Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations

Campus Locations Boston, Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 46
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes


“Our students impress employers with their top-notch analytical, research, and communications skills—and their cultural adaptability.”

Mary Thompson-Jones

-Marissa Lombardi, Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Director

Our world is smaller than ever. Economies in developing nations directly impact the world's economic health; multi-national corporations operate across the globe; and complex cross-cultural problems demand solutions.

Prepare for internationally focused positions in the U.S. or abroad with our practical, interdisciplinary and interactive Master's degree in Global Studies and International Relations.


  • Study global issues from government, private and nonprofit viewpoints
  • Develop practical expertise in one of the world's six major regions
  • Choose a concentration in Conflict Resolution, Development and Global Health, Diplomacy, International Economics and Consulting, or Global Student Mobility
  • Learn from faculty with decades of experience as ambassadors, foreign service officers, and diplomats
  • Prepare for a leadership rolein areas like nonprofit management, business and industry, education, banking, consulting and foreign service

Saturday Cohort Option in Boston Available For Up To 24 Students
this September 2017

Global change is not made solely on weekdays and our program reflects that. The MS in Global Studies and International Relations is offered on Saturdays in the fall in Boston for up to 24 students. The program allows for greater flexibility and additional networking opportunities, and can be completed in the same amount of time as our traditional master’s program.   Learn more...

International Field Study

Travel abroad with your classmates for an international field study for firsthand research.

Interested in Learning More?

Follow the links below to download these recorded information sessions:



In Depth

What can I gain from the master's in global studies and international relations?  

  • A global perspective. You’ll study alongside students from more than 19 countries and from more than 20 states.  The highly international perspective leads to rich opportunities for discussion and debate. 

  • International experience. Many students opt to complete fieldwork abroad in place of a traditional thesis. 

  • Practice, not theory. Your professors are distinguished policymakers, diplomats, and ambassadors who have worked all over the world. Classes focus on the actual work you do in the field, from analyzing the investment portfolios of developing nations to staging mock debates to learning the art of speechwriting from top embassy officials.

  • Workplace assignments. Your class assignments mimic the workplace. You write speeches, analyze policy, make recommendations, work on diplomatic teams, and perform crisis management much like you would on the job. 

Tailor your degree by picking a concentration and a region of interest: 

First, pick a concentration:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Development and Global Health
  • Diplomacy
  • International Economics and Consulting
  • Global Student Mobility

 Then, pick a region:

  • Europe
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Latin America
  • East Asia
  • Middle East
  • Southwest and Central Asia 

What To Expect

What is the student experience like?

  • Multi-cultural and collaborative
  • Regular interaction with classmates from around the world
  • Curriculum incorporates experiential learning
  • International network to leverage personally and professionally
  • Learn more about the curriculum and expected Learning Outcomes

Who is a good fit for this program?

  • You have a passion for global activism
  • You want to pursue international nonprofit, government or private sector work
  • You have study abroad or travel experience (but it's not required)
  • You would like to improve articulating your viewpoints orally and in writing

Global Studies and International Relations Webinar

Global Studies Webinar

Get Your Questions Answered

Watch a webinar overview of the global studies and international relations program. 

Where can I find more information?

Read more Frequently Asked Questions



Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2017 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Courses (24 q.h.)

Core Courses
Complete all of the following courses:

GST 6100 Globalization and Global Politics and Economics 4 q.h.
GST 6101 Global Literacy, Culture, and Community 4 q.h.
GST 6109 Basic Field Research Methods 4 q.h.
GST 6320 Peace and Conflict 4 q.h.

Area Studies
Complete one of the following courses:

GST 6501 Regional Studies: East Asia 4 q.h.
GST 6502 Regional Studies: Middle East 4 q.h.
GST 6503 Regional Studies: Sub-Saharan Africa 4 q.h.
GST 6504 Regional Studies: Europe 4 q.h.
GST 6505 Regional Studies: Southwest and Central Asia  4 q.h. 
GST 6506 Regional Studies: Latin America 4 q.h. 

Choose one of the following courses

GST 6920 Case Study in Global Studies 4 q.h.
GST 7990 Thesis
This course, which requires faculty approval, should be taken as the last course within the program.
4 q.h.
INT 6900 International Field Study Experience
Registration in INT 6900 requires co-registration in a 1 q.h. directed study (only for Global Studies students using this to satisfy capstone requirement). Global Studies students must also have completed GST 6109 in order to be eligible for registration in INT 6900.  INT 6900 will be offered in the Summer 2016 term. For more details, please visit our website:
4 q.h. 

Concentrations (20 q.h.)

Students are required to complete one of the following concentrations. Five courses are required, four of which must be from a single concentration. The fifth course can be from the student's chosen concentration, another Global Studies concentration course (from below), or an additional Area Studies course. 

