UGA’s Master of International Policy (MIP) is an applied graduate program dedicated to preparing a select group of thoughtful students for careers across a range of US government agencies, international organizations, nonprofits, think tanks, and consultancies. The MIP’s distinct policy-oriented approach combines instruction from leading international relations scholars and security experts and is enhanced by interaction with government and industry leaders and a variety of experiential opportunities. Applicants admitted to the MIP program join a professional network of loyal alumni, current and former policy practitioners, and faculty and staff dedicated to the professional development of future security-policy leaders.

“Although I was accepted into a prestigious international affairs program in Washington D.C., I was attracted to the MIP program due to its size. Being a member of a small cohort has allowed me to build strong relationships with my classmates and professors. Likewise, this small size allows participants the opportunity for networking and developing professional relationships on a more intimate level. This program strives to make sure every student achieves success, and I feel extremely confident that I made the right choice for myself and my future.”” – Brooklyn T.

Questions about this degree program? Email the Graduate Program Advisor, Dr. Megan Morgan, or drop by a weekly Ask the Advisor session Tuesdays at 2pm EST to chat about the program.

Interested in studying at SPIA? Apply now!

Program Of Study


MIP students explore a range of contemporary national and international security issues and examine how political, economic, and social forces affect policy formation and implementation. MIP courses are taught by nuclear security experts at the Center for International Trade and Security (CITS), as well as by scholars in the School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Engineering.

The MIP program consists of two thematically designed tracks:  an International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) track and a Human Security track.  Please see the MIP degree timetable for more detailed information.

Core Courses:

  • Foundations of International Policy
  • Pre-Seminar in International Relations
  • Policy Process
  • Research Methods in International Policy
  • Data Analytics and Presentation Skills
  • Energy Systems Security and Policy
  • Capstone Project

Following is a sample of track courses:

ISN Track Courses:

  • Nuclear History and Security Policy
  • International Non-proliferation Regimes
  • Technical Background for WMD Non-proliferation Policy Practitioners
  • The Human Factor Role in (CBRN) Security
  • Politics of Trade and Security

Human Security Track Courses:

  • International Intervention and Human Security
  • International Organizations
  • War and Human Security
  • Politics of Disease
  • Comparative Political Violence
Course Descriptions

Following is a sample of course descriptions:

Foundations of International Policy
This course examines the foundations of policy formation, policy-making, policy implementation, and policy evaluation in an international/U.S. foreign policy context. In particular, the class will examine how various forces (political, economic, social) affect key areas of international policy. Some of the major questions will be: What are the most important actors and institutions shaping policy? How do these actors and institutions affect policy? How effective are various groups and actors in making and implementing international policy? The class will touch upon various types of policy – including foreign, security, trade, development, and environmental – and discuss how individuals, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, national government bodies, and other actors affect policy and its implementation.

Research Methods in International Policy
The goal of this course is to help students understand how we study politics and policy and to provide guidance in conducting original research. The course will provide students with a general understanding of what science is and a foundation in the logic and practice of systematic political inquiry. In addition to discussing general questions about the philosophy of science, we will cover fundamental issues such as arriving at a research question, theory building, hypothesis development, variable measurement, and identifying and dealing with confounding factors. We will then move to quantitative analysis; topics covered will include statistical inference, bivariate relationships, and multivariate relationships. Students should leave with an understanding of how to conduct his or her own research and a solid foundation for reading scholarly literature in political science and international policy.

Pre-Seminar in International Relations
This course seeks to survey various theories and approaches to International Relations, and to provide a foundation for subsequent and more focused study. While we will examine the larger theoretical frameworks in the field (e.g. realism, liberalism, constructivism), we will also apply these frameworks to specific empirical domains (e.g. constructing effective institutions, deterrence, the causes of war). By the end of this course, students will (1) have a good working knowledge of the major academic theories and empirical debates in the subfield of international relations, (2) be able to critically evaluate theoretical (and to a lesser extent empirical) claims contained in international relations scholarship, which includes writing detailed, focused critiques that summarize and synthesize the arguments of scholars in the field, and (3) be prepared for advanced study in the discipline.

Energy Systems Security and Policy
A comprehensive study of the implications of energy resources on national and global security, political and economic stability and global geopolitics. A particular emphasis will be the power generation sector and nuclear energy in the power sector. This course will extend the scope of energy beyond that of an economic commodity and explore the implications of energy as tool for geopolitical leverage.

