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M.A. Degree Program (through Class of 2019)

Arches in the Stanford Main Quad

This information applies to students in the IPS Classes of 2018 and 2019.  Details on the redesigned curriculum for 2018-19 are available here.

The Master of Arts degree in International Policy Studies (IPS) is a two-year, full time program that supports students to develop knowledge and skills to prepare for professional careers in international policy. The program is interdisciplinary in nature, and students are encouraged to pursue coursework that spans academic fields at Stanford. The M.A. degree is earned through completion of core coursework and depth of study in an area of concentration.  

The five areas of concentration are:

Academic Overview

Year 1

Students take a broad range of courses designed to build a foundation of core policy skills:

  • Concentration gateway course

  • Policy writing

  • Statistics

  • Econometrics

  • International economics

  • Advanced economics

  • Decision making

  • Justice

Year 2

Students complete coursework in their declared concentration.  In addition, they will take the practicum course, working in teams to provide real-world clients with policy recommendations on current global issues.  

  • Concentration electives

  • Practicum


Degree Requirements

To earn the M.A. degree in International Policy Studies, students must complete the courses listed in the curriculum below. These requirements include:

  • IPS Director's Seminar

  • Four courses in the quantitative core

  • Four courses in the skills core

  • Six or more courses in the area of concentration, including the gateway course

  • Practicum or master's thesis

The minimum number of units required to graduate is 73.  

Official degree requirements can be found in the University Bulletin.
Course descriptions can be found in Explore Courses.

Prerequisite Coursework

There is no pre-requisite coursework for the IPS program. We do strongly encourage a background in Economics and Statistics.


Please read through Frequently Asked Questions for additional details.