Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

Dual BA/MA or BS/MA Degree in International Affairs

New Program!

The growing interconnectedness of the world’s almost 200 countries, termed globalization, and the rising impacts of foreign affairs on our daily lives increasingly require individuals with advanced knowledge of International Affairs. The Dual BA/MA and BS/MA in International Affairs allows students to explore global problems and interactions from an interdisciplinary perspective that makes use of eight Arts and Sciences academic departments and four additional colleges. Students will have the flexibility to tailor their program to fit their individual interests. Students can fulfill a capstone experience by participating in an internship, taking a study abroad class, writing a paper for publication, or writing a master’s thesis.

Loyola University Chicago and the City of Chicago together serve as the ideal location for an MA in International Affairs: Loyola embodies a long commitment to interdisciplinary education; and Chicago is consistently ranked as one of the top ten global cities in the world. The program offers a unique urban setting for students interested in the advanced study of International Affairs.

The majority of full-time students are expected to finish the program in 5 years, as opposed to the six years if both programs are pursued separately. Undergraduate students from participating programs at Loyola will be able to pursue a dual BA/MA-BS/MA in International Affairs. A participating History student, for example, would achieve a dual BA in History/MA in International Affairs. A participating Psychology student would achieve a dual BS in Psychology/MA in International Affairs.

Joint degrees can be obtained for the following majors: Criminal Justice & Criminology (BA/MA), Global and International Studies (BA/MA), History (BA/MA), Philosophy (BA/MA), Political Science (BA/MA), Psychology (BS/MA), Sociology (BA/MA), and Theology (BA/MA). Students will also be able to take graduate courses in the School of Communication, the School of Education (International Education), and the School of Social Work.

Learning Outcomes

Students will graduate from our program having achieved:

  • a foundation for understanding and critiquing research related to International Affairs, including methods training that leverages both qualitative and quantitative data
  • knowledge of the principal theories of comparative politics and international relations, as well as the key areas of research in these two subfields
  • an interdisciplinary understanding and appreciation of International Affairs through coursework available within eight different departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and four additional Schools at Loyola
  • enhanced writing and critical thinking skills and dispositions through class-based projects and a capstone experience
  • strengthened methods, research, or writing skills tailored to students interests with advanced methods courses, language training, or the writing of a master’s thesis.

Career Pathways

The knowledge and skills acquired by students completing the MA in International Affairs will open several different career pathways. In the broadest sense, these career pathways will include (but are not limited to):

  • US Government jobs in the United States at the federal/national levels, such as the State Department, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, the intelligence agencies (e.g., the National Security Agency and the CIA), Department of Homeland Security, and congressional offices in the Senate and House of Representatives (as experts on international affairs)
  • International offices of city, state, and local government, such as Chicago’s Sister City Program and the International Business Division of the State of Illinois which is located in Chicago
  • Positions with international governmental organizations such as the dozens of organizations in the United Nations system and many more from regional organizations such as the Organization of American States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the European Union
  • Careers with nongovernmental organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Greenheart Travel
  • Jobs with non-profit organizations with an international presence that speak to Loyola’s Catholic/Jesuit mission, such as Catholic Relief Services and the Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Private sector positions as "country experts" or broad "issue-area" experts (focusing for example on environmental or legal issues) for private businesses with international presence, such as Abbott Labs.
  • Internal advancement as a result of an MA that provides an added, international dimension to already existing careers not traditionally considered “international,” such as banking, journalism, and social work
  • Careers in international program development at universities, colleges, community colleges, and high schools, many of which oversee offices of international programs and study abroad offerings
  • Further study in a PhD program focusing on international affairs


Students will take a total of ten classes (30 credit hours) to complete the program: Four required core classes, including a capstone experience, and an additional six elective classes, with no more than three offered by a single department in CAS or another School at Loyola. One of these six elective classes can be a 300-level language class that will count as a language research tool.

