A student standing in front of a group of international flags.

Master of International Affairs

International Affairs

Program of Study

Core Courses

See course descriptions below.

  • Global Governance
  • Economics for Global Affairs
  • Quantitative Approaches to International Affairs
  • Global Security
  • International and Comparative Public Management
  • Statistics for International Affairs Managers and Policy Analysts



Choose two courses in any international affairs subjects.


Concentration Courses

Choose three courses as required for your area of concentration (see below). 


Professional Internship or Career Experience


Professional Development Module


Capstone Project

Core Course Descriptions

Global Governance

Examine world politics in the context of globalization and international organizations such as the United Nations and regional organizations such as the European Union. Course material covers the history of international relations and the institutions that govern state practice and policies; transnational relations of non-state actors such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and multinational corporations; and trans-governmental relations of sub-national governments and government agencies that shape global policy.

Economics for Global Affairs

Learn how to apply micro- and macro-economics in cross-national settings and how international trade and finance impact the global economy. This course is designed for students without an economics background. You may take a more advanced economics course if you pass a placement exam.

Quantitative Approaches to International Affairs

Learn to use software applications for planning, policy analysis, and decision-making. Develop skills analyzing data quality, managing information, developing policy models, monitoring projects, and measuring program performance. Emphasis is placed on summarizing information meaningfully for policy makers and stakeholders.

Global Security

Improve your understanding of international security issues. The first part of this course covers deterrence, alliances, collective security, conventional war, and the nuclear revolution. The remaining portion analyzes transnational threats such as terrorism; the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons; tensions between economic globalization and homeland security imperatives; weaponry technology; and cyber warfare.

International and Comparative Public Management

Study public service institutions and administrative practice in cross-national political, bureaucratic, and legal settings. Compare the managerial structures of international organizations such as the United Nations, foreign ministries, and the functional agencies of national governments, provinces, and cities engaged in trans-governmental relations. Alternate course option: Foundations of Public Management.

Statistics for International Affairs Managers and Policy Analysts

Master the statistical methods commonly used by international affairs professionals and in academic policy research. Present the findings of your own analysis of real world data using regression analysis and other statistical methods. 

Global Public Management Concentration

The Global Public Management concentration emphasizes organizational and leadership skills for public management careers. Choose this concentration if you want to pursue a career in governments and non-profit organizations around the world as well as in international organizations and non-governmental organizations at the regional and global level.

Concentrating in Global Public Management will increase your understanding of:

  • Strategic planning, budgeting, accounting, information technology management and human resource management in international organizations and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs)
  • The work of NGOs in international economic development programs, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and the practicalities of grant administration, procurement, oversight, and accountability
  • Challenges of public administration in countries with different cultures, histories, and political regimes
  • Cross-national knowledge sharing and capacity-building for effective public administration and efficient civil services
  • The use of new technologies by governments and international organizations to improve administrative effectiveness and accountability
  • Cultural and political challenges of public administration in foreign countries
Diplomacy and Global Governance Concentration

Choose this concentration if you aspire to a diplomatic career as a political affairs officer in foreign ministries or an international civil servant in the United Nations or other international organizations,  as well as careers in international non-governmental organizations.

The Diplomacy and Global Governance concentration will increase your understanding of:

  • The functioning of international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the shaping of governance and civil society around the world
  • Political dynamics in key global issue areas such as human rights, development, and the environment
Global Economic Policy Concentration

(currently unavailable)

Choose this concentration if you're interested in international trade theory, financial and monetary theory, emerging markets, development economics, trade policy, financial and monetary policy, banking and financial sector regulation. Courses in this concentration will be useful if you aspire to a diplomatic career as an economics affairs officer in foreign ministries, trade agreement negotiator, or international civil servant within international organizations dealing with international monetary, trade and development policies (e.g. World Bank, IMF, UNDP) as well as a career in NGOs operating in these economic policy domains. 

Courses in this area are routinely offered by economists with appointments in the public administration department and political science faculty with expertise in comparative and international political economy. You may also enroll in relevant courses offered in the master’s program of the economics department.

Global and Homeland Security Concentration

Choose this concentration if you're working toward a career with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, intelligence agencies, federal and state law enforcement or their foreign counterparts; international organizations such as the UN Security Council, NATO, World Customs Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Organization for Migration, and International Maritime Organization; federally funded research and development centers such as RAND, Institute for Defense Analyses, and Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute; non-profit research institutes; policy advocacy organizations; and security consulting firms.

Concentrating in Global and Homeland Security will increase your understanding of:

  • Military strategy, defense policy, arms control and non-proliferation
  • Security cooperation at the regional and global levels
  • The origin, nature, and impact of terrorism and unconventional warfare
  • Border and transportation security; cybersecurity
  • Intelligence analysis and information sharing
  • Analytic, methodological, and technical skills for analyzing security/intelligence issues
Custom Concentrations

International Development Administration

You may opt to focus on international development administration by taking courses offered by faculty from Rockefeller College’s Center for International Development (CID). This program prepares you for careers in the international development agencies of national governments (e.g., USAID) and international organizations (e.g., UNDP), as well as nonprofit organizations, like CID, that implement development projects.


Information Technology Policy and Management

With a focus on Information Technology Policy and Management you can take courses offered by faculty affiliated with CTG UAlbany and the University’s Information Science program. This concentration prepares you for positions developing information management strategies and managing information technology projects within governments, international organizations and NGOs, or working in government agencies and international organizations that regulate information technologies and promote cyber security in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Professional Development

Pursue opportunities in the U.S. or abroad to gain hands-on experience in the required 400-hour internship. This part of the program enables you to apply your knowledge of international organizations, political science, and public administration in real organizations.

You will gain valuable real-world experience through internships in both the public and private sector. Rockefeller College has a record of placing students in exciting and varied international jobs and internships.

If you have two years of relevant full-time employment experience or are concurrently working full-time in the Public Affairs, Administration, International Affairs or non-profit sectors, you may be eligible to waive the MIA internship requirement.

Yalitza Negron, Director of Internships and Career Services, consulting with a student
Career Paths

Forge a new career path or advance along your current trajectory.

Students who earn the master's in international affairs go on to careers in organizations such as:

  • United States Department of Defense
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • National Security Agency
  • United States Foreign Service
  • United Nations
  • New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • Center for International Development at UAlbany 



Sample job titles in the public and private sectors include:

  • Diplomat
  • Excelsior Service Fellow
  • Program Analyst
  • Client Relations Analyst
  • Legislative Director
  • Intelligence Specialist
  • Communications Specialist

“Rockefeller prepared me for this fellowship by giving me the opportunity to make professional connections in New York State government. All the faculty and staff who I worked with at Rockefeller taught me new skills and how to leverage my existing skills in the professional world. Even though my degree is in international affairs, I know that all the skills I acquired in my degree program will serve me well during my detour into state government. I think that Rockefeller gave a positive perspective and attitude to accomplish a great deal throughout the time I will spend in NYS government.”

- Matthew R. Ciotti, MIA ‘18

Office of Career Development

The Office of Career Development offers comprehensive career counseling services, including helping students and alumni identify rewarding public affairs careers. We provide résumé writing and job search advice from the initial search through acceptance of a position. Within six months of receiving their degrees nearly all of our graduates are working in a position in their chose field. In addition, many of our students are accepted into prestigious postgraduate fellowship programs such as the New York State Excelsior Service Fellowship; many of these opportunities lead to permanent employment.


The Office of Career Development

[email protected]

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework as early as your junior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can complete your combined program in 5.5 years instead of 6, and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

Commencement stock photo

Admissions Requirements


Fall (Priority for Funding Consideration): February 1

Fall (Regular Admission): July 15

Spring: December 1

Summer: Not available

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of goals
    The statement is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals. 
Special Notes

This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.