Daniel D'Souza
Written By - Daniel D'Souza

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International Relations encompasses the study of global politics and the socio-historical impact of worldwide development. The interconnected nature of global growth, integration, and globalization has given rise to real-world challenges spanning war, terrorism, power dynamics, diplomacy, climate change, trade, poverty, migration, and international cooperation. Understanding these subjects is essential to navigating circumstances effectively and formulating informed policies. Enrolling in an online Master’s in International Relations program empowers students to comprehend and explore the intricate dynamics of relations between countries, businesses, activists, communities, and international organizations.

Upon completion, this program opens doors to many career paths, spanning diplomacy, international development, government roles, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multinational corporations, think tanks, and academia. The goal is to produce graduates with a profound comprehension of global dynamics, fortified analytical skills, and the capacity to meaningfully contribute to addressing the pressing challenges on the global stage. In the further sections, we have elaborated on the various components of an international relations master’s degree.

Online Masters in International Relations

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Master’s in International Relations Online Programs

As is often the case, finding the best International Relations graduate programs can take time and effort. Identifying colleges that cut requires several factors to be considered, such as the experience and qualification of the faculty, the college’s infrastructure, nature, program structure, courses on offer, affordability, cost, and much more. The best schools for International Relations must be accredited and recognized by the job market. After careful analysis, these are what we consider the best online International Relations Master’s programs:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016
Tufts University
Medford, Massachusetts 02155
Troy University
University Avenue, Troy, Alabama 36082
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Arizona State University
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
University of Oklahoma, Norman
660 Parrington Oval, Norman, Oklahoma 73019
Seton Hall University
400 S Orange Ave, South Orange, New Jersey 07079
SUNY at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12222
St. Mary’s University
One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, Texas 78228
Norwich University
158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 05663
Colorado State University, Global Campus
585 Salida Way, Aurora, Colorado 80011
Webster University
470 E Lockwood Ave., Saint Louis, Missouri 63119
Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge St, Omaha, Nebraska 68182
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
American Public University System
111 W Congress St, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Most Affordable Master’s in International Relations Online Programs

Cost and affordability are crucial when applying for an online Master’s in International Relations degree. With the cost of Master’s Programs rising, it becomes increasingly essential for students to weigh out the balance of the structure and quality of a program versus the cost to pursue it. Here is a list of some of the most affordable online Master’s in International Relations that offer quality as well:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge St, Omaha, Nebraska 68182
American Public University System
111 W Congress St, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
660 Parrington Oval, Norman, Oklahoma 73019
Troy University
University Avenue, Troy, Alabama 36082
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
Colorado State University-Global Campus
585 Salida Way, Aurora, Colorado 80011
Walden University
100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
SUNY at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12222
Arizona State University
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
Webster University
470 E Lockwood Ave., Saint Louis, Missouri 63119
Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464
St. Mary’s University
One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, Texas 78228
Norwich University
158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 05663

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in International Relations Online Programs

An online Master’s in International Relations focuses on grasping history, politics, anthropology, and current events, applying this knowledge to address real-world challenges in business, politics, and humanitarian sectors. This degree equips students with the skills to maintain positive diplomatic relations, prevent international conflicts, and foster cross-border business connections, ultimately promoting international trade.

Graduates of this program emerge with the expertise to provide recommendations on public policy grounded in a solid understanding of international politics, global security, and governance. The versatile skill set obtained opens doors to diverse career paths, including roles in diplomacy, foreign service, federal civil service, international business, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international aid and development, or journalism. For individuals passionate about travel, politics, arbitration, and negotiation, an online Master’s in International Relations unveils a range of exciting career possibilities.

Tailored for those already working or aspiring to work in diplomacy, international development, international business, and global peace, the Master’s in International Relations is designed to meet the needs of individuals seeking a deeper understanding of global dynamics in their respective fields.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Online Master’s in International Relations Programs

The curriculum of a Master’s in International Relations program typically covers a broad spectrum of subjects to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of global affairs. It is designed to equip graduates with a well-rounded skill set, including analytical thinking, critical research abilities, effective communication, and a deep understanding of the complexities of international relations. This diverse knowledge prepares students for careers in diplomacy, international development, government, NGOs, business, and academia.