According to Graduate School guidelines, undergraduate students admitted to a dual BA/MA-BS/MA program will be able to apply up to 12 semester hours (four classes) earned toward the BA or BS degree to satisfy the 30 semester hours (ten courses) required for the MA in International Affairs. The 12 hours must include at least 6 hours of 400- or 500-level graduate-level courses that they take in their senior year and up to 6 hours of 300-level courses. The 300-level courses that can contribute to each of the ten dual degree programs are listed here

Required Core Classes: All students will take the following four International Affairs classes. These core courses, which will be offered on an annual basis, are designed to provide entering students from a variety of interdisciplinary backgrounds with a common experience in research methods, an introduction to comparative political systems and international relations, and a capstone experience.


INTA 475 (PLSC 475) - Techniques of Political Analysis I

The primary goal of this course is to provide students with a foundation for understanding and critiquing research that leverages quantitative data. By the end of this course, students will know how to work with data and conduct quantitative analysis. Students interested in pursuing additional quantitative or qualitative methods will have a variety of options offered by participating departments and schools. For example, a student interested in acquiring advanced quantitative methods might wish to take Sociology (SOCL 415), “Statistical Methods of Analysis II,” and a student interested in qualitative methods might wish to take SOCL 412, “Qualitative Methods in Social Research.” See below for a full listing of potential methods courses.


INTA 420 (PLSC 420) - Comparative Political Systems

This course introduces students to theories of comparative politics and comparative political research on political institutions and behavior.


INTA 430 (PLSC 430) - Theories of International Relations

This course introduces students to theories of international relations and international relations research.


INTA 499 - Capstone

see capstone requirement below for further information.

In addition to the four core classes, students will take an additional six elective courses, with no more than three offered by a single department in the College of Arts and Sciences or another School at Loyola. The core INTA courses in Political Science do not count toward this three-course total, and thus a student may take three Political Science courses in addition to the three core (required) courses. 

The participating programs that will contribute classes include: Global Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Theology, Criminal Justice & Criminology, as well as the Schools of Communication, Education, and Social Work.

Please note that the courses listed might not be offered every year and new courses may be added to this list. Students should talk with the Graduate Program Director if they want to take a course that is not on the list of elective courses to see whether the course can serve as an elective.


Research Expertise and Faculty


While students have the options of taking a broad range of courses from the colleges and schools participating in the program, core courses and electives will be offered by faculty in the department of Political Science:

Olga Avedeyeva, PhD Alexandru Grigorescu, PhD Molly Melin, PhD
Patrick Boyle, PhD Chris Hasselman, PhD Peter Schraeder, PhD
David Doherty, PhD Tofigh Maboudi, PhD  
Brian Endless, PhD Sarah Maxey, PhD  


Junior political science majors with an overall GPA of at least 3.0. Students must apply by the end of their junior year, since they will have to take one graduate course in each semester of their senior year. Student must have a declared major in a participating program and have completed five completed courses in the major, three of which must be at the 300 level.


Acceptance into the MAIA is based on a consideration of the following:

  • Online application (free)
  • Undergraduate academic record (supplied by the department)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose, not to exceed two double-spaced pages, describing academic interests and professional goals
  • Optional: Graduate Record Examination scores, if available, but not required

Acceptance will be on a rolling basis, with a June 1st application deadline.

Tuition and Financial Assistance

Until you have satisfied all of the requirements for the BA degree, you are classified as an undergraduate and pay undergraduate tuition and fees. After you have satisfied all of the requirements for the BA degree, you are classified as a graduate student and pay graduate tuition and fees. You should note that full time graduate study normally involves taking three courses (nine semester hours), which means that your tuition will be significantly lower in your fifth year of study, based upon the current fee schedule.

The following link provides detailed tuition information for graduate programs at Loyola University Chicago, under the College of Arts and Sciences (where this program resides).

Contact Us

For further information on applying or the program, please contact Professor Tofigh Maboudi, Graduate Program Director for International Affairs, at tmaboudi@luc.edu or 773.508.3483