Master of Arts in International Relations

Only in Geneva

Master of Arts in International Relations

Geneva is an epicenter of international affairs – headquarters to the largest concentration of multilateral organizations of any city worldwide, and home to a remarkable gathering of diplomats, policy-makers and NGO leaders.  Over 26,000 people are employed directly in the sector of “Genève Internationale”, including the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG) and various UN Programs and agencies, International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and over 150 Permanent Missions and Delegations to the UN.  The World Economic Forum, host to the annual Davos gathering, also calls Geneva home.  As often cited by the UNOG Director, decisions made daily in Geneva ripple across the globe and impact every human being on the planet.

With its unparalleled influence across Humanitarian Action, Human Rights, Economic Development, and an array of issues on the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Geneva has a longstanding tradition of serving as the meeting point for diplomats, ministers and influential decision-makers.  It is in this context where Webster University Geneva students—just a few kilometers from the UN district—study the critical global challenges of our time.

Curriculum, Accreditation & Faculty

Master of Arts in International Relations

Start your MA at five different entry dates throughout the year. The program is made up of nine core courses and three electives. Each course takes place one evening per week over an eight week term period. 

Full-time students take two classes per term whereas part-time students take one class per term. Students can shift between full- and part-time study. This unique structure gives candidates the opportunity to tailor the program to their personal and professional schedules.

Webster University carries full institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Students at Webster University Geneva therefore earn the same degree that is awarded in the U.S. 

The International Relations Department is an Academic Institutional Member (AIM) of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). 


Courses include a combination of required course work in International Relations and Research Methods, with options in Comparative Politics and International Politics, as well as electives that allow students to tailor their course studies.  Beyond the initial required courses (Introduction to International Relations and Research Methods & Perspectives), students have some choices among courses such as:

International Law
International Political Economy
Asian Area Studies
Politics of Development
Humanitarian Issues:  Refugees & Migration Middle East Area Studies
International Security
Food & Water Security
International Disaster Law
US Foreign Policy
International Organizations 
Academic Internship and/or Thesis

Students choose between a final Capstone course in International Relations or a Thesis. An optional Dual Major in International and Non-Governmental Organizations (a second concentration within the degree program) is also possible with additional courses and terms of study.  Additional information is available online.

Students can work with the Career Services office to target prospective organizations for either a paid internship or an academic internship, and to be connected with alumni in the area.  Webster Geneva students have interned and worked at numerous international organizations in Geneva, including the WTO, UNHCR, UNEP, IFRC, WIPO, ILO, UNOCHA, IOM and UNRWA, and Non-Governmental Organizations and foundations.

MA students also have an option to pursue a 6-credit research thesis, guided by a department professor, in a research area of their choice.  Oftentimes, this can be a direct support for their future career aspirations, allowing them access to research networks at the forefront of their chosen field.  It can also be used as preparation for a future Ph.D. at another university in Europe or beyond.

Dr. Oreste Foppiani
Develop the Skills and Understanding You Need

“Webster is one of the very few universities that can teach both the theory and practical side of international relations, in a city which serves as a renowned meeting place for world leaders, diplomats and influential business executives.”

Dr. Oreste Foppiani
"International Relations courses at Webster University Geneva develop a student’s in-depth understanding, from both the historical and current affairs perspectives, building skills for critical analysis of these global challenges. Students are also encouraged to pursue an academic internship or research thesis, to build expertise in their own primary areas of interest.

Exposure through Webster’s curriculum will help graduates understand issues ranging from international security to environmental governance, international economics to migration and refugee studies, putting them in a position to play a positive role in their future career—potentially within these organizations in Geneva that help to shape the course of world events."

Oreste Foppiani, Ph.D. - Head, International Relations Department
Roman Chestnov
Alumni Success - ROMAN CHESTNOV

“Understanding international processes and trends is an important skill in our increasingly interconnected world.”

Roman Chestnov
“The knowledge that I obtained from my professors has repeatedly proven valuable in a wide range of projects that I have worked on since my studies. Our IR professors generously shared their rich practical experience, and they provided opportunities to directly witness real-time international politics by integrating some informative UN visits in their course programs.”

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