Master in IR subjects or core courses are similar and prepare students to apply theory and practice to deal with real-world situations and issues. Diplomacy and International Relations courses usually stem from various disciplines such as history, law, political science, economics, anthropology, and more. While specific courses may vary by institution, standard courses include:

International Relations Theory
This course aims to provide students with a deep understanding of the foundational theories that shape the study of international relations. Students explore diverse theoretical perspectives, including realism, liberalism, constructivism, and contemporary approaches. They analyze how these theories contribute to our understanding of global politics and interactions between states.

Global Governance
This course focuses on examining the structures and mechanisms that facilitate cooperation and governance on a global scale. Students study international institutions and organizations, exploring how they operate, collaborate, and influence global decision-making. The course covers global policy coordination, international law, and the challenges of achieving effective global governance.

Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Analysis
Students delve into the intricacies of diplomatic relations between states, analyzing historical and contemporary examples. They also develop skills in evaluating foreign policy decisions’ motivations and their implications on international relations. This course will equip students with the analytical tools to understand and assess diplomatic practices and foreign policy decisions.

International Law and Organizations
Students explore the foundational principles of international law, including state sovereignty, human rights, and humanitarian law. Additionally, the course delves into the functions and impact of international organizations like the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and regional bodies. This course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of international law and critical organizations’ role in the international arena.

Security Studies
Students examine the evolving nature of security challenges in the international system. Topics include the analysis of conflicts, strategies for maintaining peace, the role of international organizations in security affairs, and the impact of emerging threats like terrorism and cyber threats. This course addresses critical issues related to global security, ranging from conflict resolution and peacekeeping to counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

Some additional courses that one finds commonly across different coursework include:

  • Nonviolent Conflict Resolution
  • Theories on the Causes of War
  • Geography and Ecology
  • Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies
  • Sustainable Development
  • Environmental Policy
  • Anthropology and Cultural Studies
  • Inter-American Security Issues
  • International Political Economy
  • Economics and Global Markets
  • Mediterranean Studies
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • International Political Economy
  • Diplomacy and Statecraft
  • Comparative International Development 

International Relations Master’s Degree programs also offer many elective courses that allow for a more customized program. While some electives focus on particular regions or countries, others look at specific aspects of International Relations. Students usually find options for electives in topics such as:

  • The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
  • The European Union: Integration, Enlargement, and Unity 
  • Muslim Presence in Europe
  • Ecology of the Mediterranean
  • Conflict Resolution and International Security
  • International Law
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Trade and Finance
  • Geopolitics in The Mediterranean Basin
  • Ethics of War and Peace
  • International Economics and The European Union
  • Democracy and its Critics
  • International Ocean Law
  • Scope and Methods of Political Science
  • Political Violence and Conflict Resolution 

Note: Curriculum and courses vary by region, college, and program. It is, therefore, essential to research each program’s curriculum to find one that relates to the individual’s career goals. 

Students pursuing a Master’s in International Relations develop diverse skills essential for understanding, analyzing, and contributing to the complex world of global affairs. Here are vital skills that one typically acquires during their Master’s program:

  • Analytical Thinking
    Students learn to critically analyze international events, policies, and issues, considering multiple perspectives and their implications on a global scale.
  • Research Skills
    The program emphasizes research methodologies, enabling students to conduct in-depth analyses, contribute to academic discourse, and stay informed about current international developments.
  • Communication Skills
    Effective communication is crucial in international relations. Students enhance their written and verbal communication skills to articulate complex ideas, negotiate, and engage in diplomatic discourse.
  • Diplomacy and Negotiation
    Students acquire practical skills in diplomacy and negotiation, understanding the art of managing international relations, resolving conflicts, and fostering cooperation between states and entities.
  • Cross-Cultural CompetenceGiven the global nature of international relations, students learn to navigate and appreciate cultural differences, fostering an understanding of diverse perspectives and approaches.
  • Policy Analysis
    Students gain the ability to analyze and formulate policies, considering political, economic, social, and environmental factors. This skill is vital for addressing global challenges and proposing practical solutions.
  • Global Governance Awareness
    Understanding international institutions and governance structures equips students to navigate the complexities of global governance, contributing to effective policy-making and collaboration.
  • Security and Conflict Resolution
    Students develop expertise in analyzing security issues and conflicts, learning strategies for conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and countering security threats.
  • Economic LiteracyGiven the interconnectedness of economics and international relations, students understand global economic trends, trade policies, and economic development issues.
  • Language ProficiencyProficiency in one or more foreign languages is often encouraged or required, enhancing students’ ability to communicate effectively in a global context.

Master’s in International Relations Degree Types

Students can choose from three types of degrees for an online Master’s in International Relations – a Master of Arts or MA in International Relations, a Master of Science or MS in International Relations, or a Master of Business Administration or online MBA in International Relations. While all three-degree types are based on International Relations, each has a unique flavor and teaching approach.

MA International Relations

The Master of Arts or MA International Relations takes a multi-disciplinary approach to International Relations by integrating history, anthropology, political science, philosophy, law, religion, etc., necessary to understand the complex nature of global issues and events.

MS in International Relations

The Master of Science or MS in International Relations emphasizes the technical aspects of International Relations and its relevant subjects. Students learn to navigate complex challenges at the intersection of foreign policy, global affairs, culture, communities, human resources, and business.

MBA International Relations

The Master of Business Administration or MBA International Business approaches International Relations from a more commercial point of view. It caters to International Business based on understanding a growing global market, evolving developing markets, emerging global trends, real-world business problems, and international trade and law. The program also usually covers business management, project budgeting, office management, finance, and decision-making.

International Relations vs International Affairs vs International Studies

Some schools offer degrees not only in International Relations but also in International Affairs and International Studies. So, what is the difference between an online Master’s in International Relations and a Master’s in International Affairs and an International Studies Master’s?

AspectInternational RelationsInternational StudiesInternational Affairs
Focus AreaLaw, Politics, EconomicsCultural and Social Dimensions, Economics, PoliticsNational Security, International Organizations, Global Events
Global PerspectiveExamines global connectionsExplores global impact on cultures and societiesConcentrates on global-level events and issues
Nations’ InteractionStudies how nations interact globallyExamines the impact of problems on a nation’s peopleConcentrates on national security and international collaborations
Program StructureBroad interdisciplinary approachEmphasis on cultural and social aspectsSimilar structure to International Relations, with a focus on security and international organizations
Emphasis on EconomicsIncludes economics within the focusExamines economic problems and their impactIntegrates economics with a focus on national security
Cultural and Social DimensionsIncludes as part of a broader studyPrimary focus on understanding cultures and societiesAddresses cultural and social aspects within a broader framework
Security and OrganizationsExplores but is not the primary focusNot a primary focus, more on cultural and social dimensionsPrimary emphasis on national security and international organizations
Current Events EmphasisAnalyzes global events in the context of IRExamines events’ impact on cultures and societiesFocuses on current events with an emphasis on national security and global issues

