Frequently Asked Questions
1) This sounds too good to be true. How exactly does this program work?
2) I’m intrigued! First, can you tell me more about Webster University?
3) How long has the Global MA in IR Program been in existence?
4) Can I choose the courses I take in the program?
5) What is Professional Seminar? Are site visits included in the program curriculum?
6) How much time do I spend in classes?
7) The Global MA in IR Program sounds exciting but also very stressful with moving around that often. Would it be a good fit for me?
8) What do students do after they graduate? Do you have a job placement service?
9) What is the application process?
10) Is work experience required in order to apply? I am just finishing up my bachelor’s degree and have limited work experience.
11) How much does the program cost, and what is included in the cost?
12) Is there a tuition deposit?
13) Is financial aid available?
14) I am an international student. Does Webster provide any scholarships for non-US citizens?
15) Are students able to do an internship or work while they’re in the program?
16) Do I need a passport or a visa?
17) How do I know which cohort/route I will be following?
18) What if I do not speak the language specific to the country?
19) Would a family member(s) be able to accompany me during the program?
20) May I switch campuses for a particular term once I start the program?
21) If I am accepted, whom do I contact about specific details regarding travel information and living abroad?
22) What is the average age of each cohort?
23) Is there an orientation before or when I arrive?
24) What are the housing accommodations like in each country?
25) What do students do during academic breaks? What are my housing options during breaks?
1. This sounds too good to be true. How exactly does this program work?
A: The Global MA in International Relations Program (“Global MA in IR”) is a unique blending of theory and practice, as students learn about international relations while being immersed in five different countries at Webster University extended sites. Each year, three different cohorts, each consisting of 8-12 students, travel and learn together for 11 months. They spend an 8-week term in each of the following countries: Geneva, Switzerland; Leiden, The Netherlands; London, England; Vienna, Austria; and one 8-week term in Bangkok, Thailand or Beijing, China.
Students are able to complete their Master of Arts in International Relations in just 11 months because of the full-time, accelerated nature of the course offerings and program structure. At each campus Global MA in IR students are integrated in each classroom with local Webster University international relations students and are taught by faculty who are experts in the field. The Global MA in IR Program combines traditional classroom courses with a professional seminar component, where students engage the classroom material through site visits to international organizations like the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Office at Geneva.
2. I’m intrigued! First, can you tell me more about Webster University?
A: Absolutely. Founded in 1915, as Loretto College, today Webster University is a regionally accredited, nonprofit private institution based in St. Louis, Missouri, with over 100 campus locations. We offer academic programs for our 22,000+ graduate and undergraduate students worldwide. Because of our network of campuses in the United States and internationally, we are able to offer one-of-a-kind academic programs such as the Global MA in IR and the Global MBA programs. Learn more about Webster at http://www.webster.edu/about/.
3. How long has the Global MA in IR Program been in existence?
A: While Webster University has offered a Master of Arts in International Relations for over 25 years, the Global MA in International Relations program began in August 2006.
4. Can I choose the courses I take in the program?
A: To finish this program in 11 months (five 8-week terms), students must fulfill the distribution requirements for the major. To make sure that Global MA in IR students complete the degree requirements, and to serve the other IR students at our campuses, we have to plan the rotation of courses carefully. In most cases Global MA in IR students will study together as a cohort in classes that are chosen to make sure they meet all degree requirements by the final summer term.
All Global MA in IR students will take the following courses:
• INTL 5000: Introduction to International Relations
• INTL 5100: Research Methods and Perspectives
• INTL 5500: Professional Seminar
• INTL 6000: International Relations – Theory and Practice (This is the final culmination/capstone course)
All other courses will be carefully chosen for each cohort. Prospective students can get a general sense of the courses from which the Global MA in IR curriculum is selected, by visiting our online Graduate Catalog: http://www.webster.edu/gradcatalog/degrees/international.shtml.
5. What is Professional Seminar? Are site visits included in the program curriculum?
A: Professional Seminar is a course designed to take students beyond the textbooks and provide a first-hand glance at the world of international relations. It sets the Global MA in IR program apart from most other graduate programs at Webster! As part of the Professional Seminar course, taken during the first four terms of the program, students will have many opportunities to visit various international institutions and organizations. Global MA in IR students in past years have visited the United Nations, OPEC, the EU Parliament, NATO, the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In addition, all Global MA in IR students receive a one-year membership to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House, an elite diplomatic forum and study-institute in London. While in London, students are able to attend presentations and receptions featuring influential people from the world of diplomacy, politics, business, NGOs and academia. The basic structure of the Professional Seminar course includes regular class meetings, visits, and occasionally guest lectures; but the content of the course and the format for site visits vary from campus to campus.
6. How much time do I spend in classes?
A: Global MA in IR students spend approximately 10 hours per week in class. In each of the first four 8-week terms of the program, students are enrolled in two 3-credit-hour graduate courses and one 1.5-credit-hour Professional Seminar course. In the final summer term (the fifth 8-week session), students are enrolled in two 3-credit-hour courses. There is no Professional Seminar the final term.
Each 3-credit-hour course meets four hours per week for eight weeks. On all European campuses, except for London, each class is held once a week in the evening for 4 hours. Classes at our London and Asian campuses may be held during the day. There is also a daytime schedule for Professional Seminar courses, which varies from campus to campus. Professional Seminar enables students to learn outside of the classroom and engage in the field through various site visits, which will be organized and scheduled by the instructor at each individual campus.
Of course, a program like this provides students with wonderful opportunities for experiencing cultures and, thus, it is important for students to spend time outside of the library or classroom. There should be time for some travel in the region and time to enjoy the distinct social and cultural features of each city. However, a respected graduate program does require discipline on the part of students, so appropriate budgeting of time is imperative.
7. The Global MA in IR Program sounds exciting but also very stressful with moving around that often. Would it be a good fit for me?
A: Ultimately, only you can answer that question. But if you are an academically strong student who has a passion for politics and international relations; love to travel, experience new cultures and meet interesting people; are flexible, especially with change and a bit of ambiguity; work well in groups (since you’ll be traveling in a cohort of 8-12 students); and have healthy ways to manage the inevitable stress of a rigorous graduate program and changing addresses five times, then it is likely you would be a great fit for the Global MA in IR program.
8. What do students do after they graduate? Do you have a job placement service?
A: Like most schools, we do not place students in jobs after they graduate. The program does offer wonderful opportunities to make contacts across the globe, whether it is fellow students who will be future colleagues or professionals in the IR field whom you may meet along the way through Professional Seminar. Of course, it is up to you to take advantage of your surroundings and make the most of these opportunities.
Many of our graduates have had success stories, including internships at the U.S. Department of State, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; and jobs with various governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the UN High Commission of Refugees, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chemonics International Inc. (a development consulting firm), and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
We do offer career-related assistance through our Career Services Office, based in St. Louis. We encourage students to get to know their career counselor as soon as they begin the program. For more information about Career Services, visit http://www.webster.edu/careers/index.shtml. In addition, many of our international campuses have Career Services and are happy to offer assistance to you as you progress through the program.
9. What is the application process?
A: Detailed information about applying to the program can be found here.
10. Is work experience required in order to apply? I am just finishing up my bachelor’s degree and have limited work experience.
A: No. Work experience is a great asset to any student, especially in today’s economy, and relevant work experience can always help a student bring a unique perspective to classroom discussions. However, work experience is not a requirement for admission.
11. How much does the program cost, and what is included in the cost?
A: The program cost for 2013-14 is $44,500. The cost covers tuition (36 graduate credit hours), housing during each 8-week academic term (single occupancy), Professional Seminar expenses, textbooks, on-site orientation, a mandatory study abroad fee that includes health insurance, an International Student ID card, a guide book for each country, and other pertinent pre-departure materials. Webster University requires emergency international health insurance coverage, which is provided through HTH Worldwide. This coverage is mandatory for all participants in the program, and is arranged through the Office of Study Abroad.