Strategic Intelligence
Examines the use of intelligence agencies to gather, assess, and disseminate information to US foreign policymakers and explores the use of intelligence for covert action and for counterintelligence. Compares and contrasts US intelligence with practices in regimes throughout the world

Politics of Trade and Security
This course addresses the fundamental questions surrounding the intersection of strategic trade and national and international security. It is a course that draws upon both comparative and international politics; and, it addresses both the domestic and international dimensions of power, politics, economics and security. The above dynamics and relationships are made complex by a host of factors. For example, there are tensions between the trade and security interests of states. These tensions are played out in the domestic as well as multilateral and international arenas. In addition, much of international trade today involves “dual-use” technology having both military and civilian applications. Dual-use, high technology trade complicates the trade and security interests of both states and businesses. Hi-tech trade can have both costs and benefits for states. In addition, contemporary trade relationships involving states and markets have implications for a range of security threats, including national competitiveness, conventional arms proliferation and the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The course will address several themes, including: Economic and technological globalization – how is globalization, the rapid spread of science and technology, and issues of comparative advantage and commercial competition affecting state interests and policy? Sovereignty – who has power and what are the power relationships in these trade and security issues among states, businesses (e.g., multinational corporations), and international institutions? Politics, trade and security policy – how are the competing interests of groups and states played out in certain policy areas such as export controls and nonproliferation?

Nuclear History and Security Policy
This course introduces students to major themes and debates in the contemporary study of nuclear security, from a historical and international perspective. Nuclear policy is a vast subject area and every week, students will be introduced to one aspect of a range of topics that will be covered throughout the 15-week course. It will not only address the academic debates, but it will also look at contemporary policy debates. This way, students will be exposed to both theory and policy. The course will provide students with a broad overview of international nuclear safeguards and security policy.

Job Skills/Preparation Training Workshop
This course will cover the necessary components in securing a job in the policymaking/implementation sphere, specifically in the area of non-proliferation. The training seminar will include sessions on resume development, cover letter construction, policy writing, effective presentation skills, the security clearance process, and the dos/don’ts/expectations about approaching employers in the non-proliferation community. In addition, the training seminar will include visits from external speakers from different offices within the U.S. government (e.g., State, Defense, Energy, CIA, National Nuclear Security Administration, etc.), foreign governments, international organizations, policy implementing organizations, the private sector, and others to offer career advice and recruitment for MIP students from their respective institutions.

Technical Background for WMD Non-proliferation Policy Practitioners
This course will introduce students to the technology behind various types of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and the associated technical requirements for an effective WMD non-proliferation policy. Specifically, it will explain why certain items are controlled and the challenges associated with maintaining such controls. The unique aspect of this course is that it will offer a STEM-based understanding of the issue area, an increasingly essential component in the competitive government/NGO job market.

Qualitative Research Methods in International Affairs 
The focus of this graduate course is the theory and practice of qualitative field research.
The aim is to provide students with the tools to design, implement, and critically evaluate research in political science that draws mainly on qualitative fieldwork. The first part of the course will address the ethics of fieldwork, and the negotiation of identity, relationships, and power that inevitably pervade such work. Next, we will examine key techniques for collecting and analyzing ethnographic data, focusing especially on participant-observation and interviewing. We will also read important works in political science, anthropology, and sociology that demonstrate excellent leveraging of qualitative fieldwork data in the study of political phenomena. The course will introduce students to some of the major debates in political science around the integration of quantitative and qualitative research methods, some of the epistemological differences between these two approaches, and the contribution of various qualitative methods to the discipline more broadly. In addition to the course’s readings, students will also practice first hand qualitative field research techniques by designing and executing their own research project in the Athens or Atlanta area.

International Non-proliferation Regimes
This course explores the role that international non-proliferation institutions and regimes play in combating the spread of weapons. The past several decades have seen a growth in participation by states in formal and informal organizations and arrangements, international treaties, and regional and bilateral arrangements designed to prevent weapons proliferation, including the spread of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons along with means for their delivery. We will take a critical look at these institutional efforts to control nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons, as well as efforts to regulate trade in dual-use items. Students will have a chance to think critically about the effectiveness of these efforts and the role that international non-proliferation organizations and institutions play in addressing the problem of weapons proliferation. Students will gain an appreciation for the breadth of non-proliferation organizations and regimes, while developing expertise on a smaller number of organizations. We will also explore common institutional challenges that many international efforts to control the spread of weaponry face.

The Human Factor Role in (CBRN) Security
This course will introduce students to the role of the human factor in organizing and maintaining security as it relates to nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons and materials. Specifically, it will analyze the role of people as actors who feel the impact of security breaches. The course will assess the societal and psychological impact of security breaches, analyze the role of risk communication, and understand the public’s role in maintaining effective security.

