Master of International Affairs in International Affairs

The Bush School of Government and Public Service offers a non-thesis program leading to the degree of Master of International Affairs (MIA). This program is designed for individuals planning careers in international affairs. Courses are intended for those with such interests, and it enables a student to specialize in one of two career tracks: international development and economic policy and national security and diplomacy. 

The Master of International Affairs degree includes a core curriculum of five courses, a summer internship or intensive language and cultural study and a six-course specialization in two selected areas of concentration. The professional nature of the program provides a curriculum taught by a multi-disciplinary faculty who also combine a mix of scholarly and professional international experience. The core curriculum includes seminars in leadership, international politics, global economy, research methods, and American foreign policy. One of those six core courses must be a Capstone. The Capstone involves a group project under the supervision of a faculty member to work on a research task received from a real world client. Capstone research culminates in a major written report to the client. The Bush School International Affairs department equips students having a disposition toward leadership and public service with the vital skills and knowledge critical for successful careers whether in government or non-governmental organizations. A foreign language background is not required for admission into the program. To graduate, however, a student must successfully pass a foreign language exam administered in accordance with the ratings of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. For this test the student must demonstrate a minimal proficiency in speaking and comprehension at the established rating of “intermediate low.”

For additional information on the international affairs degree at the Bush School, including requests for admissions materials, please contact: Bush School, Texas A&M University, 4220 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-4220, email bushschooladmissions@tamu.edu or visit the website at http://bush.tamu.edu.

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Student’s Advisory Committee

The International Affairs department MIA student’s advisory committee consists of the student’s designated faculty advisor and the Department Head of the International Affairs department, who has the responsibility of approving the proposed degree plan for an INTA student. The Department Head or the student's advisor serves as chair. When necessary, recommendations in cases of academic deficiency will be made to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Degree Plan

The student’s advisory committee, in consultation with the student, will develop the proposed degree plan. The degree plan must be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the deadlines imposed by the student’s college, and no later than dates announced in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies calendar of deadlines for graduation.

This proposed degree plan should be submitted through the online Document Processing Submission System located on the website https://ogsdpss.tamu.edu.

Additional coursework may be added to the approved degree plan by petition if it is deemed necessary by the advisory committee to correct deficiencies in the student’s academic preparation. No changes can be made to the degree plan once the student’s Request for Final Examination or Request for Final Examination Exemption is approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 48 semester credit hours of approved courses that include a core curriculum of five courses, a summer internship or intensive language and cultural study, and a specialized track of study is required for the Masters Degree of International Affairs.

Transfer of Credit

A student who has earned 12 hours of graduate credit in residence at Texas A&M University may be authorized to transfer courses in excess of the limits prescribed above upon the advice of the advisory committee and with the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater might be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Otherwise, the limitations stated in the preceding section apply. Coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Courses appearing on the degree plan with grades of D, F or U may not be absolved by transfer work. Credit for thesis research or the equivalent is not transferable. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours. An official transcript from the university at which the transfer coursework was taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Courses used toward a degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the Registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPR, with the exception of courses taken at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center.

Limitations on the Use of Transfer, Extension and Certain Other Courses

Some departments may have more restrictive requirements for transfer work. If otherwise acceptable, certain courses may be used toward meeting credit-hour requirements for the master’s degree under the following limitations.

  1. The maximum number of credit hours which may be considered for transfer credit is the greater of 12 hours or one-third (1/3) of the total hours of a degree plan. The following restrictions apply:
    • Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution, or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater will be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the student was in degree-seeking status at Texas A&M University, or the student was in degree-seeking status at the institution at which the courses were taken; and if the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution.
    • Courses previously used for another degree are not acceptable for degree plan credit.
  2. The maximum number of credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree (G6) classification at Texas A&M University which may be considered for application to the degree plan is 12.
  3. A zero credit 684 or 685 course is only allowed for non-thesis option master's students. A zero credit 681 course can be used for either thesis or non-thesis option master’s students. Other courses, including 691 research hours, are not eligible for zero credit.
  4. Any combination of 684, 685, 690 and 695 may not exceed 25 percent of the total credit hour requirement shown on the individual degree plan:
    • A maximum of 8 hours of 684 (Professional Internship) and/or
    • A maximum of 8 hours of 685 (Directed Studies), and
    • Up to 3 hours of 690 (Theory of Research), and
    • Up to 3 hours of 695 (Frontiers in Research).
  5. A maximum of 2 hours of Seminar (681).
  6. A maximum of 9 hours of advanced undergraduate courses (300- or 400-level).
  7. For graduate courses of three weeks’ duration or less, taken at other institutions, up to 1 hour of credit may be obtained for each five-day week of coursework. Each week of coursework must include at least 15 contact hours.
  8. No credit hours of 691 (Research) may be used.
  9. Continuing education courses may not be used for graduate credit.
  10. Extension courses taken are not acceptable for credit.
  11. For non-distance degree programs, no more than 50 percent of the credit hours required for the program may be completed through distance education courses.

  12. To receive a graduate degree from Texas A&M University, students must earn one-third or more of the credits through the institution’s own direct instruction. This limitation also applies to joint degree programs. 

Exceptions will be permitted only in unusual cases and when petitioned by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Final Examination

The Bush School does not require a comprehensive final examination for completion of the Masters Degree of International Affairs.

  • Residence

    A student must complete 12 hours in resident study at Texas A&M University to satisfy the residence requirement for the Master in International Affairs.

    Students who are employed full-time while completing their degree may fulfill total residence requirements by completion of less-than-full time course loads each semester. In order to be considered for this, the student is required to submit a Petition for Waivers and Exceptions along with verification of his/her employment to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

    See Residence Requirements.

    Time Limit

    All degree requirements must be completed within a period of seven consecutive years for the degree to be granted. A course will be considered valid until seven years after the end of the semester in which it is taken. Graduate credit for coursework that is more than seven calendar years old at the time of graduation may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.

    Foreign Languages

    A foreign language background is not required for admission into the program. To graduate, however, a student must successfully pass a foreign language exam administered in accordance with the ratings of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. For this test the student must demonstrate a minimal proficiency in speaking and comprehension at the established rating of “intermediate low.”

    Internship or Practicum

    During the summer term a student has the option of either participating in an internship related to the student’s international career plans or enrolling in an intensive foreign language and cultural study. Internships in the United States or abroad provide practical experience in an organization or agency engaged in the conduct of some dimension of world affairs. A student who requires more preparation to successfully complete the foreign language test requirement may substitute enrollment in an approved immersion-type program of language instruction in place of the internship. A person who takes his/her language instruction at an institution other than Texas A&M University must obtain admission and cover all costs.

    Application for Degree

    For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.

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