Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Master of International Affairs

University of California-San Diego
Posted on


Master's programs, bachelor's programs

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Master of International Affairs (BA/MIA)

The BA/MIA is a consecutive program offered in collaboration with UC San Diego's undergraduate International Studies Program (ISP). The incorporates graduate-level coursework into the final year of study for a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. The Master of International Affairs degree is awarded upon completion of an additional year of coursework at the School.

The program is open only to International Studies-International Business, International Studies-Economics and International Studies-Political Science majors at UC San Diego. 

Program Overview

In addition to core classes, students in the program select one career track and one country/regional specialization: China, Korea, Japan, Latin America or Southeast Asia. Language acquisition is a key element within the curriculum.

Bachelor of Arts in International StudiesThe program requires students to have a primary track and a secondary track in: Economics-Political Science, Political Science-Economics, International Business-Political Science. The undergraduate requirements are different from those for the standard International Studies business, economics and political science tracks. The final undergraduate year incorporates graduate-level course work at the School. Details on the curriculum can be found here.

Master of International Affairs (one additional year)The ISP regional requirement for the B.A. is separate from the Eleanor Roosevelt College regional specialization and the School’s country/regional specialization. The courses cannot overlap or be double-counted. Details on the requirements of the country/regional specializations can be found below.


Core Courses

All Master of International Affairs candidates must complete the following courses with a C- or better. The courses listed below are completed in the first year of study.

Policy Making Processes:This course is designed to teach students how to “read” a country’s political and economic system. The course will examine how the evolution of different institutional frameworks in the countries of the Pacific region influences the way in which political choices are made.

Microeconomics for Policy and Management: Survey of basic tools of economics. Included will be such topics as real trade theory, international movements of capital, the effects of trade and capital flows on domestic economies, and policies toward trade and foreign investment. 

International Economics: The theory and mechanics of international economics. Included will be such topics as real trade theory, international movements of capital, the effects of trade and capital flows on domestic economies, and policies toward trade and foreign investment. 

International Politics and Security: Development of analytic tools for understanding international relations with applications to contemporary problems such as the environment, nuclear proliferation, human rights, humanitarian interventions and the roots of conflict and cooperation among countries.

Globalization, the World System and the Pacific: This course examines globalization and other economic and political factors that shape the international relations of the Pacific Rim. Specific topics include financial market integration, state cooperation and intervention, and case studies of individual countries.

For the tracks in Economics-Political Science and Political Science-Economics:

Finance and Accounting for Policy Makers: This course covers concepts and applications of accounting and finance necessary for policymakers in for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. The course content consists of three parts: (1) basic financial accounting and financial analysis, (2) the effect of time value of money on investment decisions and (3) the effects of risk on financial decisions. 

For the International Business-Political Science track:

Market Failures and Policy Interventions: Applies economic reasoning to public issues, policies and programs with a focus on the logic of when and how policymakers intervene in the market. It considers incentives and organizations; models of economic behavior; including markers, the absence of markets and interventions; the rice system; policy objectives and instruments.

Quantitative Methods I: This course is designed to provide proficiency in quantitative methods that are used for optimization and decision-making. The use of spreadsheets is applied to data analysis and problem-solving. Statistical theory and regression analysis are introduced.

Quantitative Methods II:This course covers elements from statistics that are central to business decision-making under uncertainty. In particular, regression analysis and estimation will be applied to problems of forecasting and optimization.

Capstone Courses

first year core courses: GPCO 400, 401, 403, 410, 412, 415, 453 and 454.

Strategy and Negotiations: This class introduces the fundamentals of corporate strategy, based on case studies requiring corporate analysis; and the principles of negotiation, based on exercises and class learning. Both sections of this class are highly applied and require intensive out-of-class preparation and teamwork that help students acquire skills in analytical thinking, strategic action planning and hands-on negotiations.

Policy Responses to Global Problems: This capstone is designed to test the analytic skills acquired in the GPS program, using them to explain complex real-world problems: security, persistent recurring conflict, persistent inequality and intergenerational debt, women’s rights, environmental change, energy/resource systems, and financial contagion. Emphasis will be placed on determining the nature and dimension of the problem, exploring a range of solutions and assessing the capacity of public institutions. Non-GPS students may enroll with consent of instructor. 