MIP Capstone Paper
The capstone paper allows students an opportunity to pursue either an independent study or a team project on any issue area relating to international security and non-proliferation. The student(s) is responsible for identifying his/her research topic and will work with a faculty member either from CITS or IA, who will serve as the capstone paper’s project mentor. The capstone paper should be 15-20 pages in length and must be completed by the midpoint of the final semester. Each student or student team will be required to take an oral exam of the capstone paper with the project mentor after the submission of the paper.

How To Apply


We will begin accepting applications for Fall Semester 2021 on September 1, 2020.

Applications for fall semester must be completed and ready for review by May 1st of the year for which you are applying (e.g., fall 2021 applications must be completed by May 1, 2021). No late applications will be considered for admission.

Spring 2021 Deadlines (for Fall 2021 admission)

Jan 1st: Priority application deadline for those interested in being considered for a graduate assistantship.
May 1st: Application deadline for ALL Fall 2020 admissions.

Please read and follow these instructions carefully to avoid any delay in our handling of your application. Two offices handle each application, and it hinders rather than expedites the application process to send incorrect or unnecessary documents to either address.

In addition, please read the admissions requirements and application instructions published by the Graduate School.

I. Send these materials to the UGA Graduate School:

1. Application ($75 fee for domestic students, $100 for international students)
Submit the application and fee online.

2. One unofficial transcript from each institution of higher education attended, except the University of Georgia. University of Georgia transcripts are on file. You may upload transcripts through the application portal or mail them directly to the UGA Graduate School.

3. Official GRE general test score report:

4.  International Applicants see additional requirements:

Office of Graduate Admissions
The University of Georgia Graduate School
210 South Jackson Street
Athens, Georgia 30602-1777
Fax: 706-425-3094

On the Web:

II. Send these materials to the Department

1. Personal Statement: The personal statement should address your academic background, intellectual interests and career aspirations. Please do not include material that is not relevant to your academic background or interest. The is not a length requirement for the personal statement, however; personal statements are typically one to three pages in length.

2. Curriculum Vita (Resume)

3. Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are academic. The most convenient way for recommenders to submit letters of recommendation is through the online application process. List the names of recommenders in the fields on page three of the application along with their e-mail addresses. We will send them a link to access a secure page where they can submit your recommendation quickly and easily via the Web. If your recommender prefers to send the letter as a hard copy or an email, it should be sent directly to the academic department on the form provided here. You must fill out and sign the top portion.
Form available online.

Graduate Office
Attn: Megan Morgan
180D Baldwin Hall
The University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

All application materials can be emailed here.

For further information about graduate programs or for answers to questions about your application, please email Megan Morgan at

Financial Assistance

Graduate Research Assistantships at CITS

The Center for International Trade and Security offers graduate research assistantships to two outstanding graduate students interested in international trade and security issues. Two assistantships are awarded each academic year.

CITS/UGA provides graduate research opportunities in the fields of non-proliferation, strategic trade controls, CBRN security and related areas through a set of assistantships. Graduate research assistants at the Center are involved and incorporated into all of the funded programmatic activities of the Center.

Many former CITS graduate research assistants have gone on to tenure-track faculty positions, fellowships and employment with the US government, the International Atomic Energy Agency, large high-technology manufacturers, trade-oriented consulting firms, and policy implementers in DC and abroad.

The graduate research assistantship offers a stipend and tuition waiver. However, students are liable for their graduate fees.

All MIP students are encouraged to apply for the two available CITS GRA positions. To apply to the CITS GRA position, please submit:
• A cover letter explaining your interest in the program (250-500 words)
• A résumé or curriculum vitae
• An official transcript
• A writing sample on a topic relating to non-proliferation, strategic trade controls, or CBRN security  (no more than 2 pages, double-spaced)

For Fall 2021 intake, please submit your completed application to MIP Program Director Dr. Joshua Massey and CITS/UGA Business Manager Ms. Ashley Weed.

Applications for Fall 2020 intake are due by 5:00 PM on May 1, 2020.

The program may also be able to nominate students for the Graduate School’s Regents Out-of-State tuition waiver, which waives the out-of-state portion of a student’s tuition.  Out-of-state applicants are automatically considered for these waivers when they apply to the program.

Admitted applicants are not, however, automatically considered for other scholarships offered through the Graduate School. Click here to see a list of the fellowships, scholarships, and grants available through the Graduate School.  If you see one that may apply to your situation and have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the MIP graduate advisor, Megan Morgan, or the MIP Program Director, Dr. Joshua Massey.


Application Questions

Are assistantships or other financial aid available?
For more information, please see the “Financial Assistance” section.

Are there application fee waivers for financial need?

UGA does not offer need-based application fee waivers. Some applicants, such as McNair Scholars and veterans, may qualify for an application fee waiver: a full list of qualifying programs is here.

Are you waiving the GRE due to COVID-19?

