How Much Does Master’s in International Relations Cost?

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$ Online University: $12,000-$20,000 $ $ State University: $22,000-$70,000 $ $ $ Private University: $24,000-$88,000

Individuals with a master’s degree in international relations can follow various possible career fields such as foreign service at a global organization, public policy and politics, intelligence and international business, international education and journalism.

Typical Costs

The master’s degree in international relations from a state university usually costs between$22,000 and $70,000, including full-time tuition and fees for a standard two-year program, whether the student is a resident of that state.

In 2011, for example, the tuition and fees at the University of Massachusetts Boston costs about $33,000 for residents and $57,000 for non-residents.

At the University of California San Diego, tuition and fees costs $39,400 for California residents or $64,000 for non-residents.

In general, a degree from a private university usually costs $24,000-$88,000, whichincludes tuition and fees.

Based in St. Louis, MO, Webster University provides a one-year master’s program in which the student can travel to four European locations completing all the coursework; tuition, fees, books, and housing during academic periods cost $41,000.

At the same time, a one-year master’s degree in international relations from the IE School of Arts and Humanities in Madrid costs approx. 30,200 Euros, or roughly $45,000.

This cost includes tuition and fees, yet it does not include housing or food.

A two-year degree at LUISS Guido Carli, a private university in Rome, for example, costs about 16,800 Euros, or $24,000.

The online master’s degree in international relations usually costs $12,000-$20,000.

A degree from American Public University costs $13,900 in 2011 covering tuition, fees and books; while a similar online degree from the City College of New York costs $16,000 for New York residents or $21,000 for non-residents, covering tuition and fees.

What Is Included

To get a master’s degree in international relations usually requires 40-60 credits and includes coursework in international law, foreign policy, economics and languages, where the courses are in-person or online.

Additional Costs

The accommodation and food can add $10,000-$20,000 in addition per academic year, yet the price varies based on the average cost-of-living in the area.

The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, for example, estimates housing and utilities at $7,200 and meals at $5,030 for the 2011-2012 school year.

The supplies and books cost $1,000-$3,000 in total.

The University of California San Diego, for example, estimates books at $500 per quarter making a total of $1,500 per academic year.

The transportation costs for graduate students are typically $600-$3,000 per year.

The American School in Paris states that students will need 600 Euros annually for local travel and 1,000 Euros for international travel such as plane fare, which is about $2,400 total (in 2011) for one year of the two-year program.

The personal expenses and the medical insurance for graduate students can add another $3,000-$10,000 annually depending on the cost of living in the area.

At Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, for example, the health insurance and personal expenses are estimated at $9,819 for 2010-2011.


  • Certain universities provide a limited number of assistantships for master’s programs.
  • In case granted an assistantship, a student can work part-time researching in the field or teaching courses at the university while at the same time earning a stipend to be used for tuition and other expenses.
  • At Boston University, for example, graduate assistants earn $1,600 each semester as a stipend, plus an additional amount as a scholarship.
  • Scholarships are offered to students who meet program qualifications such as a high GPA or a proven financial need.
  • For example, The Carter Center, provides offers assistantships and scholarships to qualified peace studies students.

Shopping For A Master’s Degree In International Relations

  • Being a non-profit group encouraging participation in public policy,  The Foreign Policy Association lists some of the top graduate programs in International Relations at American universities as well as links to programs in Europe and additional resources.
  • Information on the online graduation schools with international relations programs is available at The Princeton Review.
  • U.S. News & World Report further explains the cost factors involved with studying abroad, pointing out that many non-American programs in International Relations can be completed in a year or less, which may cut down on overall living costs while in school.

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