Political Science

Master's Degree in International Relations


The world is your stage when you earn a Master’s degree in International Relations (M.I.R.) from Auburn University at Montgomery. This degree program offers students advanced training in the study of international relations -- an understanding of the interactions among states and the roles and significance of such non-state actors as international organizations, non-governmental organizations, terrorist groups, and private commercial interests. In doing so, students learn which  actors and forces are most significant in affecting the nature and direction of the relationships among states and between them and various non-state actors.

The M.I.R. program comprises 30 semester hours (10 courses) and a comprehensive exam. The program is designed to be completed in two years if a student enrolls as a full-time student. Courses include those focusing on U.S. foreign policy, globalization, democratization, conflict and cooperation, national security, international organizations, and international economic relations. The program positions students for careers with international organizations, state and national governments, and the private sector. It also provides students with the additional academic training needed when applying to doctoral programs. For more information about career opportunities, see the careers link on the website for the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs.

Courses in the M.I.R. Degree Program

The degree program is composed of the following courses:

POLS 6060: Applied Research and Program Evaluation. The application of scientific research methods to administrative problems, including practical methods of gathering, analyzing and interpreting data. Includes theory and basic techniques underlying quantitative and qualitative analysis of public programs.

POLS 6110: Seminar in American Government.
A systematic examination of functions, problems and issues within the political and constitutional framework of selected areas of American government.

POLS 6200: U.S. Foreign Policy.
An examination of American diplomatic experience and foreign relations from the Revolution to the present.

POLS 6250: National Security and Domestic Policy.
An analysis of concepts of national security, national interest, self-defense and self-determination and how these concepts are affected by domestic policy decisions.

POLS 6350: Area Studies.
An in-depth analysis of the political environment, institutions and processes of government in a geographical area selected by the instructor. May be repeated with focus in another area.

POLS 6450: Comparative Government and Politics.
An examination of the institutions, political processes, functions and problems of major contemporary political systems from a comparative perspective.

POLS 6550: Problems in Contemporary International Politics.
An in-depth analysis of current problems and conflicts in international relations, such as terrorism, globalization and the use of force.

POLS 6660: Democracy and Democratization.
The roots, development and major components of the democratic idea, the variety of modern democratic practice, as well as the spread of democracy in the modern world and its effects on international politics.

POLS 6670: Seminar in International Politics.
In-depth research on concepts and topics of international relations under the supervision of the instructor, with results presented in a seminar setting.

POLS 6850: Seminar in International Law and Organization.
A systematic analysis of international law and organizations and their relevance and effectiveness in resolving conflict among states.

Faculty Spotlight

James Nathan is Khalid bin Sultan Eminent Scholar, and Professor of Political Science. He is a former Foreign Service officer and the author of seven books, more than 80 academic articles, and over 100 articles for popular publications. The following books have received notable recognition: Soldiers, Statecraft, and History; U.S. Foreign Policy; and Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He recently was Senior Distinguished Fulbright Professor in Beijing at the Foreign Affairs University of China, and SyCip Distinguished Fulbright Professor in Manila. Along with receiving numerous honors and awards, he has lectured to civilian, military, and intelligence audiences under the auspices of the Department of State, the Fulbright program, and host governments in dozens of countries on every continent except Antarctica. Dr. Nathan currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on U.S. foreign policy.

Recent Alumni


Brenda Tuck (2007) is the executive director for Marengo County (Alabama) Economic Development Authority.

Edin Mujkic (2008) earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Auburn/Auburn Montgomery joint Ph.D. program in 2012. Edin is now an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a research focus on national security, defense, homeland security, and U.S. foreign policy.

Hugo Asencio (2008) earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Auburn/Auburn Montgomery joint Ph.D. program in 2012 and is currently an assistant professor of public administration at California State University at Dominguez Hills.

Brett Remkus Britt (2009) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware.

Daniel Parkhurst (2010) works in Washington, D.C. as the policy program director for Progressive Congress.

Chanley Rainey (2011) is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science with a specialization in international relations at the University of Alabama.

Jessica Weyreuter (2012) is CEO of Jessiway LLC, which provides athletic consulting services. Her recent project is the creation of a non-profit organization in Montgomery called Dream Court. Dream Court is a tennis program designed for those with physical and intellectual disabilities. Weyreuter raised $200,000 for the start of the program and currently serves as the director.

How to Apply

1) Complete AUM's online application form and pay the $25 application fee. Applications are accepted up to thirty days prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters. The University's Academic Calendar provides detailed information about the semester schedule.

2) Send all official academic transcripts (undergraduate and graduate if relevant) and GRE or MAT test scores to: Office of Graduate Studies Auburn University at Montgomery P.O. Box 244023 Montgomery, AL  36124-4023

3) Statement of purpose: The 400-word letter of intent should indicate as concisely as possible the applicant’s reasons for seeking the M.I.R. and how that degree advances the applicant’s career goals. Send this statement together with a resume to:

M.I.R. Program Admissions
Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Auburn University at Montgomery
P.O. Box 244023
Montgomery, AL 36124-4023

Or politicalscience@aum.edu

4) Have two references--preferably one professional and one academic--send recommendation letters on official letterhead directly to the above mail or email address.

5) Still have questions? Contact: politicalscience@aum.edu