Your Passport to a Global Career

Field Mastery

The SIA degree program combines a core program and targeted study of critical analytical tools used in multidimensional problem solving with exposure to the most prominent theories of sociocultural interchange and practical management skills to ensure that graduates are prepared to understand international problems and implement solutions.  Students combine these core skills with a focus on a policy or concentration area of their choice to create a portable degree, preparing students for a profession in public policy, foreign service, nonprofit organizations, or teaching and research.

Customized Degree

At the Penn State School of International Affairs, students can choose from nine optional concentrations, or they can make their own:

The program is interdisciplinary and flexible, and students can also design their own customized concentration. As students work toward a Penn State master’s degree in International Affairs, they undertake in-depth analyses of international economic, political, and scientific issues, while considering the cultural, historical, and legal factors that shape them.

With a priority of professional placement, students from their first semester will have the opportunity to work with our career services office. The staff will connect students to the strongest possible network of opportunities prior to and upon graduation, through the resources offered by Penn State, its faculty, and worldwide alumni network, as well as a range of multinational organizations, institutions, and enterprises.

Experiential Learning

At SIA students learn by doing.

Our small classes and experiential learning activities create an active learning environment that replicates real-world experience. The program affords students with ample opportunities for role-playing simulations, briefings, negotiations, mock trials, writing United Nations memos, drafting project proposals, and more.   Each year, SIA holds a school-wide simulation with the Army War College, in which students and faculty spend three days negotiating an international crisis.

Through our hands-on programs, students gain expertise in contemporary global issues while learning the fundamentals of international relations that will shape the world in the decades ahead.

Toward the end of their studies, students choose either a practice-oriented Capstone workshop experience or a research thesis. The internship enables students to integrate their curricular studies in an actual working environment, while a thesis allows students to explore their areas of interest and engage in original research. 

This training, combined with more traditional forms of academic study, prepares our students for a wide range of careers in international affairs.

The map below reflects where are alumni are working and making a difference in their careers.