Evaluating Technological Problems: This capstone is intended as a culminating intellectual experience for students, particularly those in economics-oriented tracks. Students will learn to analyze “what works,” integrating a technical understanding of innovation with rigorous statistical analysis. The first half of the course focuses on building a set of science/engineering tools, and the second half focuses on building statistical tools of analysis. Letter grades only. Prerequisites: GPEC 446 or consent of instructors.

Real-World Projects in Energy and the Environment: The course emphasizes real-world application of theories and methods for policy analysis to projects with real clients. The class includes case studies and seminar-style discussions of topics like project finance and management of regulatory risk. Most of the class will be devoted to working in small teams with clients seeking strategic guidance.

Career tracks are designed for Master of International Affairs students to acquire expertise in a functional area of their choice and consist of five courses from a prescribed list: two required and three electives. Students will choose one of the following career tracks:

International Development and Nonprofit Management

Sample Classes

  • Corporate Finance
  • Economics in Southeast Asia
  • Evaluating Social Program
  • Governance, Public Administration and Development
  • Human Rights, Public Policy and International Politics
  • International Health Economics
  • Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
  • Sustainable Development
  • Topics in China’s Development
  • Workers and Labor in International Markets

International Economics

  • Applied Data Analysis and Statistical Decision Making “QM III”
  • China in the Global Economic Order
  • Competing Business Systems of Developing Asia
  • Corruption and Development
  • Economic Policy in Latin America
  • Economies in Southeast Asia
  • Fiscal and Monetary Policy
  • Immigration & Immigration Policy
  • Topics in China’s Development
  • Topics in International Trade

International Environmental Governance 

  • Food Security
  • International Law and Regulation
  • Real World projects in Energy and the Environment
  • Sustainable Development

International Management 

  • Applied Financial Accounting
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Environmental and Regulatory Economics
  • Innovation in the New Economy
  • International Business
  • Organizational Economics
  • Technology & Operations Management: Analysis and Control
  • Technology, Trade, and Globalization
  • Cuba
  • Democratization in Latin America
  • Human Rights, Public Policy and International Politics
  • Immigration & Immigration Policy
  • International Political Economy: Money and Finance
  • Korean Security
  • Politics of Southeast Asia
  • Politics and Institutions in Latin America
  • Real World Projects in Energy and the Environment
  • State Building and Modeling State Capacity
  • The Politics of Energy and Environmental Regulation
  • The Political Economy of Authoritarian Regimes
  • Topics in International Trade
  • Workers and Labor in International Markets

Note: Course schedules are published on a quarterly basis and are subject to change without notice. Some elective courses that can be applied to meet career track requirements may not be offered in a given academic quarter or academic year. See the UC San Diego General Catalog. 

  • Two designated courses: one on the economy and a second on the political system of the region
  • A language requirement

Courses taken for a country/regional specialization may not be double counted.

Students will choose one of the following country/regional specializations:

  • China

Country/Regional Specialization

  • Southeast Asia = Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese (Mandarin), Thai, Tagalog, Vietnamese
  • Other languages may be allowed by petition

Students must complete a minimum of four (4) quarters of a foreign language in order to meet the B.A. requirement. Two (2) additional quarters are required for the MIA. It is recommended, but not required that students complete all six (6) quarters at the undergraduate level.

All language courses taken before matriculating into graduate standing must earn a grade of C- or better. Once at graduate standing, the student must earn a B or better in their sixth quarter of language courses.

The foreign language requirement may be satisfied in one of four ways:

  • Proof of having attended either high school or university in the regional language
  • Native proficiency
  • Completing six quarters (four semesters) of college-level language instruction from an institution comparable to UC San Diego with a grade of "B" or better in the final course.
  • Passing a special GPS-administered language exam, which is the equivalent of the final exam administered in the sixth-quarter course in the selected language.

Quick Links

Copyright ©2019 Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

More Information

Posted on


Master's programs, bachelor's programs


La Jolla , United States