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International Relations

In recent decades, the forces of globalization have increased awareness of the interdependent and interrelated nature of modern society. The International Relations major educates students in the historical, political, and cultural forces that shape the interactions between states, international organizations, multi-national corporations, and other international actors.

The International Relations program at Duquesne is truly distinct because it is grounded in the commitment to promoting peace and justice in global society that is essential to the mission of Duquesne and its founders, the Spiritans. Our IR majors come from all continents and are exposed to a challenging and diverse academic curriculum, with the opportunity to choose from 8 areas of concentration and learn from professors and speakers of international reputation.

Career Options

Students majoring in International Relations have a variety of career paths open to them.  Majors are prepared to work in a governmental, social, or business environment within an international context.  Training in advanced language skills, combined with historical and political knowledge of specific regions of the world, will make International Relations majors very competitive in the job market.  International Relations graduates from Duquesne are presently employed by:

• Government Agencies (e.g.: Homeland Security, State Department, USAID - U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Commercial Service)
• Law Firms
• NGOs
• Multinational Corporations (e.g.: Westinghouse, PPG, PNC, BNY Mellon)
• Non-profit organizations (e.g.: UNICEF, Brother's Brother Foundation)


Summary of Agreement

Qualified Duquesne International Relations majors may apply, and may receive conditional admission to GSPIA, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs (University of Pittsburgh), up to a year earlier than the general public - after completing only three years of undergraduate education (or the equivalent).  These students will learn their admission status prior to entering their fourth (senior) years as undergraduates.  Those who are admitted will also be guaranteed a minimum scholarship award of $5,000/year, to be increased at GSPIA's discretion.  Both the admission and scholarship offers will be contingent upon completion of a Duquesne bachelor's degree with a major in International Relations, and with an acceptable academic and personal record, within one year of the date of admission.  Accepted students will not be obligated to enroll at GSPIA, but will receive the "early assurance" that their seats in the class are being held for them.

Rationale for an Early Assurance Program

Duquesne's outstanding undergraduate program in International Relations, and GSPIA's outstanding graduate programs in Public and International Affairs, make the two institutions logical partners.  For many years, there has been a significant flow of highly qualified Duquesne alumni into GSPIA.  An Early Assurance agreement allows GSPIA to acknowledge this relationship and attract talented students, and allows the Duquesne Center for International Relations to establish a partnership with a top graduate program.

Student Eligibility

A student is eligible to apply to GSPIA's Early Assurance program if he or she:

  1. Is currently enrolled as an undergraduate at Duquesne University, pursuing a major in International Relations
  2. Has completed enough credits to be considered at least a third-year (junior) undergraduate at the time of application
  3. Expects to graduate from Duquesne in the next academic year
  4. Has earned a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale
  5. Intends to pursue either a Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public & International Affairs (MPIA), or Master of International Development (MID) degree at GSPIA. (Note: applicants to GSPIA's mid-career Master of Public Policy & Management [MPPM] and Doctor of Philosophy [PhD] programs are not eligible)


Students may apply to the Early Assurance program no later than July 15 of the year prior to their expected enrollment at GSPIA (e.g., students who plan to enroll in graduate school in Fall 2018, will apply by July 15, 2017).  Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis at GSPIA's discretion.