Online M.A. in International Relations

Online Master's Degree in International Relations

Explore Complex Questions From a Global Perspective


Refine the critical and creative thinking skills you need to succeed in the complex field of foreign affairs with a master's degree in international relations from Salve Regina University. Offered in a flexible, fully online format, our rigorous program tackles political thought and comparative politics to reach toward themes of identity, harmony and conflict.

Coursework provides a broad and detailed understanding of foreign affairs by building foundational knowledge in politics and history. Committed to student success, our international relations faculty openly share their expertise and professional network with students. And through the University's popular accelerated offerings, qualified Salve Regina undergraduates can earn their bachelor's and master's degrees in just five years.

After completing their master's degree in international relations, Salve Regina graduates excel in careers with federal and state governments, nongovernmental organizations and multinational businesses. Our versatile program fulfills the professional development needs of military officers and provides excellent academic preparation for our online Ph.D. in international relations.

Degree types


Master's (M.A.)
Combined B.A./M.A. pathway

Program format


Online, asynchronous
12 courses (36 credits)

Average time to complete


18-24 months

Application deadline


Rolling admission
Fall, spring and summer starts available

Dr. Yvan Ilunga

The landscape of international relations today is not just a theoretical space – it's something that is dynamic and evolving. By laying the groundwork for critical analysis, writing, debriefing, engaging and debating, Salve Regina's international relations program is preparing students to be competitive and to adapt in the changing space of this industry.

Dr. Yvan Ilunga, assistant professor and associate program director, Department of Political Science and International Relations

The Salve Difference

Flexible and Affordable

Offered fully online, Salve Regina's international relations program offers a pathway to upward mobility, professional advancement and enhanced career satisfaction. Coursework can be completed asynchronously and at your own pace – easily accommodating the busy schedules of working professionals.

Dedicated Faculty

Our faculty deliver an essential curriculum that prepares graduates to be constructively critical of their immediate and broader political environment. As tenured professors with considerable academic experience, they provide a top-notch education along with care and concern for the well-being of each student.

Rigorous and Fulfilling

Our program cultivates a virtual academic community that explores creative and pragmatic solutions to current global issues. Students and faculty have a shared interest and deep knowledge in subjects such as dispute and conflict resolution, international justice, and political systems and economies.

Philip Garrow

It's the connections that you make with students, faculty and other alumni that open doors later in life. My advisor was happy to serve as a reference for the position I now hold at the U.S. Naval Academy. Their willingness to vouch for me four years after completing the program is a testament to the 'people-first' Salve approach.

Lt. Cmdr. Philip Garrow '12 (M), assistant professor, U.S. Naval Academy

Explore Salve Regina's International Relations Curriculum

Our 12-course master's degree explores international relations in the context of domestic and global justice. Core courses form a solid foundational and theoretical basis, while critical electives address specific regional and thematic topics of contemporary relevance, interest and importance.

We recognize the critical concerns of Salve Regina's founding Sisters of Mercy – earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism and women – by examining themes of human rights through an international lens. With an emphasis on global citizenship, coursework centers on topics such as the ethical implications of war, peaceful resolution of world conflicts, natural disasters and their resulting humanitarian crises, and strategies to resolve disputes between groups and individuals.

The online, asynchronous format of our international relations program draws students from all over the world and is ideal for those on deployment or working unconventional schedules. Select in-person courses may also be available at our Newport, Rhode Island campus.

Required courses:

  • INR508: Writing Strategies for Academic Success (offered online in January-March)
  • INR511: Philosophical Foundations of Politics (offered online in May-June)
  • INR512: Justice and Order in International Relations (offered online in January-February)
  • INR513: Comparative Political Development (offered online in July-August)
  • INR516: Identity, Harmony and Conflict (offered online in October-December)
  • INR531: Just and Unjust Wars (offered online in September-October)
  • INR533: International Political Economy (offered online in October-December)
  • INR542: Dispute and Conflict Resolution (offered online in May-June)
  • INR571: International Human Rights (offered online in September-October)
  • INR572: Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Prevention and Responses (offered online in January-February)

Students also choose two of the following:

  • INR522: Integration and Globalization Politics (offered online in March-May)
  • INR552: Terrorism and Transnational Crime (offered online in March-May and on campus in fall)
  • INR562: International Organizations and Law (offered online in July-August)
  • INR590: Thesis
  • INR591: Independent Study/Research
  • INR592: Topical and Regional Issues in International Relations
  • INR593: Topical and Regional Issues in Comparative Politics
  • INR598: Internship

Advantages Beyond the Coursework

International officers

For more than 30 years, our international relations program has enrolled military officers from around the world through a unique partnership with the U.S. Naval War College. While the agreement provides an opportunity for international officers to earn a graduate degree from a civilian university, their presence in the degree program is deeply beneficial for all students.

"Studying along seasoned professionals with extensive practical experience and firsthand knowledge of events taking place outside the United States is a great learning experience for our students," said Dr. Symeon Giannakos, professor and program director. "They are also exposed to diverse views that helps them expand their outlooks."

Additionally, the University’s Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy – a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas – provides ample opportunities for students to supplement their education.

Andrew Loftesnes

When I was getting out of the Marine Corps, I wanted to continue my education in a way that would help with a career in foreign policy and national security. I was drawn to the international relations program at Salve Regina and applied while I was overseas on deployment. Completing my M.A. in international relations as well as participating in the Boren fellowship led directly to my employment at the Pentagon. Since that time, I have worked in the Office of Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.

Andrew Loftesnes '20 (M), foreign affairs specialist

Consider Salve Regina's Online Master's in International Relations

Guided by Salve Regina's mercy mission, our rigorous international relations program develops principled students who offer innovative solutions to the world's political dilemmas. Are you ready to make an impact? Accelerate your career with a master's degree in international relations from Salve Regina.