Conflict Resolution

GST 6324 Divided Societies in the Modern World 4 q.h.
GST 6326 International Conflict and Cooperation 4 q.h.
GST 6327 Conflict and Post-Conflict Development 4 q.h.
GST 6300 Security and Terrorism 4 q.h.
GST 6360 Nuclear Nonproliferation 4 q.h. 
GST 6740 Human Rights 4 q.h. 

Development and Global Health

GST 6210  The Developers 4 q.h.
GST 6340 Poverty and Wealth 4 q.h.
GST 6350 Global Economics of Food and Agriculture 4 q.h.
GST 6610  Sustainable Development 4 q.h.
GST 6700  Global Health Perspectives, Politics, and Experiences in International Development 4 q.h.
GST 6710 Critical Issues and Challenges in the Practice of Global Health 4 q.h.



GST 6600 The Practice of Diplomacy 4 q.h.
GST 6540 Politics of the European Union 4 q.h.
GST 6550 U.S. Foreign Policy 4 q.h.
GST 6560 Multilateral Diplomacy  4 q.h. 
GST 6590 Public Diplomacy 4 q.h.
GST 6740 Human Rights 4 q.h.

International Economics and Consulting 

GST 6580 Opportunities in International Consulting 4 q.h.
GST 6102 Global Corporate and Social Responsibility 4 q.h.
GST 6200 The Funders 4 q.h.
GST 6220 Globalization of Emerging Economics 4 q.h.
GST 6310 Immigration and Labor 4 q.h.
GST 6340 Poverty and Wealth 4 q.h.
GST 6430 Leadership and Management 4 q.h. 


Global Student Mobility

GST 6810 International Higher Education 4 q.h.
GST 6820 Managing Study Abroad 4 q.h.
GST 6830 Managing International Students 4 q.h.
GST 6840 The Business of International Education 4 q.h.
GST 6850 Immigration and Legal Issues in International Higher Education 4 q.h.
GST 6410 Global Education in the Internet Age 4 q.h.


Electives (2-4 q.h.)

Students must take 2-4 q.h. of elective courses (either from the list below or from any of the courses listed above) to satisfy the 46 q.h. degree requirement.

GST 7983 Special Topics in Global Studies 2 q.h.
COP 6940 Personal and Career Development (enrollment into this course requires participation in the cooperative education program.) 4 q.h.
INT 6943 Integrated Experiential Learning 3 q.h.


Required minimum credit hours: between 46-48 q.h. depending on the selected concentration.


Global Studies and International Relations Learning Outcomes

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $31,786.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

Tuition Calculator

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Careers & Faculty

Our Master's degree in Global Studies and International Relations can prepare you for internationally focused positions that range from diplomacy, to development, to international consulting, trade, and industry.


Graduates have gone on to work in:

- International business

- International relations

- Journalism

- Defense

- International Security


- Nonprofit management

- Nongovernmental organizations

How might this degree enhance my career?

  • You’ll gain a crucial foundation in the core principles of political globalization: capitalism, democracy, nationalism, and socialism.
  • You’ll develop a specific skill set that focuses on a region and a specific sector in a global framework: nonprofit, government, or private.
  • You’ll learn to think culturally, economically, politically—and rapidly—as employers would expect.
  • You'll learn to gather and synthesize complex data from many sources.
  • You hone oral and written communication skills, with an eye toward what busy policymakers, CEOs and nonprofit leaders would expect. 
  • Our international faculty and alumni are established in their careers and can serve as advocates during your job search. Graduates have gone on to work at the United Nations, various embassies and consulates, and nonprofits around the world, including North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, India, and others. 
  • Northeastern’s renowned co-op and internship program allows you to gain hands-on work experience.


Master's in Global Studies and International Relations Faculty


Marissa Lombardi Marissa Lombardi, EdDAssistant Teaching Professor and Program Director, is the former dean of students at Lorenzo de’Medici Italian International Institute in Florence, Italy, where she was part of a senior leadership team responsible for the oversight of four campuses.

Ambassador Friedrich Lohr, former German ambassador to North Korea


Ambassador Bakyt Beshimov, former Kyrgyz ambassador to India and OSEC


William Rugh, PhD, is professor of the practice in the Master of Science in  Global Studies and International   Relations  program. In a 31-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, he held nine diplomatic assignments in the Arab world, including ambassador to Yemen and the United Arab Emirates, and deputy chief of mission in Syria.