The total program cost will be divided equally over five terms and billed at three points throughout the year for Fall, Spring and Summer terms.
Students are responsible for all airfare, travel expenses within Europe, housing between academic terms, food, personal expenses, and any visa costs, which can vary dramatically based on a student’s personal preferences and comfort levels. As a rough guide, a Global MA in IR student can plan to spend on average $20,000 to $25,000 throughout the year for these expenses.
12. Is there a tuition deposit?
A: Yes. The total amount required for the deposit is $2100. (Note: The deposit is part of the overall program cost, not an addition to it, and is later applied to the student’s tuition bill.) Admitted students must submit a $500 partial deposit to the Office of Admission by April 1 to secure their place in the fall cohort. Students will receive a reminder notice for the remaining $1600, which will be due by May 15. (Please note: We will still accept the initial deposit after April 1. Accepted students must let us know their intentions to join the fall cohort by submitting the entire deposit by May 15.)
The initial and final deposits are non-refundable after May 1st.
Accepted students can make checks or money orders payable to Webster University and mail to:
Office of Admission
Re: Global MA in International Relations
470 East Lockwood Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119-3141
We can also accept your deposit by Visa, Mastercard, or Discover. Contact Thuy Witt for more information.
13. Is financial aid available?
A: Yes. Students should apply for financial aid as soon as they have been accepted. Students must complete both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Webster University Graduate Financial Aid form, which can be found at the following links:
Financial assistance from Webster University is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are degree-seeking students at Webster. Webster students retain all federal, state and institutional financial aid while overseas. Currently graduate students are eligible for a maximum of $20,500 in federal loans each academic year. Most Global MA in IR students also apply for Graduate PLUS loans to help finance the full cost of the program. Students who qualify for the maximum amount for both federal and GradPLUS loans have most, if not all, they need to finance the program.
Webster undergraduate students, who qualify for the Grad to Grad Program, may use their scholarship towards this program. For further information regarding this program, please contact Graduate Admissions. We highly encourage students to seek opportunities for outside sources of funding by creating a student profile on www.fastweb.com.
The Global MA in IR Program has several grants available to U.S citizens and permanent residents who qualify. To learn more, click here. Contact Thuy Witt if you have any questions about Global MA in IR grants: 314-246-8239, 1-800-753-6765, or email@example.com.
For additional questions or to schedule an appointment with your financial aid counselor, contact the Financial Aid Office at 314-968-6992 or 1-800-983-4623. Comprehensive financial aid information is available at http://admissions.webster.edu/admissions/finaid/.
14. I am an international student. Does Webster provide any scholarships for non-US citizens?
A: Unfortunately, no. While we would be pleased to see more international students in the Global MA in IR, international students are responsible for securing funding for the program.
15. Are students able to do an internship or work while they’re in the program?
A: Because of the accelerated nature of the course requirements an internship is not part of the program. In addition, American students are unable to procure work visas for the short duration they are in each country. We do strongly encourage students to start early, even while they are in the program, in looking for internships or jobs.
16. Do I need a passport or a visa?
A: All students must hold a valid passport from their respective country of citizenship. If you currently hold a passport, please ensure that it will not expire while you are abroad. To apply for a U.S. passport, visit any Post Office, or visit www.state.gov for detailed instructions and time frames. Allow at least 3 months for processing.
You may be required to obtain a student visa or residency permit for the countries visited during the program. Once admitted, Webster University will work to provide you with information that may help you determine what visas will be necessary, but ultimately all students are responsible for procuring the proper visas to ensure compliance with immigration laws. You can visit the countries’ embassy websites for more information.
17. How do I know which cohort/route I will be following?
A: By early May, students who have been admitted to the program and submitted their first deposit will be contacted to submit their cohort selection, in priority order. We will do our best to place you in your first choice, but we cannot guarantee a spot in a particular cohort.
