» Master of Arts in International Studies

In today’s global environment, expertise in international affairs is essential to understanding the contemporary world. The Master of Arts in International Studies is a two-year, full-time, interdisciplinary course of study designed to train students seeking global careers with the U.S. Foreign Service, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations (UN) or businesses.

Course Study
This is a cohort degree program. Students must complete 42 credits of academic work, demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to having completed two courses in the language at the 300 level, complete a 240 hour international internship and successfully complete a master's thesis.

All students complete an international internship between their first and second years of study. These internships immerse students in culture and real-world work overseas, providing them with language and professional skills in the field to which they aspire. For example, past students who hoped to pursue a career in the NGO arena participated in international internships with Global Vision International, the Foundation for Sustainable Development and others.

Full requirements for the Master of Arts in International Studies Degree

Admission to the Program and Prerequisites

Admissions Brochure Deadlines for Fall Admission: 

  • February 1 – Priority deadline to be considered for fellowships and scholarships. All fall applicants will be considered for fellowship and scholarship awards.
  • Applications received after this deadline will be considered on a rolling basis as space is available.
Deadline for Spring Admission:
  • Rolling

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the following:
  • Application to the Master of Arts in International Studies program
  • Official transcripts must be submitted from ALL degree-granting (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) colleges and universities attended. An official transcript submitted in a sealed envelope which you have received from your college or university is acceptable.
  • A graduate admission test is required for applicants with a bachelor's degree cumulative GPA below a 3.0. Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99, may be considered for admission by submitting a satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with minimum scores of Verbal: 154, Quantitative: 147, and Analytical Writing: 4.0 or by demonstrating significant relevant professional experience. GRE Institution Code: 4047.
  • Two letters of recommendation, including one from an academic source, which describes your professional and academic abilities.
  • Submit an essay expressing your reasons for wanting to join the particular academic program to which you are applying.  What are your personal and career goals, and how will this particular degree from Chapman University help you reach those goals?  Your essay should be double spaced, size 12 font, and 2-4 pages in length.
  • Resume

If you would like to set up a visit to Chapman University to meet the director of the M.A. International Studies Program or sit in on a class, please contact Allison DeVries at devries@chapman.edu.

Financing Your Education

MAIS Student

Chapman is an exceptional education value. Explore Chapman's generous fellowships, scholarship and loan programs to help you get started today. Please contact a financial aid advisor regarding the financial aid opportunities available to you.

Fellowships are available through the Master of Arts in International Studies Program on a need and merit basis.

Chapman University is pleased to announce new fellowship funding for the M.A. International Studies program. Each fall, the program will offer four qualified applicants a half-tuition scholarship. The value of this scholarship is approximately $25,000 over the course of the two year program. All applicants will be considered for fellowship and scholarship awards.

Financial Aid Office
(714) 997-6741
Financial Aid Website

Accelerated Undergraduate/Master of Arts in International Studies

Mais student

The Master of Arts in International Studies program offers an accelerated program option for undergraduates that enable students to begin taking M.A. coursework in their senior year and receive a Master of Arts degree within one year of finishing their undergraduate studies. The program is open to all undergraduate majors as long as they have satisfied the prerequisites for the program and meet the admissions requirements. This interdisciplinary course of study is designed to train students seeking global careers with the U.S. Foreign Service, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations (UN) or businesses.

Admission Criteria

  • Apply to the program during junior year
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3
  • Interview with the MAIS Director
  • Official transcripts
  • As a current Chapman student, applying to an accelerated Masters degree program, the department has agreed to waive the recommendation letter requirement for your application. In the online application, please enter the name, email and phone number for two faculty or staff members at Chapman who support you as a candidate for this program.
  • A 1,000-word essay addressing your background and interest in the field of international studies
  • Resume
  • GRE scores are waived for accelerated applicants
  • Students are eligible for MAIS scholarship funds once they complete their BA degree
Sample Senior Year Course Schedule for Accelerated Students

Up to 12 credits of graduate coursework can double count for the MA and BA degree programs

Fall (6 units)

  • IS 502 Peace, Conflict and Human Rights
  • IS 680 Cultural Diversity/Ethnic Identities in a Globalized World

Spring (6 units)

  • IS 503 Challenges of Development
  • IS 505 Research Design

Contact Us

Crystal Murphy
Program Director, M.A. in International Studies
(714) 628-2763

Allison DeVries
Graduate Programs Coordinator
(714) 997-6752

Sharnique Dow
Graduate Admission Counselor
(714) 997-6770

For additional admission information, please contact:
Office of Graduate Admission
888-CU-APPLY or (714) 997-6711