Contacts | General Information | Joint BA/MA Program | Application | Program Requirements | How to Apply

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General Information

The special strength of the Committee on International Relations (CIR), the first graduate program of its kind in the nation, lies in its interdisciplinary approach to a wide range of questions relating to international issues. The Committee's faculty includes members of the various departments in the Division of the Social Sciences, as well as the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, the Divinity School, and the Law School. Their expertise extends over a broad range of subjects: international relations theory, security studies, international political economy, international history, history and conduct of U.S. foreign policy, human rights, international law and organization, international development, and regional international relations.

Joint BA/MA Program

Qualified students in the College who wish to pursue a joint MA degree in international relations should consult with their College adviser, the Assistant Dean of Students in the Social Sciences (Lindsey Weglarz ), and a CIR preceptor. These meetings should happen in the Autumn Quarter of the student's third year and are a mandatory component of the application process. Students are expected to have a GPA of 3.55 or higher, and at that time they are also expected to have met most of their general education requirements and to have chosen their major.


Applications are due by February 1.

The application is submitted online to the dean of students of the Division of the Social Sciences ( See How to Apply.

More information on the application process can be found at

BA/MA applicants should not pay the application fee. Email to ask how to receive the fee waiver.

Based on the available course list, applicants to the CIR BA/MA program must also submit a Proposed Curriculum document that identifies (1) up to three courses completed as part of the BA degree that will be petitioned to count toward the MA degree distribution requirements (NOTE: These courses cannot be counted as part of the required nine graduate-level courses—see Program Requirements below) and (2) the graduate-level courses they intend to take during their year in the program. CIR preceptors are available for consultation and guidance on a student's preparation of the document. NOTE: A student admitted to the CIR BA/MA program must submit changes to the CIR Program Chair.

Space in the CIR BA/MA program is limited, and admission is very competitive. The application is evaluated by the CIR Admissions Committee on the basis of the student's academic record, letters of recommendation, GRE scores if available, a 10- to 20-page term or research paper, and a personal statement of intellectual and academic goals. Admission to the MA program is also subject to approval by the College. BA/MA students are expected to complete all but three of their BA requirements before entering joint residence status for the three quarters preceding the anticipated quarter of graduation (up to three graduate courses can be used as electives in the undergraduate program or they can be applied to the undergraduate major by petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies). Students in joint residence status are charged tuition at graduate rates.

Program Requirements

Students selected to participate in the joint degree program must meet all the normal BA requirements for their particular field of study, as well as all the general education requirements. In addition, joint degree students in international relations must meet the following requirements:

1. Completion of nine graduate-level courses for quality grades, including seven CIR-approved courses. NOTE: The total number of CIR-approved credits required for the joint degree is 48, assuming that three courses taken at the graduate level in the fourth year may be double counted toward both degrees.

2. Fulfillment of the CIR distribution requirement. This is designed to ensure that, within the nine required courses for the MA degree, students achieve sufficient depth and breadth in the study of international relations. Students may petition the CIR to count toward their MA distribution requirements up to three appropriate courses taken for their BA degree. Currently, each student must pass three courses each in two of four fields of international relations:

a. Security, International History, and International Relations Theory

b. International Political Economy and Development

c. Regional Studies and Nationalism

d. Human Rights, Environment, and Law

3. A passing grade in the Committee's noncredit Perspectives on International Relations (INRE 30000) course in Autumn Quarter.

4. A passing grade in the Committee's MA paper workshop (INRE 46500) in Winter and Spring Quarters.

5. Completion of an MA paper that is approved by a faculty adviser and a preceptor.

6. Completion of both BA and MA degrees within a quarter of each other.

Details are available in the Committee office (5730 S. Woodlawn Ave.).

How to Apply

The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions and deadlines, is available online at

For additional information about the program, please contact E. G. Enbar, Student Affairs Administrator, at 773.702.8312 or


Administrative Contact

Student Affairs Administrator
E. G. Enbar
1155 E. 60th Street, Rm 285B


Associate Professor of Political Science
Paul Staniland
Pick Hall 418B

Associate Director

Assistant Senior Instructional Professor
Matthias Staisch
Pick Hall 124