MS in Global Affairs


The MS in Global Affairs is the flagship graduate program of the Center for Global Affairs (CGA), repeatedly ranked by the Foreign Policy Association as one of the nation’s leading institutions in preparing students for international careers. This master’s program provides you with the in-depth knowledge and the contextual perspectives needed to become a successful, well-rounded professional in the global arena.

Faculty members are skilled practitioners and scholars, including leaders of organizations engaged in refugee relief and the protection of human rights, diplomats, journalists, United Nations staff members, activists, international attorneys, economists, and global energy and environment experts. They impart their knowledge, while providing you with a nuanced analytical understanding of their subject areas and the methodologies required to develop and to implement strategic solutions that address critical global issues.


Delivering rigorous, current scholarship within a practical, real-world context, the MS in Global Affairs offers a multidisciplinary approach to addressing today’s critical global issues. Whether you work with the general public or with policymakers, it equips you with the advanced skills to effectively communicate ideas and concepts across multiple sectors of the international arena. 


Highly sought-after for their expertise, graduates of the MS in Global Affairs go on to assume leadership roles in government agencies, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, regional and international organizations, multinational corporations, the media, and scores of allied institutions. Explore the  types of positions they secure and the critical work they do.


Study in New York City OR if you are unable to attend on-site in NYC for fall, you can start this degree remotely and join us on campus in Spring 2022.

NOTE: Certain restrictions may apply for international students.

Program Structure

Accelerated Option

By utilizing summer sessions and January term, the MSGA can be completed in as little as 16 months for those seeking to put their knowledge and skills to work quickly.


Core Courses

Four courses that comprise the core curriculum, provide a broad foundation in global affairs.



Take any 3 additional courses from the curriculum, including up to 2 at another program within SPS or other schools of NYU.


In addition to their choice of concentration, MSGA students are now able to attain specializations in Data Analytics, the United Nations, or Global Risk.


Eight distinct and highly relevant areas of concentration allow you to specialize in a key area of interest.



You can complete your degree with either a graduate thesis or a team-based capstone project.



Offering both day and evening course schedules, the program is structured to meet the needs of working professionals and full-time students. 



​Gain inside knowledge of professions and organizations within the field of global affairs and acquire access to valuable contacts through an internship for credit.

Core Requirements

The MS in Global Affairs is a 42-credit program, which includes three components: a core curriculum of four courses, a choice of concentrations, and either a graduate thesis or a team-based capstone project.

Required Core Courses

The core curriculum is designed to provide you with a deep and broad foundation that supports concentration course work and serves you throughout your career. Students are required to take all of the following courses.


Students are required to complete a minimum of six courses in any one of the below eight concentrations.  Each concentration has one required course and students can select the remaining five courses from a list of designated concentration electives.

IR/Global Futures

In response to growing demand from business and government, the IR/Global Futures concentration offers an advanced understanding of the factors shaping the future of international relations, and the analytical tools needed to anticipate and evaluate future transformation.

Global Economy

Global Economy provides an introduction to international business and finance with in-depth examinations of corporate power and social responsibility, the challenges of economic globalization and economic growth, and their relationship to human development.

Human Rights and International Law

Human Rights and International Law examines international standards of behavior and justice and explores the roles that international law, transitional justice, criminal tribunals, human rights, and international organizations are playing in international affairs.

Environment/Energy Policy

Environment and Energy Policy analyzes the implications of rapid change in the modern energy sector and the new and emerging challenges and opportunities that energy and climate changes present for national and global sustainability and security.

Transnational Security

Transnational Security addresses and proposes innovative solutions to the threats confronting states, international organizations, and the private sector including inter-state war, terrorism, transnational crime, cyber-attacks, infrastructure protection, and resource scarcity.

International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

International Development and Humanitarian Assistance explores global poverty, state and civil society in development, foreign aid, and the principles and politics of humanitarian assistance and intervention, including those aimed at refugees and internally displaced persons.


Peacebuilding critically examines emerging concepts such as positive peace and conflict transformation against traditional realist paradigms that often support systems of violence. Courses focus on practical skills needed to build and sustain peace, emphasizing a deep commitment to strengthening relationships.

Global Gender Studies

Global Gender Studies provides students with a foundation to promote gender equality and social justice across sectors in areas as diverse as human rights, corporate social responsibility, international development, peace and governance, foreign affairs, social policy, security, and aid.


In addition to their choice of concentration, MSGA students are now able to attain a Specialization in Data Analytics and/or the United Nations

United Nations

The United Nations specialization provides a focus on the operations of the UN as well as the contemporary challenges it faces, preparing students for a career within the UN system in tandem with their chosen concentration. Students will learn practical skills like policy writing, and negotiations and mediation in the classroom and gain field experience by connecting with relevant UN-related agencies on real-world issues.

Data Analytics

The purpose of this specialization is to equip students with concrete data-analytic skills that will both benefit them throughout their coursework and thesis/capstone projects, as well as signal to prospective employers that a student is capable of using computer software to manage, analyze and present data.

Global Risk Specialization

In order to cope with the complexity and uncertainty that underpin the contemporary world, students will benefit from cultivating a risk informed approach.  Across the Global Risk Specialization, they will become familiar with the concept of risk; its sub-elements (threats, vulnerabilities, likelihood, and impact); risk management strategies (mitigation, avoidance, transfer, and acceptance); as well the socio-political and economic consequences. 

Global Field Intensives

Immersive courses that allow students to maximize their in-country academic experiences.

Admission Criteria

We carefully weigh each component of your application during the admissions review process to evaluate your ability to benefit from and contribute to the dynamic learning environment and the challenging curriculum that the School offers.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

Priority:   January 15

International Final: April 1

Domestic Final: July 1


Spring Semester

Priority:   September 15

International Final: October 1

Domestic Final: November 30


Required Documents

Personal Statement


Two Letters of Recommendation

Standardized Tests (If required by Admissions team)



Applicants submitting official transcripts will be given priority during the application process. 


For Academic Year 2020-2021

Application Fee $150

Registration Fee (per semester) for 3 credit course $662

Tuition per 3 credit course $7,112

NYU Bursar (Opens in a new tab)

Language Proficiency

TOEFL scores are required for applicants who did not complete an undergraduate degree in the United States or in a country where the only primary language is not English.  Successful candidates achieve a minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based test.

For the IELTS, a minimum overall band score of at least 7 is recommended.

NYUSPS does not prohibit applicants with lower TOEFL/IELTS scores from applying for admission since many factors influence the admissions decision. 


Pearson Versant English Placement Test (VEPT)

If an international applicant has not achieved the minimum scores as described above, they are required to participate in the VEPT, a 50-minute online test that evaluates English language proficiency.



Advisory Board Scholarship

In recognition of student achievement and promise, the Advisory Board Scholarship provides partial tuition support to outstanding students with financial need, who are working toward the completion of their graduate studies at the Center for Global Affairs (CGA). The award is made possible through the exemplary generosity of our advisory board members, many of whom have volunteered at CGA to help us grow and further our mission of creating global citizens since our founding over 10 years ago.


The Center for Global Affairs Graduate Scholarship

The Center for Global Affairs provides a limited number of scholarships in amounts of up to $10,000 to be awarded to incoming students with exceptional academic backgrounds, who meet the admissions requirements of the graduate programs in Global Affairs and Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime. Scholarship awardees will receive their award divided into each of their two years in the graduate program if full-time students or in smaller disbursements if pursuing part-time study.

To be considered for the scholarship, candidates are encouraged to submit the completed application for admission to the MS in Global Affairs or Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime program by the Priority Application Deadline of January 15, 2020, and no later than March 15, 2020, for Fall 2020 candidates and by the Priority Application Deadline of September 15, 2020, and no later than November 15, 2020, for Spring 2021 candidates. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis. 

If you would like to be considered for the CGA Graduate Scholarship, you must fill out this form.


International Student Scholarship

The NYU School of Professional Studies announces scholarships in amounts of approximately $7,500 to $15,000 annually to be awarded to international students on F-1 visas with exceptional academic backgrounds, who meet the admissions requirements of the graduate program in Global Affairs, and who commit to pursuing the MSGA on a full-time basis for a two-year period leading to the completion of the degree. Scholarship awardees will receive the full amount of their award for each of their two years in the graduate program.

To be considered for the scholarship, candidates must submit the complete application for admission to the MS in Global Affairs program by the International Student Early Decision deadline of November 15, 2019 for Spring 2020 candidates and by March 1, 2020 for Fall 2020 candidates.

To apply for the scholarship, candidates must submit the following materials by November 15th for the Spring 2020 semester and March 1, 2020 for the Fall 2020 semester:

  • Completed online scholarship application form

  • Copies of all transcripts provided with your application for admission to the MS in Global Affairs (MSGA) program. These transcripts must demonstrate that you have an exceptional record of academic achievement (3.75 GPA or equivalent and/or professional experience).

  • One letter of recommendation (either professional or academic, separate from the two required recommendation letters for admission to the MSGA program) that explains why you would be an outstanding candidate for this scholarship.

  • Three essay questions of approximately 500 words each answering the following:

    1. What career path do you intend to pursue after completing your degree, and how will the MSGA program help you achieve this?

    2. Which of the eight program concentrations are of particular interest to you and why?

    3. Please explain your financial need. Given that the scholarship is not a full tuition award, how do you plan to finance the remaining tuition and other expenses (housing, travels, books, etc.)?

Please Note: A successful candidate will be required to maintain a 3.5 average throughout the course of two years.

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