Public Engagement

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Master of Science

  • Our innovative 30-credit Master of Science (MS) in International Affairs is a flexible, modular program that provides students with the mix of skills and area specializations they need to thrive in today's rapidly changing field of international affairs.

    The MS is designed for students who already have at least three to five years of post-university professional experience in international affairs. The self-designed, modular structure of the MS allows students to develop unique combinations of skills and substantive knowledge that will set them apart from their peers and position them for success at the dynamic forefront of research, advocacy, and practice in international affairs.

    Students can pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis.


    The MS program modules draw from programs across The New School in fields such as social research, design, and media. Each student selects one of the Subject Modules and one of the Critical Tools and Analysis Modules to build a unique portfolio of expertise. Potential combinations include module pairings such as Humanitarianism + Geographic Information Systems, Global Advocacy + Media Production, Cities and Sustainable Development + Community and Participatory Development, Development Policy + Economic Analysis, and more. Students can also design their own modules in consultation with advisors.

    Subject Modules

    The MS Subject Modules give students in-depth, substantive knowledge of a particular area of professional interest. Subject areas include Migration and Refugees; Media Advocacy; Global Food Systems; Gender in International Affairs; Poverty, Inequality, and Social Justice; and others. Students may also design their own Subject Module.

    Critical Tools and Analysis Modules

    The MS Critical Tools and Analysis Modules provide students with distinct skills that prepare them for specific professional careers. Through the Critical Tools and Analysis Module, students can advance their skills in GIS mapping, media production, data analytics, design, participation, policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and many other areas.


    The MS program combines core courses with a wide range of electives and opportunities for social research and hands-on experience.

    • Two core courses – 6 credits
    • Subject Module – 9 credits
    • Critical Tools and Analysis Module – 6 credits
    • Two electives, including courses connected with the International Field Program – 6 credits
    • Capstone Project – 3 credits
  • Core Courses

    All MS students take two core courses that provide a critical and historical introduction to key concepts in international affairs. The first, Global Flows, is an introduction to globalization from the colonial era through the present. The second, Theories, Histories, and Practices of Development, examines basic concepts of development and introduces students to major issues in contemporary development thought and practice. Students are required to take Global Flows and fulfill the SGPIA economics requirement before they take Theories, Histories, and Practices of Development.

    Subject Modules and Critical Tools and Analysis Modules

    Each student selects one module from each of the two categories: one Subject Module (9 credits) and one Critical Tools and Analysis Module (6 credits).


    International Affairs offers a selection of elective courses that range from general surveys to advanced research seminars to practice-oriented courses. MA students can take electives offered by International Affairs or by other New School graduate programs in fields such as design, social research, media, and many others. The exact number of electives any student takes depends on the student's program of study.

    The International Field Program and UN Summer Study

    Students can earn up to six credits toward their MA through both the International Field Program and the UN Summer Study.

    The summer International Field Program (IFP) provides field experience with a local or international organization in another country under academic supervision. Past IFP sites have included Cuba, India, Kosovo, China, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Argentina, Hong Kong, Colombia, Brazil, Lebanon, Turkey, and Nepal. New sites are frequently developed. The United Nations Summer Study (UNSS) offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in consultancy work with the UN system through a summer intensive curriculum based here in New York.

    Capstone Project

    All MA students must complete a Capstone Project. Three options for fulfilling this requirement are available:

    • Thesis Option: an independent research project conducted with faculty supervision
    • Research Portfolio Option: a portfolio on a particular topic that includes two research papers completed in two advanced research seminars
    • Practice Option: a team-based practicum for a client organization

    Students choose their Capstone Project in consultation with their advisor after they have completed 18 credits.