The MA Global Policy degree is a two-year Master’s program consisting of 33 credits that is open to students with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. An undergraduate international policy degree is not essential for admission. SPIA is much more concerned with an applicant’s capacity for graduate study, demonstrated by the quality of previous academic work and professional experience, and their commitment to an international career. However, applicants must exhibit research ability, have a strong foundation in economics, and demonstrate competence in a second language. Students may choose a concentration in either Environmental Policy, Security and Foreign Policy, Trade and Commerce, or Climate Policy.

Prospective students are expected to have completed the following requirements before admission to the graduate program:

  • Introductory Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (equivalent to UMaine’s ECO 120 and ECO 121); and
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a second language before graduation from SPIA (at least one university course at the 300-level, or demonstration of spoken and written language competency).

The above courses must be completed with a grade of B or better. Applicants without the required background may be accepted provisionally while meeting the prerequisites. The admissions committee will consider waiving prerequisites for applicants with work experience that provides the equivalent knowledge, skill, and abilities to succeed in the program.

Core seminars define the body of knowledge considered fundamental to the student’s ability to assume a role in global public policy development and analysis. Some seminars will be team-taught by faculty members with varying academic and professional experiences to familiarize students with faculty and their specializations. All students are required to take the five core courses below and participate in an internship.

SPI 501 Research Methods and Design (3 credits)
How to study international policy issues; approaches; social science theory and research methods; policy analysis.

SPI 502 International Political Economy (3 credits)
How the world economy works; its relation to economic growth, the distribution of wealth, sustainable development, culture, and political power.

SPI 503 International Relations (3 credits)
The workings of the international system; evolution of international relations and the present era of transition in the international system.

SPI 510 Public Service Seminar (1 credit)
Introduce students to the theory and practice of public service through conversations with practitioners.  To be completed before the required internship.

SPI 595 Internship (2-6 credits depending upon the nature, duration and value of the experience) All students will complete a professional internship that supplements their academic study at an appropriate institution or business to gain relevant, marketable experience. Internships allow students to explore their options while developing their networks, learning about specific fields, becoming familiar with various organizational management and leadership styles, and better understanding the experiences and different cultural contexts of other peoples in a globalized world. Students are strongly encouraged to perform their internships outside of their home country, especially if they intend to strengthen their foreign language proficiency to gain a vital edge for their future international careers.


– Graduates will be able to evaluate and critique the major trends, debates, and forces that shape international relations and the process of economic and political integration, while describing how these contributions intersect with policy management in their chosen field of expertise. (GSLG 1, 2 and 3).

– Graduates will be able to devise and execute policy-oriented research utilizing appropriate methods and tools and formulate recommendations to address practical global problems. (GSLG 1 and 3).

– Graduates will be able to communicate effectively through written essays and briefing memos, data visualization, and oral presentations to diverse stakeholders and specific purposes. (GSLG 1 and 2).

– Graduates will be able to demonstrate responsible and ethical decision-making skills. They will examine their own values and respectfully engage with how different perspectives and value systems might be applied to address complex global problems. (GSLG 3).

– Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of and respect for the range of public service work. They will act with a sense of purpose toward the public interest, environment, and global society. (GSLG 2).