Global Opportunities

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Begin Your International Career at the Schar School

If you want to travel the globe as a student, pursue an international career, or simply learn more about our interconnected world, the Schar School of Policy and Government provides a wide range of programs and opportunities for you.

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Internationally Focused Degrees

International Course Minors

The Schar School offers the following globally focused minors:

  • The global systems minor is designed to complement virtually any undergraduate major. This minor works well for majors in business disciplines, economics, geography, government and international politics, and other disciplines that take a global view.
  • The international and comparative studies minor increase your theoretical and practical awareness of the regions and current issues of the world as well as critical international security issues.

International Course Concentrations

At the Schar School, you can customize your studies and pursue a concentration within your major.

  • The international political economy concentration combines a focus on political institutions with an understanding of economic systems to better understand both.
  • The international relations concentration focuses on the relationships between state actors (other governments, countries, or international entities) and helps us understand these interactions.

Globally Focused Learning Community

In the International Relations Policy Task Force (IRTF) one-year program, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Earn course credit while learning how to draft policy reports on today’s most pressing global issues.
  • Participate in activities, field trips, discussions with distinguished leaders, and an international trip each spring.
  • Hear from in-class speakers, which included former White House Daily Briefer Beth Sanner and Professor Richard Kauzlarich, former ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Azerbaijan.
  • Tour and visit briefing at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

This learning community is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Faculty Experts on a Global Scale

Our faculty is comprised of scholars and practitioners in the disciplines of policy, political science, and international affairs, and includes former or current ambassadors, political advisors, international law fellows, general counsel, human rights and labor organizers, and experts in terrorism and transnational crime.

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Making Global Impact with Hands-On Learning

Global Politics Fellows Program

The Global Politics Fellows Program is a 15-credit academic program for a small cohort of students interested in the role of government in society in the United States and abroad. The program is based on Mason Square in Arlington and includes an internship experience.

Foreign Service Day

Mason's annual Foreign Service Day includes a Q&A with diplomatic professionals, breakout sessions with current State Department employees, and a diplomatic simulation exercise. 

Research Opportunities

The Schar School Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) offers you the opportunity to

  • gain hands-on experience with social science and global research.
  • receive mentorship from Schar School faculty who seek to work with undergraduate research assistants.
  • sharpen research skills by working on faculty research projects who share similar interests.

The Schar School has 17 research centers, institutes, and initiatives. Students with an international focus may be interested in some of the following:

  • Center for Energy Science and Policy
  • Center for Security Policy Studies
  • Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security
  • Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)
  • Center for Social Change, Institution, and Policy (SCIP)
URAP Students

Students at an Undergraduate Research Fair

Study Abroad Programs

Schar School students have the opportunity to register for short-term study abroad courses and have a comparative political experience and the opportunity:

  • to network with political leaders, business executives, academics, and practitioners.
  • enroll in a 3-credit bearing course outside the U.S. that is led by Schar School professors during the winter, spring, and summer breaks.

Recently faculty-led international study destinations have included Cuba, Mexico, Cyprus, England, and Vietnam.


IRTF Students

Students at the U.S. - Mexico Border

Gain Real-World Professional Experiences

With Mason’s prime location near Washington, D.C., you will gain access to agencies and organizations that are making a global impact. Schar School undergraduate students can earn course credit and experience through both domestic and international internship placements.

As a student, you will have the opportunity to connect with countless organizations that will broaden your skills, deepen your expertise, and help you build a meaningful professional network.

Domestic Internships

Here are several domestic internship placements that Schar School students had the opportunity to explore within close proximity to Washington, D.C.: 

  • U.S. Peace Corps
  • Defense Intelligence Agency Directorate Operations
  • United Way Worldwide
  • Stimson Center
  • Council on American Islamic Relations
  • Progressive Policy Institute

International Internships

Here are several international internship placements that Schar School students had the opportunity to explore with partnering organizations and programs: 

  • Bangkok, Thailand: Internship with a national political party
  • Beijing, China: Internship with a private company developing international projects
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: Internship with Directorio Legislativo
  • Dublin, Ireland: Government internship with a member of the Irish Parliament
  • Prague, Czech Republic: Policy research internship with the local town council
  • Seoul, South Korea: Nonprofit internship with the Korean Chamber of Commerce

Top Employers for Graduates

  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Borgen Project
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Top Graduate Programs

  • Berlin – Master of International Relations
  • Columbia University – Master of Public Administration Environmental Science and Policy
  • London School of Economics and Political Science – International Development
  • University of Oxford – Postgraduate Degree in Diplomacy
  • King’s College London – Master of International Conflict Studies, Diplomacy and Law
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Get in Touch

Prospective students and their families can get to know the Schar School by setting up an informational appointment with the Schar School undergraduate recruitment team. 

Visit in person at 336 Aquia Building on the Fairfax campus, or set up a time to talk by phone or Zoom. Reach out to or 703-993-6564 to schedule a conversation.

Schar School Undergraduate Student Liaisons are also happy to help!

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