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Advancing a Global Affairs Career Through Graduate Education

University of Notre Dame, Keough School of Global Affairs

Professional Development and Field Experience Prepare Graduates to Lead

From day one, students in the Master of Global Affairs (MGA) program at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs gain real-world, hands-on experience to prepare them for their postgraduate career. With a class size of approximately 45 students spread over the three concentrations of International Peace Studies, Sustainable Development, and Governance and Policy, this two-year, on-campus program places experiential learning at the core of the curriculum.

“All students participate in a fully funded field experience,” says McKenna Pencak, the Keough School’s associate director of professional development and alumni engagement. “Our students in the sustainable development and governance and policy concentrations spend three months in the field with a partner organization during the summer between their first and second years. Our peace studies students do a six-month internship in the field at an organization of their choosing anywhere in the world.”

“Our program gives graduates the confidence to apply their knowledge and be impactful leaders in the field who will create a more just and peaceful world.” McKenna Pencak, Associate Director of Professional Development and Alumni Engagement, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame

Career preparation begins in the first year, with plentiful professional development opportunities from experts on the Keough School staff and graduate career consultants at Notre Dame’s Center for Career Development. This includes one-on-one advising and the Career Colloquium workshop series, which helps students define and meet their postgraduate goals. The Colloquium includes practical skill and tool development, such as resume and cover letter preparation and learning how to effectively network and interview, as well as an opportunity to connect with alumni. The MGA program also organizes on-campus career talks and trips to major cities to learn about different career paths in global affairs.

“More than half of graduates go into the nonprofit sector,” Pencak notes. “The remaining graduates start careers in government and the public and private sectors. We have active alumni at Catholic Relief Services, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Oxfam, the United Nations, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Institute of Peace, Chemonics, and the National Immigrant Justice Center.”

The Keough School also offers grants that support students in pursuing additional professional development opportunities that are offered outside of the MGA program, such as attending conference presentations and participating in language studies.

“Throughout their two years here, students develop cross-cultural competence, practical skills, and training to help them meet their postgraduate career goals, and a broad worldview,” says Pencak. “Our program gives graduates confidence to apply their knowledge and be impactful leaders in the field who will create a more just and peaceful world.”

University of Notre Dame, Keough School of Global Affairs
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