Graduate Program

Study international relations in a global city

CIR is defined by its commitment to interdisciplinary education and research. Through their coursework and co-curricular opportunities, students are encouraged to develop fluency in the contemporary literatures of international relations as well as attain mastery in a specialization of their choosing. The master’s thesis paper, a piece of rigorous problem-driven research, is the capstone of the program. This academic preparation is complemented by routine engagement with the professional world of international relations, including speaker events through campus partners, curated career treks and symposia, and unparalleled seminar experiences abroad.

A key characteristic of our program is our small cohort size, which distinguishes us from others offering degrees in this field. By admitting a cohort of approximately 70 students, we offer primarily seminar classes, with close advising from preceptors and faculty thesis advisors, and a tight-knit student body. With few large lecture classes, CIR students find many opportunities to directly engage with our faculty, who are leaders in their fields. 

We also value flexibility in the path to your degree. While there are required core seminars and an MA thesis workshop, you can pursue a program of study across the social sciences tailored to your particular interests. This fosters the ability for CIR students to combine exploration and specialization in an unusual way. A second-year specialization, available to a small number of excellent students, provides even deeper research opportunities. 

Photo of UChicago students and Faculty engaged in a course discussion
Photo of UChicago students and Faculty engaged in a course discussion