Carnegie Mellon University

Accelerated Master of Science in International Relations and Politics (IRP/AMP) Curriculum

The IRP/AMP requirements include 186 units (including prerequisite courses), divided as follows:

Curriculum (186 units, including prerequisite courses)

Prerequisite Courses: (42 units)

Must be completed before the end of the fourth year.  

  • 84-104 Decision Processes in American Political Institutions (9 units)
  • 84-275 Comparative Politics (9 units)
  • 84-326 Theories of International Relations (9 units)
  • Two 84-300/400 level IPS electives, one of which may be a 6-unit mini course (15 units total)

Core Courses: (78 units)

Students must complete all of the following core courses.

  • 84-701 Regression Analysis for Political Science I (12 units)
  • 84-702 Regression Analysis for Political Science II (12 units)
  • 84-710 Thesis Proposal Tutorial (6 units)
  • 84-711 Process Tracing, Counterfactuals, Archival Analysis, and Interviews (6 units)
  • 84-720 International Security Graduate Seminar (12 units)
  • 84-722 Comparative Political Institutions Graduate Seminar (12 units)
  • 84-725 International Organizations and International Law Graduate Seminar (12 units)
  • CIRP Policy Forum Seminar (6 units total, 3 units per semester in master’s year)

Internship: (84-705): (0 units)

Summer between Fourth and Fifth Year

Students are required to complete a summer internship in a related field between the fourth and fifth year of the program.  The internship will allow students to synthesize the program’s studies in the context of practical and hands-on experiential learning opportunities.  IPS has dedicated staff to support students in all aspects of the internship process. 

IRP Graduate Thesis (84-799): (18 units)

Spring of Fifth Year

All students must complete a graduate-level thesis paper.  Students must submit a proposal by November of the fifth year.  Students will work independently with a faculty member in the Institute for Politics and Strategy to complete the IRP Graduate Thesis.  The final paper will be reviewed and approved by the faculty adviser for the thesis and the faculty director of the Institute for Politics and Strategy. Please view the Thesis Proposal Guidelines for further details.

Concentration Coursework:  (48 units)

Students must complete a minimum of 48 units (approximately four courses).

International Relations
  • 84-611 International Development: Theory and Praxis
  • 84-622 Nonviolent Conflict and Revolution
  • 84-623 War and Peace in the Contemporary Middle East
  • 84-662 Diplomacy and Statecraft
  • 84-669 Decision Science for International Relations
  • 84-610 International Political Economy
International Security
  • 84-605 The Future of Warfare
  • 84-614 International and Subnational Security 
  • 84-670 Global Nuclear Politics
  • 84-672 Space and National Security
  • 84-673 Emerging Technologies and the Law
  • 84-680 Grand Strategy in the United States
  • 84-686 The Privatization of Force
  • 84-687 Technology and Policy of Cyber War
  • 84-688 Concepts of War and Cyber War
  • 84-689 Terrorism and Insurgency
  • 84-690 Social Media, Technology, and Conflict
Comparative Politics
  • 84-608 Political Economy of Latin America
  • 84-615 Contemporary Debates in Human Rights
  • 84-621 Autocrats and Democrats
  • 84-624 The Future of Democracy
  • 84-663 Comparative Legal Systems
  • 84-664 Comparative Presidential Behavior: Leadership, Personality, and Decision Making
American Politics
  • 84-609 Political Behavior
  • 84-619 U.S. Foreign Policy and Interventions in World Affairs
  • 84-625 Contemporary American Foreign Policy
  • 84-602 Judicial Politics and Behavior
  • 84-666 The American Presidency
  • 84-693 Legislative Decision Making: US Congress

Undergraduate courses taken in the Institute for Politics and Strategy (84-xxx) may not also count toward the MS IRP course requirements except as listed in the prerequisite course category.  A maximum of 48 units of graduate courses out of the 186 units required to complete the accelerated master’s degree will be permitted to count toward an undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon.  (This allowance may be restricted further by the double-counting policies of one’s undergraduate major and department.)  Exceptions are made only with prior approval of the faculty director and the deputy director