18. What if I do not speak the language specific to the country?
A: Not a problem. The main language at all Webster University international campuses is English. All classes are taught in English, and the staff is bilingual in English and the host language to help you. At select campuses, informal language courses are available to assist you in engaging your local environment. While we do not require you to speak the language of your host country, we always encourage you to acquire basic knowledge before your departure. This basic knowledge will be helpful to you when you are off campus and spending time in locations where the host language is the predominant language spoken.
19. Would a family member(s) be able to accompany me during the program?
A: Webster University can provide housing arrangements only for admitted students.
Therefore, students bringing friends or family members are responsible for separate housing accommodations and all related costs for those individuals. Because a cohort experience enables students to offer mutual academic and social support to one another, we do not encourage students in this program to live apart from the rest of their cohort. Also, housing is included in the overall program cost, and the cost cannot be adjusted if students choose to live with family members.
20. May I switch campuses for a particular term once I start the program?
A: No. The Global MA in IR is a cohort program with a defined order of campuses and courses structured to ensure that all degree requirements are met within five terms. Students must follow the order of the campuses and courses for the assigned cohort.
Webster cannot guarantee that every student will be granted their first choice.
21. If I am accepted, whom do I contact about specific details regarding travel information and living abroad?
A: In late Spring, students who have confirmed their seat in the program by submitting an initial deposit will receive detailed program information about preparation and travel tips in the Global MA in IR Student Handbook.
22. What is the average age of each cohort?
A: The average age of each cohort, which usually consists of eight to 12 students, is 25.
23. Is there an orientation before or when I arrive?
A: Prior to departure, all students will receive the Global MA in IR Student Handbook which contains dates, important arrival information and other pre-departure details. All students, regardless of the cohort they are assigned, will travel to one of our European campuses for a group orientation in August, just prior to the start of the academic year. In the past, orientation has taken place at our campus in Leiden, the Netherlands. The orientation is designed specifically for the Global MA in IR program. Students will meet with all members of the Global MA in IR class and other important Webster staff who will assist them throughout the year. While attending the program orientation, accommodations will be provided (in a local hotel (double occupancy), or in the campus dormitory). After the group orientation, students will travel to the location of their first term.
In addition, upon your arrival at each of the Webster University international campuses, students have an orientation designed to orient them to that campus, campus policies, library, country and coursework to be taken. Students are expected to arrive at their respective campus each term in time for the campus orientation and should arrange travel around the recommended arrival dates provided in the Global MA in IR Student Handbook. This handbook will be available in the Spring.
To see a sample of the Global MA in IR schedule, visit http://www.webster.edu/global/routes.html.
24. What are the housing accommodations like in each country?
A: Students will live in a variety of student housing depending on the country. Each campus has several on-campus and off-campus housing options. Accommodations will be arranged by Webster staff on-site at each location. While we cannot guarantee identical housing for all students, there are certain standards and requirements for Global MA in IR student housing. At all campuses, students will have single accommodations (or at least their own room), internet access, and access to laundry and kitchen facilities. In addition, all housing will be located within walking distance or with access to public transportation routes, for travel to and from each campus.
25. What do students do during academic breaks? What are my housing options during breaks?
A: Students do a variety of things over break. Some will travel back to the U.S., especially during the winter break, to visit family and friends; others take the opportunity to travel and explore new cities and sites. When traveling some students travel alone, but many either travel with fellow Global students or with family and friends who might come to visit. There are many cost effective ways to travel, such as traveling on discount airlines in Europe, taking advantage of the extensive train systems in Europe and Asia, and staying in hostels. It just takes some research.
Since housing between academic terms is not covered in the program cost, students are encouraged to research housing options that suit their individual needs during breaks. Breaks in between each 8-week term include one break in the fall, winter, spring and summer. Academic breaks are usually one week long, except for winter break (late Dec-early Jan), which is about three weeks.
To alleviate the inconveniences of overweight baggage charges and traveling with heavy luggage during breaks, many students choose to ship some of their belongings to the next campus, whether by using the local post or FedEx in each location.