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


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  • On Campus
  • Online
  • Combination
  • Due to challenges related the coronavirus epidemic, applicants for Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 admission to the International Relations program will not be required to submit GRE scores if they have graduated from a U.S. college with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA may be admitted, subject to the condition that they take the GRE and receive a verbal score of 145+ and/or a writing score of 3.0+ prior to enrolling in courses for Spring 2021.

International Relations at St. Mary’s

Professor Kathleen Gallagher, Ph.D., interacts with people from recently liberated slave populations in Kohalpur, Nepal.
Professor Kathleen Gallagher, Ph.D., interacts with people from recently liberated slave populations in Kohalpur, Nepal.

What is International Relations?

International Relations helps students explore the ways in which global, regional and domestic factors affect relations between countries, businesses, activists, communities, and international organizations.

Integrating the disciplines of political science, history, anthropology, law, philosophy and religion, the Master of Arts in International Relations provides students with the interdisciplinary education necessary to understand the complicated nature of global issues and events.

The program emphasizes clarity in communication and prepares students to serve as mediators between people from different countries.

Degree Plans

St. Mary’s offers two graduate program formats: on-campus or 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 programs offers a Master of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in either Security Policy or Sustainable Development and Conflict Transformation. If a student is deployed or moves out of the area while enrolled in the on-campus program, he/she may transfer to the online program, which provides students with the flexibility needed to accommodate their changing lives.

On-Campus only

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.

International Conflict Resolution

On-campus only

International Development examines the interrelationship between economics, politics and socio-cultural realities in the promotion of human welfare. 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 Development

Available 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.

Security Policy

Available online only

This focus area 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.

Sustainable Development and Conflict Transformation

On-campus students can also pursue:

Courses in International Relations

Sample courses:

  • International Relations Research Methods
  • Topics in International Conflict Resolution
  • Topics in Security Issues
  • United States Foreign Policy
  • Human Rights

Find course descriptions and requirements:

Student sitting outside working on laptop.

Summer Study Tours

This holistic approach to international relations is further strengthened by internship opportunities and international study tours, creating a dynamic educational experience that is truly transformational in nature.

International Relations students can participate in faculty-led international field studies. Studying abroad enables students to apply theoretical knowledge pertaining to conflict transformation, social justice and human security. Students can earn up to six hours of graduate credit.

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

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)


Students can intern within the United States or abroad for up to six semester hours of elective credit. Internships may be with governmental, non-governmental or private sector organizations. Online students should contact the program director to determine if an internship is possible.

Examples of our students’ previous internships:

International Organizations:

  • NGOs in Mexico, Guatemala, Bangladesh and the European Union
  • El Salvador Office of Human Rights

Federal Public Service Sector.

  • Secret Service
  • Department of State
  • Department of Defense
  • Foreign government agencies in Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Uruguay, Mexico, Belize, Peru

State and City Government:

  • State Representative Irma Rangel
  • City of San Antonio International Affairs Office
  • City of Kumamoto, Japan

Non-Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Socially Responsible Investment Coalition
  • International Red Cross, Boston
  • Institute of International Education, Houston

Private Sector:

  • Japanese Corporation, San Francisco Law Office
  • Mexico Free Trade Alliance
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


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

Career Opportunities

Graduates make a difference in a wide variety of career paths in government, nonprofit organizations, development agencies, global businesses and cultural institutions.

Students graduate with an understanding of major cultural, economic, historical, political and social themes and are prepared to work in a variety of sectors, such as:

Public Sector:

  • State Department
  • Department of Defense
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • U.S. Border Patrol
  • Local International Affairs offices

Private Sector:

  • Rackspace
  • Danka Industries
  • The Rand Corporation
  • General Motors
  • Wells Fargo

Not-for-Profit Sector: 

  • Peace Corps
  • Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD)
  • Goodwill
  • Bread for the World
  • World Wildlife Fund

International Organizations:

  • The United Nations
  • World Bank
  • Amnesty International
  • Human Rights Watch


  • Public and private schools
  • Community colleges
  • Overseas teaching opportunities

Learn more about International Relations

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