St. Mary's University 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 St. Mary's University logo William Joseph Chaminade St. Mary's University, Texas

What is IR?

I.R., or International Relations, gives students tools to serve as mediators between people from different countries. The program emphasizes clarity in communication and helps students explore the ways in which global, domestic, and regional factors affect relations between individuals, businesses, and countries. Graduates can choose from a wide variety of careers in government, non-profit organizations and global businesses such as banks and cultural institutions.

About the program

The Master of Arts in International Relations Program serves as an information repository for international relations events and their implications in today’s world. Integrating the disciplines of political science, history, anthropology, international law, sociology, and geography, the Master of Arts in International Relations provides students with the interdisciplinary education necessary for better understanding the complicated nature of global issues and events.

St. Mary’s offers two graduate program options: on-campus and online. The on-campus program offers a Master of Arts in International Relations with concentration options in Security Policy, International Development Studies, and International Conflict Resolution. The online program offers a Master of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in Security Policy.

Both programs require 36 credit hours of course work during which students gain a breadth of knowledge concerning the behavior of states and non-state actors in the international arena, as well as a depth of knowledge in their focus areas. The degree is designed to permit students to integrate internships and/or study abroad opportunities into the curriculum.

Courses and Degree Plans

Students can pursue one of the following program options:
Master of Arts in International Relations Requirements and Degree Plan
Combined Master of Arts in International Relations and Doctor of Jurisprudence Requirements and Degree Plan
The Master of Arts in International Relations offers three on-campus concentration options and two online concentration options:
International Conflict Resolution (on-campus) Concentration Requirements and Degree Plan
International Development (on-campus) Concentration Requirements and Degree Plan
Security Policy (online and on-campus) Concentration Requirements and Degree Plan
Sustainable Development and Conflict Transformation (online) Concentration Requirements and Degree Plan

Description of Concentration Options

Security Policy (on-campus and online)

Security Policy is an interdisciplinary examination and analysis of national and international security issues. Course content integrates perspectives from the areas of economics, history and political science. Issues range from nuclear proliferation and conventional arms trade to narco-trafficking, trade imbalances, environmental conflict and race/ethnic/gender/religious issues. This concentration is also offered online.

International Development (on-campus)

International Development examines the inter-relatedness of economics, business, politics and socio-cultural realities in the promotion of human welfare in the global arena. An emphasis is placed on analyzing and understanding the root causes of poverty and underdevelopment and considering various strategies and efforts to promote sustainable, just development.

International Conflict Resolution (on-campus)

International Conflict Resolution is an interdisciplinary examination and analysis of the root causes of political, cultural and economic conflict. An emphasis is placed on policies and programs designed to prevent and resolve violent conflict.

Sustainable Development and Conflict Transformation (online)
This focus area is an integrative response to global exigencies and changing student needs that is premised on the notion that international development and the consolidation of peace in post-conflict settings are interrelated and mutually constitutive. Emphasis is placed on the study of human security, peace building and a culturally sensitive approach to holistic development.

I was drawn to the master’s in International Relations at St. Mary’s because it emphasizes critical thinking, individual responsibility and community outreach. I gained a newfound perspective on diverse approaches to global issues.
– Chris Logsdon, (M.A. ’14)

Admission and Degree Requirements

View Admission and Degree Requirements

Summer Study Tours

The overarching purpose of this field study is to grant students the opportunity to observe firsthand the post-conflict, peace-building process, including activities associated with nation-building, social justice, and human security. Accordingly, the program’s academic goals are to enhance student understanding and application of empirical and normative theory for explaining and assessing peace-building activities, examining the case of Namibia. Students can earn up to six hours of graduate credit.

Internship Opportunties

Students may have an opportunity to participate as interns within the United States or abroad for up to six semester hours of elective credit, with the approval of the Graduate Program Chair. The internships may be with governmental, non-governmental or private sector organizations. Although it is anticipated that internship opportunities may not generally be available for online and Ft. Hood students, interested students should contact the graduate program director to determine if special arrangements are possible.

Some examples of internships that students have taken while in the International Relations Graduate Program:

International Organizations. NGOs in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador Office of Human Rights, European Union: Luxembourg Institute for Integrated Rural Development: Bangladesh

Federal Public Service Sector. Secret Service; U.S. Department of State; Department of Defense; Federal Aviation Administration; U.S. Department of State ub Guinea, Sierra Leone, Uruguay, Mexico, Croatia, Lithuania, Chile, Nicaragua, Cote d’Ivoire, Belize, Peru, and El Salvador;  Office of Legal Affairs, U.S. Department of State; U.S. Department of Agriculture

State and City Government. Former Texas State Senator Frank Madla;  State Representative Irma Rangel; City of San Antonio International Affairs Office, City of Kumamoto, Japan

Non-governmental and Nonprofit Organizations. Socially Responsible Investment Coalition Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras  –  San Antonio; International Red Cross,  Boston; Institute of International Education  –  Houston;  Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas  –  San Antonio

Private Sector. Japanese Corporation  –  San Francisco Law Office; Guadalajara, Mexico Free Trade Alliance;  Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Education. Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the St. Mary’s University School of Law

Career Opportunities

The International Relations Graduate Program is designed to enable students to understand the interrelatedness of issues, which is necessary for developing and analyzing programs and policies relevant to international affairs.  Students graduate with an understanding of major cultural, economic, historical, political and social themes and are prepared to work in international development agencies, transnational corporations, private financial institutions, international, educational and cultural endeavors, private institutions or government agencies at the federal, state or local level, and non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations.  Some examples include:

Public Sector:  On the federal level job opportunities include the State Department, the Department of Defense, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security, and international programs within governmental agencies. Many state governments have established offices to promote and expand trade with foreign nations, while most urban governments, including San Antonio, have established an International Affairs office to promote trade and cultural exchanges, especially through sister-city programs.

Private Sector:  Within the private sector, there are many employment opportunities as corporations become increasingly global in their focus and operations.  Examples include: Rackspace, Danka Industries, the Rand Corporation, General Motors, and Honeywell, Inc., and Wells Fargo.

Not-for-Profit Sector:  Nongovernmental, nonprofit organizations offer paid employment opportunities. Examples include, Peace Corps, Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD), Worldwatch Institute, Goodwill, Bread for the World, and the World Wildlife Fund..

International Organizations: Both governmental and nongovernmental international organizations are interested in hiring individuals with knowledge of international affairs.  Some organization examples are:  the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, North American Development Bank, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam.

Education:  Career opportunities are numerous in the educational field, including public and private, faculty at community colleges, as well as overseas teaching opportunities.

Financial Aid

St. Mary’s offers various scholarships, grants and assistantships to graduate students. Military, their dependents and Department of Defense employees may be eligible for a tuition discount. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance at 210-436-3141 or for additional information or visit

Learn more about the St. Mary's Master of International Relations Program


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