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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 14, 2015
Was the Iran Nuclear Crisis Necessary?
- Presentation by Gareth Porter, an American historian, investigative journalist, author and policy analyst specializing in U.S. national security policy
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: TBD

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Recent Events

April 16, 2015
Careers in the US Foreign Service
- Presentation by Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, New England Diplomat in Residence
- Sponsored by the UMaine Career Center

April 6, 2015
South Korea’s Role in the U.S. Pivot to Asia
Panel Co-Sponsored by the Korea Economic Institute of America

February 16, 2015
Dealing with Stubborn Poverty
Talk by Ms. Pamela Cox, International Finance and Economic Development Leader, World Bank Group

October 27, 2014
The Middle East and (What's Left of) Syria
Talk by Shibley Telhami, The Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park, and non-resident senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution

October 14-15, 2014
Climate Change and the Future of Water
Co-Sponsored by SPIA and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research
Program (pdf)

September 22, 2014
Syria and Washington Politics - Hard to Agree
Talk by Ambassador Robert S. Ford, Former US Ambassador to Syria and Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute