Careers in
International Relations

The online master’s degrees from American University’s School of International Service (SIS) will prepare you to start or advance your career in global service.

Whether your aspirations are in global security, international development, foreign policy, national security, or conflict resolution, you will graduate ready to take on positions in a range of settings—think tanks, nonprofits, consulting firms, or government agencies—and promote peace worldwide.

Global Security

Professionals in global security work toward keeping volatile or unstable nations safe from outside threat. This might include mediating conflict, tracking threats, and proposing new policies and safety measures.


You may work in the following professions:

  • Conflict resolution: Mediators, arbitrators, conciliators, and ombudsmen.
  • Foreign policy: Political scientists, economists, social scientists, and researchers.
  • Security and intelligence: Analysts, data scientists, engineers, accountants, and other professions that focus on topics like cyber threats, counterintelligence threats, and the military.
  • Education and research: Policy, culture, and conflict researchers.

Here is a sampling of positions that some of our students and alumni hold:

  • Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State
  • Project Manager & Research Associate, Center for Strategic & International Studies
  • Program Analyst, InScope International
  • Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
Learn more about our Global Security degree concentration.

“American University allowed me the flexibility to balance my career and education while giving me the opportunity to qualify for a job that I wasn’t expecting until I graduated.”

Kiara Colon, Master’s in International Relations, ‘19

International Development

Working in international development means helping to improve—and sustain—the economic development and quality of life in an area. This includes: alleviating poverty and illiteracy, elevating life expectancy, and heightening GDP per capita.


You may work in the following professions:

  • Development and disaster relief: Relief deployment managers, project coordinators, and monitoring and evaluation advisors.
  • Infrastructure building: Building designers, engineers, planners, and consultants.
  • Trade and economic policy: Research assistants, analysts, and transfer pricing associates.
  • Energy and environmental sustainability: Environmental scientists and engineers, corporate responsibility professionals, and agriculture and food scientists.
  • Human rights and humanitarian aid: Analysts, program managers, business developers, and policy and advocacy professionals.
  • Social impact and corporate responsibility: Social impact analysts, corporate responsibility public affairs specialists, and corporate citizenship program managers.

Here is a sampling of positions that some of our students and alumni hold:

  • Research Assistant, the Brookings Institution
  • Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, United Nations Development Programme
  • Program Officer, National Democratic Institute

Advance Your Career in Global Service

Take the next step in preparing to drive change worldwide with AU’s School of International Service.

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United States Foreign Policy and National Security

Professionals in this field typically focus on creating and implementing foreign policy, defense, intelligence, and public diplomacy to promote national security.


You may work in the following professions:

  • Foreign policy: Analysts, policy advisors, researchers, and legislative aides.
  • Security and intelligence: Intelligence and cybersecurity analysts, the military, and advisors in the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.
  • Foreign service and international diplomacy: Foreign service specialists, program analysts, technical specialists, and foreign affairs officers.
  • Education, advocacy, and research: Policy, culture, and conflict researchers.

Here is a sampling of positions that some of our students and alumni hold:

  • Strategy Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Associate, Kroll
  • Assistant Director of Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Policy and Activism Coordinator, Amnesty International
Learn more about our U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security degree concentration.

“The M.A. in International Relations is already proving invaluable. I presently work at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Belgium where my office employs representatives from all 28 NATO nations and partner countries.”

Emily Ham, Master’s in International Relations, ‘15

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Professionals in this field work to understand, mitigate, and resolve conflict on an international level.


You may work in the following professions:

  • International peace building: Program monitoring and evaluation specialists, research advisors, and communication and liaison officers.
  • Foreign service and international diplomacy: Foreign service specialists, program analysts, technical specialists, and foreign affairs officers.
  • Democracy building and conflict resolution: Program and response coordinators, field facilitators, and monitoring and evaluation specialists.

Here is a sampling of positions that some of our students and alumni hold:

  • Director, China Program, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Program Development Officer, Search for Common Ground

How Can You Make an Impact?

Explore how you can promote the health and safety of communities on a global scale.

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International Relations Career Support Services

The School of International Service (SIS) offers a variety of career services designed to help you find job opportunities in international relations. The following resources will become available to you once you become a student.

Schedule a Career Coaching Appointment

You will be able to schedule a one-on-one coaching appointment with a career advisor to discuss career exploration, job search, and transition strategies; résumé and cover letter writing; interview skills; and more.

Learn more about career services.

Participate in Career Programs

We host a variety of virtual and on-campus employer information sessions, career panels, site visits, networking events, skills-building workshops, and more. These programs will help you explore career options; network with alumni and industry experts; and gain and practice the skills necessary to implement an effective job-search strategy.

Utilize Handshake

We will provide you with access to Handshake, a password-protected career platform where you can schedule career advising appointments, search and apply for thousands of internships and jobs, access resources like InterviewStream and Going Global, and sign up for career events.

Learn more about Handshake.

Connect with Employers and Alumni

When you enroll in one of our online master’s degree programs, you will join a global community of more than 20,000 School of International Service students and alumni.

Our graduates work to address and analyze international challenges in leadership positions at some of the most respected public, private, and nonprofit organizations in the field. SIS faculty members and career center staff partner with alumni and employers to create regular opportunities for students to connect with and learn from this impressive professional network.

Start Making a Difference

Make a global impact with an online master’s from AU’s School of International Service.

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