a longer period of time on a part-time basis. This allows working professionals and other interested candidates to combine the program with other activities.

 
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Ian Campbell USA
M.A., School of International Relations
Class of 2009

quote leftAGS has not only introduced and allowed me to explore the ideas of the scholars in the field, but also to explore my own ideas in the hopes that they become a part of the larger discipline.quote right

The M.A. in International Relations program is fully accredited in the U.S.:

by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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as an affiliated program of Arcadia University
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