Stories & Profiles

A Banker’s Skill With a Global Spirit

Global Studies
Dana Stranz, current student
Master's in Global Studies and International Relations
Credit administrator at First Commons bank

"Success isn't defined by money, but by how much fulfillment you get from the work you do," says Dana Stranz, a credit administrator at First Commons bank in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

That may seem like a funny statement coming from a banker. But Stranz lives by those words; she was recruited by some bigger banks right out of college, but says she thought she would make more of a difference at a small community bank.

She currently analyzes the bank's portfolio for risk, growth and trends. But she wants to do this for developing countries.

 To get there, she enrolled this year in Northeastern University's Global Studies and International Relations program to pursue a career in international banking and development. She says so far, she has been impressed with the real-world applications throughout the coursework.

 "The program is not just a bunch of research papers," she says, noting a country analyst assignment in-class was linked to an actual job posting on the JP Morgan website. "The learning and assignments are readily applicable to the workplace."

 Stranz says the program so far is almost like being abroad.

 "There are so many international students in this program, with so many perspectives. Right now, I have nine Chinese students in one of my classes, and the debates between those who are pro-government versus the ones from rural provinces are amazing. I wish I could record them."

Ultimately, Stranz says she hopes to work at either the IMF or the World Bank, possibly analyzing emerging economies and helping countries to develop without corruption. 

"I could make great bonuses in big banking," she says. "But I consider myself a citizen of the world, and I want to go to bed at night knowing that I'm doing something to change the world for the better," she says.


An Education Beyond Borders

Kathleen Head
Kathleen Head, alumna
Master's in Global Studies and International Relations 
Operations Manager for the Center for International Studies at MCPHS University

"Three years ago, I was a totally different person," says Kathleen Head, Operations Manager for the Center for International Studies at MCPHS University. 

Head, who completed the global studies and international relations master's program in those three years, completed fieldwork in Italy to study the European Union's higher education policies on internationalization and student mobility. 

"Higher education policy is turning into a big global business," she says. 

She plans to use her new knowledge to help schools implement internationalization plans on campus. 

“Education is a catalyst for positive change in global society,” she says.

Head says her own education at Northeastern has changed her for the better. 

“I’ve elevated myself intellectually,” she says. “I can articulate myself more strongly, because I had to do it in a classroom. And I can budget my time better: Working full-time while attending graduate school really forced me to manage my time wisely - a skill that is crucial in today's workplace."

And not only is she a stronger leader, but she says the program has opened her eyes to increasingly global opportunities. In fact, shortly after completing the program, Head was offered her current position at MCPHS University. 

“I  now have a better understanding of—and an increased curiosity about—what is occurring on a global scale,” she says. 

Global Studies-Related Articles

Dr. Steven Hatch Fighting Ebola: A Firsthand Account

Listen to Dr. Steven Hatch, an infectious disease specialist, as he shares his experiences from the front line of the Ebola relief effort perspective.

Altbach An Evening with Philip Altbach

Dr. Altbach, Dean LaBrie, and invited expert panelists discuss issues affecting the future of global higher education.

Three Ambassadors An Evening with Three Ambassadors

Global Studies event connected three ambassadors 
from all over the world to current students

Global Grads

Global Grads: United States Education as an Export

Infographic looks at international students studying in the U.S.

World Graphic

Putin: On the Wrong Side of History?

Faculty  Mary Thompson-Jones explores Russia's role in the the Ukraine crisis. 

North Korea: Elections, Family Reunions, Missiles - Is it the Same Every Year?

Faculty Friedrich Lohr, who served as ambassador to North Korea, shares his thoughts 
on the yearly trends he's seen in North Korea. 

Global Grads

World Bank Needs Global Grads

Professor Mary Thompson-Jones writes about the role global grads would play at the World Bank

Beshimov Former Ambassador Weighs in on Ukraine

Faculty Baktybek Beshimov recently co-authored an article in The Diplomat on whether Kyrgyzstan is the next Ukraine.

New German Political Landscape 

Faculty Friedrich Lohr discusses the political landscape in Germany after September 2013 elections.


Get connected to current students, alumni, faculty, and stay up-to-date on degree information and deadlines:

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Visit the LinkedIn Group page for Global Studies and International Relations students.

Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Incorporate foundational global and intercultural knowledge, theories, research methods, and approaches to investigate global issues from government, private, and nonprofit viewpoints.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Frame and evaluate global challenges in international political, economic, security, or diplomatic areas in the selected region or concentration, drawing on perspectives and methods from diverse fields of study.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Apply the advanced knowledge gained in the field of global studies to a practical challenge, articulate in writing the insights gained from this experience, and assess approaches, scholarly debates, or standards for professional performance applicable to the challenge.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Assess and develop a position on a contemporary social issue from a socio-historical perspective and from multiple viewpoints of the stakeholders.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within course work or beyond the classroom.

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  • Fall Graduate
    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
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