The Graduate School of the University of Georgia has decided not to waive the GRE for the current (Fall 2021) application cycle. The GRE is currently required.

Are there minimum requirements for GPA, GRE, etc.?

The minimum undergraduate GPA standard for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Georgia for applicants who do not have a prior graduate degree is 3.0.

It is highly recommended that applicants have at least a combined score of 1100 (old scale) or 300 (new scale) on the GRE. As with GPAs, the average GRE score of students admitted into our graduate program varies from year to year.

The minimum TOEFL score for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Georgia is 80, with no subscore lower than 20. It is highly recommended that international applicants have a combined score of at least 90.

The minimum IELTS score for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Georgia is 6.5 overall band score with no lower than 6.0 on any band.

Can I schedule a visit to see the department and campus?
Certainly. Contact Megan Morgan at or (706) 542-2948 to set up a visit. If you have particular faculty in mind that you’d like to meet with, please let her know.

What is the cost of the MIP?

For students without an assistantship, the tuition per semester in Fall 2020 is $370 per credit hour for 1-11 credit hours, or $4,439 for 12 or more credit hours for in-state students. Out-of-state and International students pay $1,050 per credit hour for 1-11 credit hours, or $12,593 for 12 or more credit hours. Please see the Bursar’s office website for more details.

Program Questions
How does the MIP differ from the MA in Political Science and International Affairs?

The MA offered jointly by the Departments of Political Science and International Affairs is an academic degree intended to train students for teaching and research careers at the university level. The MA is considered a precursor to a Ph.D.

The MIP, however, is intended to prepare students to enter directly into international policy careers. Examples of possible placements include: governmental and non-governmental organizations, the diplomatic corps, federal agencies such as the Foreign Service and the intelligence community, and other foreign policy making fields.

Is the program available on a part-time basis?
Although the MIP is not designed for part-time students, it is possible for students to take less than a full course load, thus extending their time in the program.

Are courses offered on the evenings and weekends for working professionals?
The graduate course schedule is not created for working students. Depending on the semester, there may be a course or two offered on weekday evenings, but this is not a guarantee. There are no courses offered on weekends.

Are any MIP courses offered outside of Athens?
All MIP courses are taught on the UGA campus in Athens, GA. No online or distance-learning courses are available.

How long does the program take to complete?
The MIP requires 36 credit hours to complete. Full-time students should complete the program in four semesters or two academic years.

Can I enroll in a dual degree program (e.g. MIP and JD)?
The MIP is not currently part of any dual degree program. Students may, if they’d like, enroll in two degree programs concurrently, but must take all courses required for both programs. For example, if a student enrolled in both the MIP and JD programs, it would take two years of coursework to complete the MIP and three years of coursework to complete the JD.

Is there an AB/MIP program available to current undergraduates at UGA?
Yes. The MIP has joined with the UGA Honors Program to offer the AB/MIP joint degree program. This unique program allows undergraduate honors students to simultaneously complete a Master’s of International Policy degree while completing their undergraduate degree. For more information, please contact Dr. Joshua Massey.

Is the MIP a good fit for military personnel and defense professionals?
Now, more than ever, it is important for military officers and other members of the defense community to understand how WMDs and WMD-related materials proliferate between nations or fall into the hands of non-state actors. Graduates of the MIP program can interpret non-proliferation policy within the larger context of the global defense landscape. More importantly, MIP graduates gain the expertise necessary to identify and address field-level WMD threats as they occur in the modern battlespace.

The MIP program is an excellent fit for active duty personnel participating in the U.S. Army’s Graduate School Incentive Program, Advanced Civil Schooling program, or equivalent programs from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and reserve components. The University of Georgia is a military-friendly campus which offers a variety of resources for current military and veterans alike.

Current Deadlines

The Capstone Project must be a written project. The parameters of the project are flexible and are agreed upon by the major professor and student.

Friday, January 25th: Final date to 1) apply for graduation on Athena and 2) submit your program of study form to the Graduate School.

Monday, April 18th: Final date for your major professor to indicate to Dr. Morgan that you have completed the capstone project and that all graduation requirements have been met. Students are responsible for communicating this deadline to their major professor.

Monday, April 22nd: Final date for the Graduate Office to submit an official letter to the Graduate School that qualifies you for a May graduation. This means that your major professor has approved your capstone project and given final graduation approval to Dr. Morgan.

Forms and Student Information
After Graduation

The MIP program trains students in international policy analysis and implementation and prepares them for careers in the public and private sectors.
Recent graduates have taken jobs at:

  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
  • National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Savannah River National Laboratory
  • The Carter Center
  • CRDF Global
  • James Martin Center for Nonproliferation
  • United Technologies Aerospace Systems
  • University of Calgary