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

About the program

Students sitting around table discussing their assigned readings.The Master of Arts in International Relations program 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, sociology, and geography, the Master of Arts in International Relations provides students with the interdisciplinary education necessary to understand the complicated nature of global issues and events.

Professor Kathleen Gallagher conducting research in NepalThis 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. Our graduates go on to make a difference in a wide variety of career paths in government, non-profit organizations, development agencies, global businesses, and cultural institutions.

Courses and 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.

Both programs require 36 credit hours of coursework 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 concentration areas. The degree is designed to permit students to integrate internships and/or study abroad opportunities into the curriculum.

Students can pursue the following program option:
Master of Arts in International Relations Requirements and Degree Plan (on-campus)

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 (on-campus) Concentration Requirements and Degree Plan
Security Policy (online) 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 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 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 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)

Combined Degree Option

Students interested in international relations and law can pursue a combined Master of Arts in International Relations and a Doctor of Jurisprudence.

Combined Master of Arts in International Relations and Doctor of Jurisprudence Requirements and Degree Plan

Admission and Degree Requirements

View Admission and Degree Requirements

Summer Study Tours

Students have the option to participate in faculty-led international field studies. This program 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.

Internship Opportunties

Students have the 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 department chair. The internships may be with governmental, non-governmental or private sector organizations. Although internship opportunities may not generally be available for online students, interested students should contact the graduate program director to determine if special arrangements are possible.

Here are a few examples of our students’ previous internships:

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

Federal Public Service Sector. U.S. government agencies such as the Secret Service, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Aviation Administration; Foreign government agencies in Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Uruguay, Mexico, Croatia, Lithuania, Chile, Nicaragua, Cote d’Ivoire, Belize, Peru, and El Salvador.

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; 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

Our 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; financial institutions; international, educational and cultural endeavors; 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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