Specializations in Master’s in International Relations Programs

An online Master’s in International Relations may sometimes be too broad-based, making finding jobs in certain sectors difficult. Specializations dive deeper into specific aspects of International Relations, which can prepare students for employment in related fields. Most Master’s in International Relations offer concentrations or specialized degrees that reflect the utility of the chosen career path. Some options for such specializations include but are not limited to:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers
Security StudiesIt focuses on understanding global security challenges, including conflict resolution, peacekeeping, terrorism, cybersecurity, and the role of military forces.Various roles as National security, defense analysis, intelligence, strategic planning, etc. 
Diplomacy and NegotiationIt explores the principles and practices of diplomacy, negotiation strategies, and conflict resolution techniques in international relations.Diplomatic services, international negotiations, conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and more.
Global Governance and International OrganizationsIt concentrates on studying international institutions, global governance structures, and the role of organizations like the United Nations.Opportunities in international organizations, policy analysis, advocacy, etc. 
International DevelopmentIt examines issues related to economic development, poverty alleviation, sustainable development, and social justice on a global scale.Careers in international development agencies, NGOs, humanitarian organizations, etc. 
Environmental and Energy PolicyThis concentration focuses on the intersection of international relations with environmental issues, climate change, and energy policies.Opportunities in environmental policy, sustainability, climate change advocacy, and more. 
Human Rights and Humanitarian AffairsIt concentrates on human rights issues, humanitarian crises, and the legal frameworks protecting individuals globally.Human rights advocacy, international law, humanitarian organizations, and so on.
Regional StudiesAn in-depth study of a specific region, such as the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, or the Americas, including its politics, history, and cultural dynamics, is examined in this concentration.Careers requiring regional expertise, diplomatic services, regional policy analysis, etc.

Timeline for graduation from Online Master’s in International Relations Programs

The timeline for completing a Master’s in International Relations program spans approximately 24 to 30 months. Still, it can vary based on program structure and individual circumstances. The initial phase involves the application process, including research on potential programs, application submission, and awaiting admission decisions. Upon admission, students prepare for enrollment during orientation sessions and engage in core coursework covering foundational topics in international relations over the next 18 months. During the program, they may participate in a summer internship, elective courses, or specialized coursework based on their chosen concentration. The thesis or research project phase typically begins around the 18-month mark, where one plans and conducts research in collaboration with an advisor. Toward the end of the program, one also presents their findings in a capstone seminar or culminating experience. Graduation occurs around 24 months after completing all coursework and fulfilling program requirements. The subsequent months involve the job search process, networking, and utilizing university career services for employment support.

1-Year Online Master’s in International Relations Programs

For students who desire to finish their studies as fast as possible and hurl themselves into a career, one-year International Relations Master’s programs are best to pursue. While increasingly, some colleges have introduced accelerated programs or 1-year programs that require full-time participation along with studies in the summer, these programs are in specific concentrations of International Relations.  Most such programs also require graduates to have at least 7 to 8 years of prior work experience. Some colleges providing a one-year online master in international relations programs include:

Online Master’s in International Relations Programs Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for Master’s in International Relations programs can vary among institutions, but common prerequisites typically include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
    A completed undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is usually a fundamental requirement.
  • Academic Transcripts
    Submission of official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate coursework.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Typically, two to three letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or other individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic and professional qualifications.
  • Statement of Purpose:
    A Personal Statement outlining the applicant’s academic and career goals and their motivation for pursuing a Master’s in International Relations.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    A comprehensive Resume or CV detailing academic achievements, work experience, relevant skills, and any publications or research.
  • Language Proficiency
    Proficiency in the language of instruction (often English). Applicants may need to submit standardized test scores such as the TOEFL or IELTS if English is not their native language.
  • GRE/GMAT Scores
    Some programs may require standardized test scores, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
  • Writing Samples or Essays
    Submission of writing samples or essays demonstrating analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to articulate ideas clearly.
  • Interview
    Some programs may require an in-person or virtual interview to assess the applicant’s suitability for the program.
  • Work Experience
    While not always mandatory, relevant work experience in international relations, diplomacy, or related fields can strengthen an application.
  • Portfolio
    A portfolio showcasing relevant work or projects may be required for programs focusing on practical skills.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in International Relations Programs

As with all Master’s degrees, accreditation for an online Master’s in International Relations is an absolute requirement for the degree to be valuable and considered by the job market. Accreditation agencies lay down standards for schools to conform to and ensure that these standards are being met and maintained throughout. A specific programmatic accreditation agency is not exclusively dedicated to accrediting Master’s in International Relations programs. Instead, accreditation for these programs is often carried out at the institutional level. While some schools may have specifically accredited (programmatic) programs, most are regionally accredited, which is just as good an option. Some of the regional accreditation bodies in the United States are:

Students are advised to always look for accredited colleges or programs while applying for an online Master’s in International Relations. More information on accreditation is available in our Accreditation Guide.

