MBA/MA in International Relations

The Master of Business Administration / Master of Arts in International Relations (MBA/MA in IR) is offered as a dual degree, administered jointly by the Graduate College of Arts (GRS) and Sciences and the School of Management (SMG).  This dual-degree program is designed to meet the needs of students seeking careers in international affairs where the focus is on research and analysis, such as administrative management, international affairs, consulting, international banking, or finance.

Students in the joint international relations program have access to vibrant centers for study and research, such as the Center for International Relations and the Institute for the Study of Ideology, Policy, and Conflict.

Key Facts

  • Number of credits: 80
  • Program length : 5 semesters
  • Full-time or Part-time: Both full- and part-time basis
    • Please note, if you would like to complete the program on a part-time basis, many of the International Relations classes are only available during the day.
  • Deadlines to apply: Round 1 – October 16, Round 2 – January 8


Program Requirements

Students must successfully complete 80 credits to earn the MBA/MA in IR, including 32 credits toward the MA in International Relations and 40 credits toward the MBA. The remaining eight credits required for the degree are free electives and can be chosen from the graduate-level course offerings of either the Department of International Relations or SMG.

The Department of International Relations has established four core areas of study within international relations: Theory and Policy, Economics, Security Studies, and Regional Studies. A variety of courses are offered within each of those four core areas. All students must successfully complete at least one course in three of the four core areas to satisfy the core requirement.

The 32 MA credits include a core of three courses, discussed above; five IR electives; a language requirement; and a research or policy paper and oral defense thereof.

Students spend their first semester and most or all of their second semester taking management courses at SMG. The School’s Graduate Programs Office can help students to understand which courses should be taken during those two semesters.


Curriculum Map

Please note that this is a sample guide for full-time students. This is by no means a firm map of courses, and each individual’s schedule will vary.  Students should meet with their advisors from both SMG and the Department of International Relations for assistance with course selection. The curriculum and courses are subject to change as recommended by deans, faculty, and administrators of SMG and GRS.

FIRST YEAR FALL (18 Credits) FIRST YEAR SPRING (19 Credits) SUMMER SECOND YEAR FALL (19-20 Credits) SECOND YEAR SPRING (19 Credits) SUMMER FALL (6-8 Credits)
ES700 Executive Presentations (1 Credit) ES701 Executive Written Communications (1 Credit) Internship (Optional) ES743 Career Community III (1 Credits) MBA Elective (3 Credits) Internship (Optional) Free Elective Either School (3 or 4 Credits)
ES740 Career Management (2 Credits) PL700 Introduction to Business Law (2 Credits) MBA Elective (3 Credits) IR Core* (4 Credits) Free Elective Either School (3 or 4 Credits)
ES741 Career Community I (0 Credits) ES742 Career Community II (0 Credits) IR Core* (4 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits) Research Policy Paper
OB713 Managing Organizations and People (3 Credits) IS710 IT Strategies for a Networked Economy (3 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits)
FE721 Financial Management (3 Credits) OM725 Creating Value Through Operations and Technology (3 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits) IR Elective (4 Credits)
MK723 Marketing Management (3 Credits) FE730 Economics and Management Decisions (3 Credits) Free Elective Either School (3 or 4 Credits)
AC710 Financial Reporting and Control (3 Credits) SI750 Competition, Innovation, and Strategy (3 Credits)
QM716 Data Analysis for Managerial Decision-Making (3 Credits) IR Core* (4 Credits)

Purple: MBA, Blue: MA (International Relations), Green: Either.

Please note this is a sample guide for full-time students. It is by no means a firm map of course, and each individual’s schedule will vary.

*Three required IR core courses must be selected from three of the four subject areas: Theory & Policy, Economics, Regional Studies, and Security Studies. At least one of the IR core or elective courses must be at level 700 or above.

**The MBA/MA IR dual degree requires that students complete 40 credits at the School of Management, 32 credits in the Department of International Relations, and at least 8 Credits from either school (two to three electives, depending on where they are taken)


Learning Goals

Master of Business Administration

Learning in the MBA program is heavily experience and team-based, emphasizing the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (particularly analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in the cognitive realm), and cuts across traditional educational categories. In the first semester of the full time program, student teams are formed and engage in projects that combine application of content from multiple courses, culminating in competitive presentations and products. There is also a major simulation carried out by a separate set of teams that lasts several days and mimics iterative decision-making in the real world. Courses are heavily interactive, and cases are widely used in the classroom.

MBA Learning Goals

The learning goals of the MBA program have been adopted by the MBA Program Development Committee as the competencies all graduates of the program should attain. From these learning goals the program has developed measurable objectives, which are regularly assessed and results are fed back into the curricular process.

Specifically, the learning goals of Boston University’s MBA program are as follows:

  • We develop graduates with self-awareness and strong career management skills
  • We develop graduates who can apply integrative leadership, have strong communication skills, and can perform well and contribute appropriately on teams
  • We develop graduates who understand the strategic implications and application of technology within business
  • We develop graduates who possess a management-systems perspective. Graduates will have an understanding of core, functional, business knowledge; and will be able to successfully apply critical and analytical thinking within a management-systems perspective
  • We develop graduates who possess an ethical, global, perspective


Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition

While students are attending both the Graduate College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Management, they pay only one set of tuition.  Tuition is currently set at $45, 686 per year. For a full list of fees and other associated costs visit the School of Management Tuition and Financial Aid page. However, if a student exceeds 18 credits in a given semester, he or she will be charged additional tuition.
Students who take summer SMG courses while considered a CAS student must pay extra tuition for those courses. If you have specific questions on this process, please feel free to contact the School of Management’s Financial Aid Office or call (617) 353-3584.

Financial Aid

All dual degree MBA/IR candidates are automatically eligible for the School of Managements merit based scholarships. For more information visit The School of Managements tuition and financial aid page.


Careers

Graduates of this program go on to careers in government, Foreign Service, intelligence agencies, NGOs, and consulting.


Admission Process

Applicants interested in the joint MBA/MA in International Relations should submit completed applications to the Graduate School of Management. The School of Management will then forward the application to the Graduate College of Arts and Sciences only if an offer of admission is made to the MBA program.

Please note that although you submit only one application, there will be two separate admission decisions, one by the Department of Economics and the other by the School of Management.  Please see the application checklist for what is needed to apply to the School of Management.


Contact Us

Contact the School of Management at (617) 353-2670 or contact the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at (617) 353-9278 for program-specific questions. We’re also available on chat through MSM/AIM/Yahoo/Google Talk; our screen name is BostonUMBA.