Masters in International Relations Admission Tips — The Admit Lab

Philippe Barr, PhD
8 min readMar 15, 2023

Are you passionate about international affairs and looking to take the next step in shaping your future? Then applying for masters in international relations could be the perfect opportunity for you! Getting admitted can seem difficult to achieve, but with the right info and expert guidance, it doesn’t have to be.

We know how grueling this experience can be, so we’re here to help put your mind at ease by giving you our best tips on how to nail that application process and get admitted into this highly competitive program. Let’s start crafting your success story today!

Masters in International Relations 101

Masters in international relations are postgraduate degrees that focus on the study of global issues and their implications for international politics, economics, social structures, cultures, and security. They examine the interactions between different countries, governments, organizations, and societies. Through a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills such as problem-solving strategies, negotiation techniques, and critical analysis, graduates of these programs are prepared to work in a variety of international organizations and government agencies. Masters in international relations offer an excellent opportunity to gain a deep understanding of global affairs and develop the skills necessary to work effectively in an international environment.

What professional skills and knowledge can one get from a master’s degree in international relations?

Masters in international relations equip students with a wide range of skills and knowledge that are invaluable for those looking to work in any field related to global affairs. Students gain an in-depth understanding of international law, foreign policy, economics, political science, and diplomacy. They also develop the ability to analyze complex problems from a global perspective, think strategically, and communicate effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds. Additionally, they acquire the skills to identify potential risks and opportunities in international affairs and develop strategies for engaging with stakeholders to resolve disputes.

These skills and knowledge are particularly relevant in today’s world, where global issues such as terrorism, climate change, poverty, and political unrest are increasingly interconnected. A Master’s in International Relations provides students with the tools to understand these complex problems from multiple perspectives and develop innovative solutions that will benefit our world in the long term. With these skills and knowledge, graduates of a Master’s in International Relations are highly sought after by employers.

What type of career prospects can one get from graduating with this degree?

Graduating with a master’s degree in international relations provides a wealth of career opportunities. With the current global landscape, there is an ever-increasing demand for professionals who understand and can navigate international politics and diplomacy. Graduates can pursue a variety of positions within governmental agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, multinational corporations, and other private businesses. Job roles range from policy analysts and political scientists to diplomats, lobbyists, and public affairs professionals. In addition to the traditional job opportunities within international relations, graduates may also pursue career paths in law, education, journalism, public relations, or consulting. With a Master in International Relations degree, graduates can unlock unique career and leadership opportunities to help shape global affairs. With the right training and experience, graduates can be sure that they will have plenty of options available upon graduation. They can use their degree to pursue the perfect job, further develop their knowledge and skills, and contribute to the global landscape in meaningful ways.

What are the top masters in international relations programs in the U.S.?

The best master’s degrees in international relations programs in the U.S. are offered by universities such as Georgetown and Johns Hopkins. These universities offer a rigorous education in international relations and have some of the most renowned faculty in the field with outstanding research opportunities and career prospects. Other well-respected programs include Columbia University, George Washington University, American University, and Tufts University among others. All these schools offer specialized courses in international relations, which prepare students for careers that require a deep understanding of global affairs or working on global issues like climate change or refugee rights. With an international relations degree from any one of these esteemed institutions, you can expect to gain access to some of the most sought-after jobs in government, public policy advocacy organizations, or international organizations. With the right education, these programs can be the gateway to an exciting and rewarding career in foreign affairs or global policymaking.

In addition to academic excellence, these universities offer a variety of other resources for students enrolled in international relations programs such as internship opportunities and alumni networks that can help you build valuable connections with professionals working in many sectors of foreign policy. Additionally, some schools provide unique courses such as “International Law,” “Human Rights,” and “Diplomacy.” All-in-all, these masters in international relations programs are an excellent choice for those looking to pursue a career where they can make a real difference. With the right curriculum and faculty support, you can make great strides toward accomplishing your professional goals.

How hard is it to get admitted into a master’s program in international relations

Getting admitted into a master’s program in international relations can be a challenging process. Many universities require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in international relations or a related field, as well as competitive GRE scores. Furthermore, many schools also require students to submit letters of recommendation from professors they have had while completing their undergraduate studies, along with essays outlining their career aspirations. Additionally, some universities ask for a resume that highlights relevant work experience in the field of international relations.

What are the admissions requirements to get admitted into a master in international relations program?

Admission to a master’s degree in international relations program is highly competitive and requires strong academic credentials. Generally, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher. Furthermore, they may need to submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume/CV. Some programs also require specific prerequisites such as foreign language proficiency or research experience. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to global issues and possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.

What are admissions committees looking for in applicants to masters in international relations?

Admissions committees for masters in international relations programs are looking for applicants who demonstrate strong academic knowledge and intellectual curiosity. They want to see that you have the skills needed to succeed in a rigorous academic environment and the interest to pursue a career in international relations. Applicants should be prepared to explain their research interests, prior experience, and any special skills they bring to the program. As this field has become increasingly interdisciplinary, admissions committees also look for evidence of creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication abilities as well as an awareness of current events and global perspectives. The ideal candidate is someone who can offer unique insights into global issues through thoughtful analysis and meaningful dialogue. Ultimately, admissions committees want to find students who are passionate about making a difference in the world and who possess the right combination of knowledge, skills, and commitment to make that happen.

How can you stand out as an applicant?

One of the best ways to stand out as an applicant to master’s programs in international relations is to demonstrate your commitment and knowledge of the field. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as completing relevant internships, volunteering in the community, applying for scholarships or fellowships, or attending international conferences or seminars. Additionally, having a strong academic record and a portfolio showcasing your work will give you an advantage over other applicants. It is also important to show that you have a clear understanding of what makes international relations unique and how it impacts global affairs. Finally, having solid communication skills-both written and verbal-will ensure that you can effectively articulate your ideas when interacting with faculty members or peers in the field.

Is having a master’s degree in international relations worth it?

The degree is an invaluable asset for any professional looking to advance their career and make an impact on the global stage. With this degree, you will gain a deep insight into international politics, diplomacy, economics, and security, as well as develop critical thinking and analysis skills to better understand current affairs and global issues. Additionally, acquiring a master’s degree allows you to create valuable networks with citizens from other countries, allowing for a greater understanding of different cultures and customs. Masters in International Relations equip you with the skills needed to break down language barriers and facilitate effective communication between nations- something essential for successful global relations in today’s world.

What next?

Achieving your dream of studying an international relations program at a prestigious university is closer than you think. With the right preparation and groundwork, you can get into the school of your choice and launch your career in the field of international relations.

Everyone knows that applying to graduate school can be daunting, but with the tips outlined in this blog post, you can easily express yourself and stand out from other applicants without much effort. Don’t wait — start preparing today!

To guarantee success, why not take advantage of our master’s application services or book a complimentary admissions consultation? Get started now and prepare to become part of an exciting community passionate about making an impact in global affairs!

“I applied for several prestigious MA programs initially not knowing what to expect. Given that my undergrad GPA was less than ideal, I honestly felt quite hesitant towards the entire process. Philippe immediately cut through my cloud of anxiety and confusion, telling me what was important and what was not. His feedback was very direct and useful. After receiving constructive feedback on my statement of purpose, I immediately gained a sense of direction and motivation. I was confident in my final application and was ultimately accepted into my top two choices.” Master in International Relations, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins

With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab. As a tenure-track professor, Philippe spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Philippe has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world.

Originally published at on March 15, 2023.



Philippe Barr, PhD

I am Philippe Barr, founder of The Admit Lab, a graduate school admissions consultancy that helps students get admitted into grad school: