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About SPIA

The graduate program offered by School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) comprises an interdisciplinary offering from a variety of academic units both on and off campus.  This provides a combination of academic strength and flexibility to accommodate students with a unique opportunity to pursue advanced, interdisciplinary studies focusing on a broad perspective for understanding public policy in an increasingly interdependent world.  The program defines core sets of courses that embody the necessary skills required to address timely global policy questions and issues relating to the environment, trade and commerce.  We offer a Master of Arts in Global Policy, an international service degree, with concentrations in International Environmental Policy, International Trade & Commerce, and International Security & US Foreign Policy.

Students are provided with opportunities to broaden their knowledge with supporting course work, internships, graduate level research, seminars and preparation of scholarly papers. Our graduate degree is designed to broaden the intellectual horizons of students and enhance their opportunities for choice and advancement in a variety of professional careers related to global policy in the public, private, and academic sectors.

SPIA provides a stimulating environment in which students can pursue graduate studies and collaborate with expert faculty on innovative policy research. SPIA is administered by a Director, a Deputy Director, and cooperating faculty across five colleges: the College of Business, Public Policy and Health; the College of Natural Science, Forestry, and Agriculture; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the College of Education and Human Development; and the College of Engineering. In addition to the on-campus faculty, students have access to non-resident cooperating scholars from around the world who are affiliated with SPIA.  The School is the academic home of the William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce, which has its own Director and dedicates itself to education, outreach and research on important and timely international issues, and also has close ties with the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Service.

The graduate program of SPIA reflects the training, interests, and expertise of the faculty. It extends the long-standing mission of the University of Maine as a land grant institution to produce and disseminate new knowledge that are of public concern and import by helping connect Maine more closely to the international arena. Interested students have the opportunity to work with the faculty in a variety of research activities.

A sample of current research interests and activities of cooperating faculty members include: the

  • international resource management and law;
  • citizenship, language and cultural policies;
  • international environmental communication and policy;
  • entrepreneurship and management in transitional economies;
  • cybersecurity, homeland security and cyber infrastructure;
  • anthropology of war; cultural ecology; political evolution; global justice;
  • global energy development;
  • economic growth and immigration;
  • monetary policy; international finance; and
  • management of greenhouse gas reductions.

SPIA’s MA in Global Policy degree is a policy-oriented degree program which allows students in any field of endeavor to enrich their skills through an in-depth understanding of policy, methods and approaches. And since it is part of an international service oriented program, there is an expectation that students will consider entering public service and non-profit organizations at the state, national and international level as a potential career choice.  Such a degree, although focused on professional preparation, also provides additional value for those seeking to pursue a Doctoral Degree in a variety of related fields.

We look forward to introduce SPIA to prospective graduate students and to others concerned with some aspect of the graduate program. If you require additional information regarding the graduate program offered by SPIA, please contact us by mail, telephone or email at:

James Settele, Director
The School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA)
University of Maine
5754 North Stevens Hall, Rm. 239
Orono, ME 04469-5754
Tel: (207) 581-3153
Fax: (207) 581-9542

Upcoming Events

September 16, 2014
Where are the Women in Violent Conflicts? Finding Out Will Make Us Smarter
Talk by Dr. Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor in the International Development, Community, and Environmental Department at Clark University
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Minsky Hall
Sponsors: Student Government; RiseUp; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Political Science; SPIA; and History

September 17, 2014
Why America Should Care: Scottish Independence and the Implications for US Foreign Policy
Talk by Darren J. Reid, Cohen Research Associate
12:00 PM
Location: Bangor Room, Memorial Union
Sponsors: School of Policy and International Affairs; the Department of Political Science; and the William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce

September 22, 2014
Dilemmas in Diplomacy: How Domestic Politics and U.S. Strategy Intersect in Syria
Talk by Amb. Robert S. Ford, Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute and Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: McIntire Room, Buchanan Alumni House

In The News

- SPIA Director a Regular Guest on Two Greater Bangor Area Radio Shows

- SPIA profiled in CLAS Newsletter

- BDN op-ed by Kenneth Hillas, SPIA Professor of International Affairs, on Nelson Mandela's legacy

- Op-Ed in the BDN by MA Global Policy student, Charles Hastings, on public-private partnerships

Bangor Daily News Interviews Bruce Riedel, Member of SPIA’s Advisory Board
- “CIA officer, al-Qaida expert to discuss hunt for bin Laden, violence overseas at UMaine”
Article Here