Online Master’s in International Relations No GRE Programs

International Relations Master’s No GRE programs have become popular, especially with students who want to complete their studies faster and commence working. Fortunately, most Master’s in International Relations programs do not require a Standardized Test Score, such as the GRE or GMAT, to be submitted for admission. However, it is not uncommon for colleges to ask for a GRE score should the student’s cumulative undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) be less than 3.0. Some colleges providing an online master’s in international relations no gre degree include:

Free International Relations Courses Online

Free International Relations courses online generally do not award degrees that are recognized industry-wide. However, free courses are a great way to start learning or amass more knowledge on a specific area of International Relations. Here is a list of some free online Master’s in International Relations related courses:

CourseGlobal Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World [13]
Provided byCoursera
DescriptionParticipants explore diplomatic strategies, negotiation techniques, and the intersection of diplomacy with critical global challenges, including economic considerations, cultural exchanges, and human rights issues. Throughout the course, an emphasis is placed on ethical considerations, ensuring that participants develop a well-rounded perspective on the complexities of diplomacy in today’s interconnected world.
CourseGlobal Studies: Risks and Threats in International Relations [14]
Provided byClass Central
DescriptionThis course covers topics from traditional security threats to emerging issues like cybersecurity and climate change; the curriculum offers a comprehensive view of global dynamics. Participants analyze conflicts, humanitarian crises, and economic risks, learning to navigate the interconnected nature of these global issues. 
CourseContemporary Issues in World Politics [15]
Provided byedX
DescriptionThis course dissects the driving forces behind International Politics, starting with a post-World War II international order and tracing its breakdown and evolution. Topics include the Balkan disorders post-Yugoslavia, the global resurgence of China and Russia, and humanitarian crises in Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, and beyond. Participants gain insights into the complex geopolitical landscape, examining historical events shaping contemporary international affairs.

How to Pay for Master’s in International Relations Online Programs

An online Master’s in International Relations can be as expensive as other related Master’s programs, such as Anthropology, Political Science, Journalism, or History. External funding will help offset the high cost of tuition, which is why students should think about and explore the following funding options when applying to graduate schools:


Typically based on academic performance, community service, cultural heritage, religious affiliation, etc., scholarships are usually the first and best option for students to fund their advanced education. Scholarships may be merit-based, privately awarded, alumnae-funded, or given out by cultural, religious, and commercial organizations. (Note: Read about Scholarship Scams to avoid being scammed online.)


In addition to tuition fees, educational expenses such as study material, books, stationery, travel, accommodation, etc., can often be covered by grants. Unlike scholarships, grants are usually need-based and not awarded based on academic performance.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships are two common forms of Graduate Assistantships available at many Universities. An assistantship earns students a stipend, which can assist in offsetting some of the cost of education.

Working on Campus

Employing on campus by a university is another way to fund higher education. Salary from such part-time work should be adequate to cover a portion of the tuition fee or pay for some educational expenses.

Student Loans

Students can apply for federal, bank, and private loans, generally given out on interest payments. However, one should note that late or deferred payments will undoubtedly translate into increased student debt.


Checking whether a student is eligible for financial aid can be done through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA[16].

To know more about various funding mechanisms, their many advantages, and disadvantages, read the best Financial Guide.

Scholarships for Online Master’s in International Relations Students

An online Master’s in International Relations is usually an expensive pursuit. Tuition fees can run into thousands of dollars, funded by spirited individuals and foundations through scholarships and fellowships to deserving students. From the many such awards out there, here are a few to explore:

Harry S. Truman Scholarships[17]

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards about 75 to 80 scholarships to students committed to government or public service careers who exhibit outstanding leadership potential and communication skills. Award amounts are up to $27,000 for a Master’s program.
Application Deadline: Varies

Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program[18]

The Rangel Program grants about 45 fellowships of up to $42,000 a year for two years to cover tuition, room and board, books, and required fees for a 2-year Master’s program. This includes $24,000 in tuition and mandatory fees a year and an $18,000 school year stipend.
Application Deadline: Varies

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund[19]

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund aids students active in movements for social and economic justice. The maximum available grant is $15,000 per year.
Application Deadline: April, annually

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation[20]

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation offers an array of scholarships and fellowships in education, faculty development, religion and ethics, teaching, women & gender, and more. Awards amounts can go well up to $37,000.
Application Deadline: Varies.

Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AIFO) Scholarships[21]

The Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AIFO) offers scholarships of $1,200 to $4,000 to students who require the education and training to gain entry and advancement in International Relations careers and intelligence and national security careers.
Application Deadline: Varies.

Careers and Salary Outlook for Master’s in International Relations Graduates

From coveted posts in the Government to engaging ones in humanitarian and business sectors, graduates of online Master’s in International Relations can choose from many career paths. Job opportunities are available in banking, media, development organizations, educational institutions, research firms, political parties, regional, national, and international government institutions, conglomerates, and global business houses. Some other roles and careers that a master’s in International Relations degree can pursue include:

  • Foreign Service Diplomat
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Director of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
  • Marketing Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Training and Development Specialist
  • Management Analyst
  • Sales Manager
  • International Trade Specialist
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Politician, Policy Adviser, and Political Analyst
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Journalist or News Reporter
  • Interpreter and Translator
  • Country Director
  • Global Communications Specialist
  • Foreign Affairs Officer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Fundraising Manager
  • Management Consultant
  • Overseas Operations Manager

Besides job prospects, salaries for jobs related to International Relations are also respectable enough. Here is a list of a few jobs and their associated median annual salary reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

OccupationFinancial Analysts[22]
SkillsAnalytical, communication, computer, decision-making, detail-oriented, and math skills. 
Median Annual Salary$96,220
Job Growth (up to 2032)8% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionFinancial analysts are instrumental in shaping investment decisions and evaluating company finances. Their tasks include recommending investments, analyzing financial data and economic trends, scrutinizing company statements for valuation, meeting with company officials to gather insights, and assessing management strength. Summarizing their findings, financial analysts produce detailed reports that serve as informed guides for investment strategies.
OccupationMarketing Managers[23]
SkillsAnalytical, communication, creativity, decision-making, interpersonal, and organizational skills. 
Median Annual Salary$138,730
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionMarketing managers are instrumental in evaluating market demand and identifying potential markets for the organization and its competitors. They craft pricing strategies and develop plans for customer acquisition and retention. Marketing managers collaborate with product development, public relations, and sales teams to maximize profits and market share while ensuring customer satisfaction. 
OccupationHuman Resources Specialists[24]
SkillsCommunication, decision-making, detail-oriented, and interpersonal skills.  
Median Annual Salary$64,240
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionHuman resources specialists are vital in the hiring process and employee management. Their responsibilities include consulting with employers to identify hiring needs, conducting interviews to assess applicants’ experience and skills, and checking references and backgrounds. They are involved in new employee orientation, maintaining employment records, and processing paperwork to ensure effective workforce management.
OccupationInterpreters and Translators[25]
SkillsBusiness, communication, concentration, cultural sensitivity, dexterity, interpersonal, and listening skills. 
Median Annual Salary$53,640
Job Growth (up to 2032)4% (as fast as average)
Job DescriptionInterpreters and translator’s tasks involve transforming concepts, style, and tone from the source language to the target language, managing glossaries and terminology databases, and exhibiting fluency in at least two languages, often including English. While interpreters specialize in spoken language, translators concentrate on written content, enhancing understanding across diverse linguistic contexts.
OccupationTraining and Development Specialists[26]
SkillsAnalytical, collaboration, communication, creativity, and instructional skills. 
Median Annual Salary$63,080
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionTraining and development specialists assess training needs through surveys and consultations, create training materials and online modules, and review content from various sources. Utilizing diverse instructional techniques, they deliver training to employees and actively participate in evaluating program effectiveness. 
OccupationManagement Analysts[27]
SkillsAnalytical, communication, interpersonal, problem-solving, and time-management skills.  
Median Annual Salary$95,290
Job Growth (up to 2032)10% (much faster than average)
Job DescriptionManagement analysts utilize financial and operational data and propose solutions and alternative practices. They recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes to enhance performance. Furthermore, they collaborate with managers to ensure the successful implementation and effectiveness of the proposed changes.

