Best Colleges for International Relations

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Best Colleges for International Relations

If you find you’re interested in studying International Affairs in the United States, you can choose a university or college to fulfill your educational goals. The major gives students the knowledge and skills to understand relations between nations, as well as the internal workings of other countries and the role of nongovernmental actors in world affairs.

As a student, you will enhance your expertise in international relations and foreign affairs and have opportunities to build a rich network of political and international connections without sacrificing your responsibilities at home.

Many IR students pursue careers in government, non-governmental organizations, and business or go on to graduate school in law, business, economics, or political science. View our complete list of the best colleges to study international relations & choose the best one for your education. Good luck!!!

Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the largest of the twelve graduate schools of Harvard University. Founded in 1872, GSAS is responsible for the majority of Harvard’s post-baccalaureate degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The school offers Master of Arts (AM), Master of Science (SM), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in approximately 56 disciplines. Prospective students interested in studying international relations should apply to the graduate program in government. Throughout your graduate education, you will have an opportunity to define and explore your own questions about politics and government.

Founded In: 1872
Ranking: 1st
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $67,580
Admission Office Contact: +1 617-495-5315

Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is a professional public policy school at Princeton University. The Woodrow Wilson School offers its students intimate access to the world’s leaders in public policy and unparalleled support in achieving their academic and career goals. The school offers undergraduate AB degrees, graduate Master of Public Affairs, Master of Public Policy, and Ph.D. degrees. The International Relations group in the Politics Department also teaches within the Woodrow Wilson School, where many international relations faculty are jointly appointed.

Founded In: 1930
Ranking: 2nd
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $48,940
Admission Office Contact: ‎ (609) 258-4836,

Best Colleges for International Relations

Stanford University

International Relations at Stanford comprise the study of all manner of global and regional political problems, including armed conflict in its various manifestations. The Program in International Relations offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts program, an honors program, and a minor in International Relations. Students are equipped with both the foundational skills and specific knowledge necessary to analyze the choices and challenges that arise in this arena. IR majors pursue a course of study in world politics that includes classes in political science, economics, history, and languages, focusing on issues such as international security, international political economy, political and economic development, and democratization.

Founded In: 1970
Ranking: 3rd
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $16,329
Admission Office Contact:

Georgetown University

With the unparalleled resources of Washington, D.C., Georgetown University is one of the world’s foremost institutions for the study of international affairs and cultural diplomacy. The department’s graduate program in international relations prepares students for successful careers by introducing them to cutting-edge research across the field and training them to be productive and professional scholars. Domestically and internationally recognized academic excellence, intercultural understanding, and Jesuit ideals of service are some of the hallmarks of studying international relations at Georgetown. Undergraduate, graduate and mid-career programs benefit from a wealth of on-campus expertise and experience in 10 specialized centers and three institutes. Georgetown’s diverse faculty and student body enhance the learning environment both in and outside the classroom.

Founded In: 1789
Ranking: 4th
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $52,962
Admission Office Contact: (202) 687-0100

Best Colleges for International Relations

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University is an international affairs and public policy school.  It is one of Columbia’s graduate and professional schools in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City. SIPA offers Master of International Affairs (MIA) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree programs in a range of fields, as well the Executive MPA and Ph.D. program in Sustainable Development. SIPA offers a number of dual-degree programs with other schools of Columbia University and offers international dual degree programs. The Master of International Affairs program develops international affairs professionals who acquire concrete skills to work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors around the world.

Founded In: 1946
Ranking: 5th
Tuition & Fess Approximately: 55,212 per year
Admission Office Contact: Tel: (212) 854-6216,

Yale University Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs is the home of the Master’s Program in Global Affairs (M.A.), a Master of Advanced Study in Global Affairs (M.A.S.) and the undergraduate major in Global Affairs (B.A.). Their academic programs are interdisciplinary, embedded in Yale and designed to help students gain a comprehensive understanding of global affairs. The Jackson Institute promotes education and scholarship on global affairs at Yale. Its M.A. in Global Affairs prepares students to impact the global community through an academically rigorous, yet flexible interdisciplinary program.

Founded In: 2010
Ranking: 6th
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $41,000
Admission Office Contact: Call: (203) 432-6253, Fax: (203) 432-9886

Best Colleges for International Relations

George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs

The Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington is one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs. It is the professional school of international relations, foreign policy, and international development of the George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. The Elliott School’s M.A. program in international affairs is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the contemporary issues in international affairs while developing in-depth knowledge of at least one specialized area at either the global or regional level. Students in the program will gain a fundamental understanding of key political, economic, and historical issues in international affairs. When you major in International Affairs at the Elliott School you won’t just study it, you’ll experience it.

Founded In: 1898
Ranking: 7th
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $1,765 per credit
Admission Office Contact: +1 202-994-6240,

American University School of International Service

School of International Service (SIS) at American University is the largest school of international relations in the United States. It ranked in the top tier of international relations programs around the world at the undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. levels. Developed with the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project at the College of William and Mary, the Ivory Tower Survey is based on responses from more than 1500 international relations scholars. SIS masters programs-both on campus and online are still accepting applications. SIS offers nearly 20-degree programs including two-year, on-campus master’s degrees, and an executive degree for mid-career professionals, an online master’s degree in international relations, and a one-year master degree for partner institutions, an interdisciplinary doctoral program for international relations scholars, and an undergraduate degree in international studies.

Founded In: 1957
Ranking: 8th
Tuition & Fess Approximately:
Admission Office Contact: (202) 885-1000

Best Colleges for International Relations

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies is a division of Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1943 by Paul H. Nitze and Christian Herter. Master’s in International Studies allows qualified high school students displaying a strong interest in international studies to pursue a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. This five- or six-year program allows selected students an outstanding chance to pursue an intensive undergraduate international studies program with guaranteed enrollment in a two-year master’s degree from SAIS. The BA/MA program with SAIS is open to international studies, political science, and East Asian studies (Nanjing only) majors.

Founded In: 1943
Ranking: 9th
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $45,568 (full-time per year)
Admission Office Contact: +1 202-663-5600

University of California—San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy

UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy is devoted to the study of international affairs, economics, and policy education. It is formerly the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. The School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) is the University of California’s only professional school of international relations and the only program in the U.S. focused on the Pacific region.  The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Master of International Affairs (BA/MIA) is a consecutive program offered in collaboration with UC San Diego’s undergraduate International Studies Program (ISP). The Master of International Affairs (MIA) is a two-year, full-time degree program, focusing on the Americas and Asia. The Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs is a joint program with the UC San Diego Department of Political Science.

Founded In: 1987
Ranking: 11th
Tuition & Fess Approximately: $17,019
Admission Office Contact: (858) 534-2230

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