Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

MA in International Affairs

New Program!

The growing interconnectedness of the world’s almost 200 countries, termed globalization, and the rising impact of foreign affairs on our daily lives increasingly require individuals with advanced knowledge of International Affairs. The new 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 1.5 years (assuming a full course load of three classes per semester, for three semesters, and one summer class).Part time is also an option. Students can take one or two courses a semester.

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


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 200-level language class that will count as a language research tool.

Core Courses

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 eight departments in CAS (History Department, Philosophy Department, Political Science Department, Psychology Department, Sociology Department, Theology Department, Criminal Justice & Criminology Department, and Modern Languages and Literatures Department) and four additional Schools (School of Communication, School of Education [International Education], School of Social Work, and School of Law).

List of Elective Courses

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:


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

  • Online application (free)
  • Undergraduate academic record (applicant must provide all college transcripts)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose, not to exceed two double-spaced pages, describing academic interests and professional goals

Students will be accepted in both the fall and spring semesters. Acceptance will be on a rolling basis, with the following application deadlines:

  • October 1, to matriculate in spring semester
  • February 15, to matriculate in fall semester and be considered for assistantships
  • June 1, to matriculate in fall semester without an assistantship

Tuition and Financial Assistance

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).

A limited number of merit awards are available for fall applicants. All applicants will automatically be considered on the basis of their application materials.

Contact Us

For further information on applying or the program, please contact Professor Molly Melin, Graduate Program Director, at mmelin@luc.edu or 773.508.3053