Certifications and Licensing for International Relations Graduates

Certification is helpful to showcase professional competence by meeting an organization’s quality standards; its importance and prevalence vary by specialty. However, it is standard practice for companies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and government agencies to require some certification; depending on the area of expertise and operation, the field of International Relations does not warrant such certification (in most cases). While there may not be specific certifications or licensing requirements exclusively for international relations graduates, several professional certifications and memberships can enhance their credentials and open doors to various career opportunities. Here are some relevant certifications and affiliations:

Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) [28]
NASBITE International offers CGBP certification for individuals in international trade and related professions. It covers global business management, marketing, supply chain management, and trade finance.

Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) [29]
Provided by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the CRMA certification suits those interested in risk management and internal auditing, which can be valuable in international organizations.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) [30]
Offered by (ISC)², the CISSP certification is relevant for international relations professionals in cybersecurity, information security, and global policy issues.

Certification in Homeland Security (CHS) [31]
Issued by the Global Society of Homeland and National Security Professionals benefits those interested in security and emergency management aspects of international relations.

Additional Resources for International Relations Professionals

In the world of International Relations, contacting, communicating, and communicating with people from various walks of life, in multiple positions, and from numerous countries is exceedingly crucial to advancing one’s understanding of the subject (International Relations) and advancing one’s career. Building contacts and references from the beginning of an online Master’s in International Relations program and engaging in the field long before one graduates is undoubtedly advisable. Here are a few resources students and working professionals of International Relations can tap into:

  • Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management[32]
    The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education. The site hosts podcasts, webinars, journals, conferences, events, and career and education resources.
  • World Legal Information Institute[33]
    The World Legal Information Institute (WLII) offers free, independent, and non-profit access to worldwide law. The portal has 1,834 databases from 123 jurisdictions via 14 legal information institutes.
  • The New Humanitarian[34]
    The New Humanitarian presents news and analysis from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The site covers significant topics of Aid and Policy, Conflict, Environment and Disasters, Migration, and more, and is a great way to stay up-to-date with current affairs.
  • E-International Relations[35]
    E-International Relations is a go-to-destination for students and working professionals of International Relations alike. There are scores of articles, essays, books, interviews, and various resources to explore.

FAQs About Master’s in International Relations Online Programs

Who can study International Relations?

Irrespective of the Bachelor’s Degree one has earned before applying for a Master’s in International Relations, one should preferably have a leaning toward politics, law, and history, coupled with a solid grasp of current global affairs. Excellent written and oral communication skills and a robust foreign language background are also advantageous when pursuing this program. Students who like to travel, mediate, arbitrate, negotiate, and like international trade and politics, are best suited to study International Relations.

Can I pursue a Master’s in IR if my undergraduate degree is not in a related field?

What career opportunities are available after completing a Master’s in IR?

Do I need to know multiple languages for a Master’s in IR?

Can I pursue a Master’s in IR online?

Are there opportunities for international experiences during the program?

Is there a thesis or capstone project requirement?

Can I pursue a Ph.D. after completing a Master’s in IR?


American University School of International Service

Northeastern University

Seton Hall University

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission

Columbia University-School of International and Public Affairs

University of North Georgia

Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies

Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World- Coursera

Global Studies: Risks and Threats in International Relations-Class Central

Contemporary Issues in World Politics-edX


Harry S. Truman Scholarships

Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AIFO) Scholarships

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook for Financial Analysts

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook for Marketing Managers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook for Human Resources Specialists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook for Interpreters and Translators

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook for Training and Development Specialists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook for Management Analysts

Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP)

Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Certification in Homeland Security (CHS)

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management

World Legal Information Institute

The New Humanitarian

E-International Relations