Sponsored Content

FP Guide

2018 Applying to Grad School

THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. For the current FP Guide, click here.

Boston University, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies


Successful applicants to the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies typically have a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in international relations, as well as international experience and foreign language skills. Because the school is consciously interdisciplinary, it favors applicants who are open to various approaches and methods.

“We teach our students not only how to look at the world from multiple perspectives, but also how to choose the right analytical approach for any given issue,” says William W. Grimes, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of international relations and political science. “Our programs are problem-driven rather than methodology-driven, so we do not emphasize applicants’ quantitative preparation above other attributes. We pay special attention to elements of the application that reveal insights and engagement with global issues, as well as strong reasoning and writing skills.”

Pardee School introduced a substantial curricular revision in 2017, so applicants should look carefully at the programs now offered to identify which would best suit their interests and background. The MA in International Affairs (MAIA) is a four-semester program offering specializations in Diplomacy, Global Economic Affairs, Security Studies, Religion and World Affairs, and International Communication. The MA in Global Policy (MGP) is a three-semester program with specializations in Environmental Policy, Development Policy, and International Public Health Policy. The MA in Latin American Studies (LASMA) is a one-year program, and the MA in International Relations (MAIR) is for international relations professionals with significant work experience. The school offers dual degrees with Boston University’s law school and business school.

“We teach our students not only how to look at the world from multiple perspectives, but also how to choose the right analytical approach for any given issue.” -William W. Grimes, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Work experience is not required, but the Pardee School values what it reveals about a candidate’s commitment to a career in international relations and global policy. Work experience may also show that a candidate has gained substantive knowledge and practical skills that are relevant to the proposed degree program. Internships, volunteer experience, and other forms of community and social engagement can also provide evidence of an applicant’s potential for future professional success.

GRE scores are another factor for assessing a candidate’s potential to thrive at the Pardee School. Details about the school’s GRE and English proficiency requirements are available at http://www.bu.edu/pardeeschool/prospective-students/prospective-graduate-info/standardized-testing.

The Pardee School requires three recommendation letters and strongly recommends that at least one of those letters comes from a university professor. Professional recommendation letters are also welcome, especially from sources relevant to international affairs. Recommendation letters should speak to the skills and characteristics that are most important for a career as an international relations practitioner and for academic success in a rigorous program. Effective letters often address the applicant’s research and writing skills, depth and breadth of knowledge in the chosen field of interest, practical experience, and commitment to advancing peace and prosperity.

Master’s Degree Program Options:
• MA in International Affairs (MAIA)
• MA in Global Policy (MGP)
• MA in Latin American Studies (LASMA)
• MA in International Relations (MAIR – executive degree)
• MA in International Relations and JD (IR/JD)
• MA in International Relations and MBA (IR/MBA)

Application Timetable:
• Deadline for Spring 2019 Enrollment: December 15, 2018

• Priority Deadlines for Fall 2019: January 18, 2019 (for financial aid consideration); and March 15, 2019 (for merit aid consideration)

• Final Deadline for Fall 2019 Enrollment: May 1, 2019

Standardized Exam Scores: GRE required

Recommendation Letters: Three required

Application Checklist: www.bu.edu/pardeeschool/prospective-students/prospective-graduate-info/application-instructions

Visit the Request Info page to receive more information.