Welcome to the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs!

We are pleased that you chose to join us here at Maxwell as a Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) student. You will be joining a class of talented individuals with impressive academic accomplishments, language skills, and professional experience.

We look forward to meeting you at our mandatory new student orientation, held on August 23 and 24 from 9 am to 5 pm.

Curriculum Overview:

The Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) features five curricular components.  These are detailed in our graduate student handbook, available at http://answers.syr.edu, please read them before arriving on campus.

The degree involves 40 credits of graduate coursework

During your time at Maxwell, you will be expected to:

  • Complete five core courses that provide general knowledge and skills needed in the global workplace; (15 credits)
  • Focus your studies through one of five career tracks; (12 credits)
  • Build your skills and knowledge using three elective classes; (12 credits)
  • Prepare for your global professional training through an international relations capstone; (1 credit)
  • Engage in in-depth professional development through one of the program's exceptional global opportunities. 

Planning Your Fall Schedule:

During the fall semester, the overwhelming majority of students take 12 credits of coursework (four classes).  We recommend that you consider the following:

  • Enroll in PAI 710 – International Actors & Issues (3 credits)
  • Enroll in PAI 721 – Introduction to Statistics (3 credits)
  • Consider enrolling in either PAI 720 – Economic Principles for International Affairs or PAI 762 – Challenges of International Management and Leadership (3 credits)

This approach will put you well on the pace for completing your degree while keeping the opportunity of spending the summer and fall of 2023 off-campus.  Please note that all of our course requirements are planned to be in-person classes for the 2022-2023 academic year.

As importantly as the selection of these three courses, please remember to take a course that you enjoy, that pushed your passion for international affairs further as your fourth course. 

This course could be one of your career track courses, or a content area course that you find interesting and invigorating.   It can be drawn from any of the internationally-focused offerings in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs, and across the Maxwell School.

Start to think about your off-campus programs:

The MAIR program is designed to integrate on-campus academic coursework with off-campus applied learning. Since the MAIR degree is a professional degree program, we see training in the field as a key component to your development as practitioners, allowing you to apply their academic training to real-world problems.

Plan to spend the summer and fall of 2023 off campus in order to gain a practitioner perspective on contemporary challenges and build key experience and understanding needed for success in the competitive international relations field.  You will work with Professor Michael Williams, myself, and our Associate Director for Internships and Experiential Learning.

You should consider these off-campus experiences as key components of your career track coursework. This includes your global internship experience, which should be directly related to the career track sub-field you are pursuing.

Prepare to start the internship and professional development search

We consider the MAIR as a professional master’s degree, designed to prepare students for professional opportunities in the field.   As such, we encourage students to start to think about how and where they seek to make change in the international arena early on.

While it may be too early to apply for internships, it is useful to lay the groundwork for those opportunities now.  In order to do that, please do the following:

  • Identify the type of work you would like to do: policy vs. research vs. programming;
  • Start to identify organizations that you are interested in;
  • Develop your professional narrative (i.e. how you would like potential employers to view you);
  • Work with the Palmer Center for Career Development and the Associate Director for Internships and Experiential Learning on resume and cover letter tips.

Prepare for Registration:

You will register for class on August 1, 2022, but you can change your schedule through the second week of classes. 

  • Review the list of classes available to graduate students on MySlice
  • Students register via the MySlice system. Please make sure you have:
    • Returned the Intent to Register form to Syracuse University;
    • Activated your NetID;
    • Set your NetID password.

For Questions:

Download a version of this memo

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