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2017 Graduate Education | International Affairs

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The New School, Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA)


Nearly 40 percent of New York City’s residents were born in another country, making it the ideal global city for The New School, which offers one of the nation’s most creative, unconventional, forward-thinking graduate programs in international affairs.

Students at the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA)—part of The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy—are encouraged to be critical, engaged, and committed to social justice.

Melissa Reanne De la Cruz, MA student, Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School

“What I really like about the school is that it looks at foreign policy from a more encompassing viewpoint than is traditional—for instance, how development intersects with media and culture,” says Melissa Reanne De la Cruz, a second-year MA student in the GPIA program.

De la Cruz is originally from the Philippines, where she worked as a speech writer for the vice mayor of Cebu City. “We also worked closely with our sister cities in other countries, and I wanted to learn more about ways to better understand urban politics through its citizens,” she says.

She also liked the fact that GPIA is located in New York City.

“New York pushes you to make your own mark. It also teaches you how different aspects combine to make a city—not just income, but different neighborhoods, public transportation, and people who come from all over the world. It really teaches you to value diversity,” she adds.

GPIA programs combine theory and practice: Students have a wide variety of opportunities for learning by doing, especially through the International Field Program and the Practicum in International Affairs, one of GPIA’s capstone options.

The International Field Program allows students to gain hands-on experience in more than 30 countries. The program’s extended field stays are unique among international affairs programs at U.S. schools. Students in the International Field Program engage in cross-disciplinary collaborations that are central to the GPIA approach.

For example, some of De la Cruz’s fellow students have used virtual reality to help people understand the reality of daily life among recent refugees from Syria and elsewhere who had fled to Europe. “The medium can alter the way content is understood and give people a better perspective on what’s occurring,” she explains.

In the classroom, GPIA strives for an intimate learning environment with small classes taught by accessible faculty members. The program offers the flexibility for students to shape their studies to match their interests.

The two-year MA in International Affairs and the mid-career MS in International Affairs programs both stress innovative approaches, including the use of tools such as geographic information systems, transmedia research and advocacy, and participatory design and assessment.

New York City’s incomparable resources, from its international NGOs, major media companies, and intergovernmental institutions to its globally influential human rights organizations, offer a wide range of opportunities for student research, internships, and practicums.

Master’s Degrees offered: See Program Directory

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