International Security Concentration

Designed for the student pursuing a career in foreign policy or national security.


International Security Studies Concentration

Security studies is designed for the student looking for a career in the fields of foreign policy or national security. The courses help students understand international organizations and the global issues that affect security around the world. The program prepares students for careers in US Federal and state agencies as well as international organizations and companies in the private sector that operate in critical areas of the world.

Core Curriculum (3 courses)

  • IAS 5902 Global Political Turbulence
  • IAS 5912 Global Economic Turbulence
  • IAS 5922 Global Social Turbulence


Field of Concentration

  • International Security Studies
    • IAS 5033 International Human Rights
    • IAS 5043 Global Security
    • IAS 5503 Theory and Practice of International Politics


Electives (1 course in the non-concentration field)

Area Studies (3 courses focusing across or within regions of the world)

  • Courses to be selected from a list maintained by the department. Examples include:
    • IAS 5153 Chinese Foreign Policy
    • IAS 5213 Politics of the European Uniony
    • IAS 5353 Latin American International Relations
    • IAS 5403 Humanitarianism and Africa


Global Affairs Practicum

  • IAS 5803 Global Affairs Practicumcy


Education Abroad Experience

  • Location and substantive focus varies summer to summer.

Course Descriptions

Global Political Turbulence
This is one of three core courses in the M.A. in Global Affairs program focused on aspects of global turbulence. The Global Political Turbulence course explores the sources, consequences, and implications of turbulence in the international political system. This will include nation-states, international organizations like the UN, and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). It will examine political turbulence in a global context, as well as turbulent affairs in each region of the world. We will concentrate on the political turbulence that characterizes global affairs today and will highlight turbulent relations in each region of the world.
Global Economic Turbulence
This is one of three core courses in the M.A. in Global Affairs program focused on aspects of global turbulence. The Global Economic Turbulence course explores the international economy, including international markets and international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank.
Global Social Turbulence
This is one of three core courses in the M.A. in Global Affairs program focused on aspects of global turbulence. This course examines the layered causes and consequences of social turbulence around the world. It explores how people on the ground interact with each other and the world around them. Additionally, students will study how people react to societal and environmental changes.
International Human Rights
Examines the increasingly complex body of substantive law and political practices related to the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in international law and politics. Explores major international and regional systems of enforcement, and the growing role of human rights in domestic politics and international relations,
Global Security
Examines some of the major theoretical and practical approaches to the study of global security, and focuses on the causes of war, the impact of various actors, technologies, resources and other transnational problems on violent conflict, and the different approaches to and dimensions of security solutions.
Theory and Practice of International Politics
Focuses on political relations among states, the role and function of non-state actors, the nature of the international system, factors that affect state behavior, analytical and practical tools relevant for foreign policy decision-making, and various policy relevant issues in the international arena.
Chinese Foreign Policy
Provides a comprehensive introduction to Chinese foreign policy. Examines several key issues and concepts, including China's external relations prior to "Liberation" in 1949, international relations theory, the history of the PRC's foreign relations, and vital foreign policy issues confronting China in the 21st century.
Politics of the European Union
This course examines the historical process of European integration, the institutional structures of the EU, its global significance, and major areas of controversy such as economic and monetary union and free movement of people across borders.
Latin American International Relations
This course is a survey of Latin American international relations. The first third of the course surveys the history of the hemisphere’s international relations with an emphasis on U.S.-Latin American relations. The last two-thirds focus on post-Cold War issues in hemispheric affairs and adopts an interdisciplinary method. The course aims to impart a skill set appropriate for careers in international relations such as human rights lawyers, journalists, international engineers, NGO program managers, international fund managers, or diplomats at the Organization of American States.
Humanitarianism and Africa
The course explores the longstanding need of Westerners to "help" Africans, examines the historical basis of this particular mode of thought and how it has changed over time, and seeks to understand how Western humanitarian intervention shaped and, perhaps more important, was shaped by Africans.
Global Affairs Practicum
This course satisfies the practicum requirement for the M.A. degree in Global Affairs. All students are expected to engage in a research project resulting in a written document that examines, analyzes, and critiques a specific government or international policy. The paper should ultimately propose specific policy recommendations that are intended to be an improvement upon the current policy. The project may be conducted under the auspices of the Diplomacy Lab. The projects are intended to contribute to the policymaking process by offering relevant research on topics of interest to the U.S. State Department.