Washington DC, USA skyline on the Potomac River with Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Arlington Memorial Bridge.

Master of Arts in International Affairs and Leadership

Prepare to Serve a Greater Cause


The Master of Arts in International Affairs and Leadership, offered by Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies, empowers students to be future leaders in the global arena. In partnership with the McCain Institute, this program establishes a dynamic and active learning environment led by senior international affairs professionals from the public and private sectors. Drawing on the legacy of values-driven leadership embodied by Senator John McCain, the McCain Institute’s access and connectivity in the international community and ASU’s extensive academic capacity provide students a distinctive edge to succeed in the full spectrum of international affairs professions.

The program will prepare graduates for the complex international environment through extensive exposure to topics such as character-driven leadership, national security, human rights, foreign policy, and global economics.

Questions? Email [email protected]

At a Glance

Ranked #1 Most Innovative University

By U.S. News & World Report 2019

Focus on current challenges and future trends

Designing strategies for the global world of tomorrow

36 credit hours

Flexible pace, part-time or full-time

Learn from Top Experts in the Field

Classes are led by top foreign policy and national security experts who have vast experience developing policy and leading programs.

Engage in Full Spectrum of International Affairs

Stresses practical applications, case studies of international affairs issues and hands-on experience

High Value at a Competitive Cost

This program has one of the best balances between the amount of credit hours and the final price of the degree.

Located in the Heart of Washington, D.C.

Classes meet the McCain Institute in Washington, D.C. at Farragut West metro stop.

Convenient for Working Professionals

All classes meet once a week after 5:30 PM during the week.

Optional Online Selective Courses

Most classes will be in-person with online classes available for flexibility.


“Our Modern Global Economy course will offer a hands-on opportunity for Masters candidates to engage on cutting-edge issues facing policy makers and business leaders in the global economy. Masters candidates will delve into issues such as promoting innovation, international trade and environmental sustainability.”–Catherine A. Novelli

“In our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, we need character-driven leaders with solutions. Our Master of Arts in International Affairs and Leadership will develop leaders who commit to doing the right thing, for the right reasons, in the right way.” –Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, USA (Ret.)

U.S. Capitol Building


  • Fall Semester: August 2020  //  Deadline: June 2020

Degree Requirements

36 credit hours

Required Core Classes (9 credit hours)
  • IAL 501: Principles of Character-Driven Leadership
  • IAL 502: The Making of U.S. National Security Policy
  • IAL 503: Applied International Leadership: Case Studies
Electives (21 credit hours)
  • Students will take seven elective courses of their choice from a list of course offerings. These classes will cover a range of topics including regional focuses, leadership decision making, global issues, and international relation issues.
Internship (3 credit hours)
  • IAL 584: International Affairs and Leadership Internship
Cumulating Experience (3 credit hours)
  • IAL 560: Capstone

Setting the Global Counterterrorism Agenda

The Modern Global Economy: Dollars and Sense

Transnational Challenges – Combatting Human Trafficking

Human Rights and Realpolitik

U.S. Diplomacy in Action – The Embassy Country Team

Western Hemisphere – Opportunities and Challenges

International Negotiations: Trust but Verify

Women in the World Order

Following the Money: International Finance

Transatlantic Relations: Does Europe Still Matter?

People on the Move: Migration and Refugees

Multilateral Alliances and Diplomacy

The World of Islam: Sunnis and Shias

The Future of Africa and the Interests of Global Powers

Pax America and Brazil, Russia, India, and China


Sign up for more information about the Master of Arts in International Affairs and Leadership Program.