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Curriculum & Plan of Study: 4+1, UMD Undergraduate Option

Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. To learn more, prospective students should contact Meqdad Ali via email:


  • The MA-International Relations has a 30-credit, 10-course curriculum that includes coursework in international political economy, international security, international law, and statistical methods of data analysis for international relations research questions. 
  • Plan of study includes eight courses that focus on international relations theory, international political economy, international security, and international law and institutions and two courses that focus on applied methods in the quantitative analysis of international relations. 
  • Courses are offered in a specific sequence. Students must enroll in the order in which courses are offered each semester.
  • Three foundational courses (9 credits) and seven core courses (21 credits) complete the program. 
  • Program emphasizes developing research and analysis skills based on a solid background in international relations theory and quantitative empirical research. 
  • Program uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in fall and spring semester (16 weeks each).

4+1 UMD Undergraduate Option

  • In the 4+1 UMD Undergraduate option, UMD students complete 9 credits in their senior year and complete 21 credits in nine months of continuous full-time enrollment as a graduate student. See Designation of Full-time/Part-time Status.
  • Targets UMD degree-seeking students in GVPT and BSOS majors as well as qualified majors in other disciplines. GVPT and BSOS majors with coursework in international relations, some quantitative methods, and a 3.0 or higher GPA will be most competitive for admission to the 4+1 UMD Undergraduate option, particularly GVPT and BSOS majors who are focusing on the IR concentration or the Minor in Development and Conflict Management.
  • In their junior year, UMD undergraduates must first apply and be admitted into the undergraduate portion of the 4+1 option. Once admitted, UMD undergraduates complete three 3-credit foundational courses (9 credits) in their senior year as part of the undergraduate degree.
  • In their senior year (spring semester), UMD undergraduates must formally apply to The Graduate School. Upon admission, students complete the master’s degree by enrolling in the remaining seven 3-credit courses (21 credits). Courses taken in the student’s senior year count towards both the undergraduate and master’s degree.
  • UMD undergraduates are assessed tuition at their regular undergraduate rate for the three 3-credit courses taken in their senior year and assessed the program tuition rate for the remaining seven 3-credit courses.


  • Below is a listing of all program courses. For a detailed course description that includes pre-requisites or co-requisites, see The Graduate School Catalog, Course Listing as follows: GVPT Course Descriptions 
Category Course Number TITLE
Foundational GVPT604 Introduction to War and Armed Conflict in World Politics
Foundational GVPT605 Introduction to Conflict and Cooperation in the World Economy
Foundational GVPT606 Introduction to International Law and Institutions
Core GVPT622 Quantitative Methods of Political Science
Core GVPT708 Seminar in International Relations Theory
Core GVPT729 Special Topics in Quantitative Political Analysis
Core GVPT761 International Political Economy
Core GVPT803 Seminar in International Political Organizations
Core GVPT808 Selected Topics in Functional Problems in International Relations
Core GVPT879 Topics on International Security (Capstone)

Registration Overview

  • See the sample plan of study, below. Students should use this as a guide to develop a plan with the academic program director. 
  • Actual course offerings are determined by the program and may vary semester to semester. Students should note if a course has a pre-requisite or co-requisite. 
  • Specific class meeting information (days and time) is posted on UMD’s interactive web service services, Testudo. Once on that site, select “Schedule of Classes,” then the term/year. Courses are listed by academic unit. 
  • The program uses specific section codes for registration, which are listed on the sample plan of study.

Full-time, Sample Plan

Semester Year Category Course Number Section Code Credits
Fall Senior Foundational GVPT604 4+1 Option 3
Spring Senior Foundational GVPT605 4+1 Option 3
Spring Senior Foundational GVPT606 4+1 Option 3
Fall 5 Core GVPT622 PCR* 3
Fall 5 Core GVPT708 PCR* 3
Fall 5 Core GVPT761 PCR* 3
Fall 5 Core GVPT803 PCR* 3
Spring 5 Core GVPT729 PCR* 3
Spring 5 Core GVPT808 PCR* 3
Spring 5 Core GVPT879 PCR* 3

In-Person Learning 

  • Instruction provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field. 
  • Instructors present dynamic and interactive seminar-style instruction. 
  • Classes meet in UMD College Park campus classrooms, offering a focused, distraction-free learning environment.

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Articulate the central theoretical approaches to studying international political economy, international security, and international law and institutions as well as debates among researchers regarding the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches.
  • Identify and apply different IR theoretical approaches that can be drawn upon to study research questions and to assess how useful different theoretical approaches are to studying a given research question.
  • Interpret and explain quantitative empirical findings on international political economy, international security, and international law and institutions as well as debates among researchers regarding the strengths and weaknesses of these empirical studies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of different statistical models that can be used to test theories and hypotheses on international relations and the advantages and limitations of alternative statistical models.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles, theories, and concepts involved with quantitative research designs used to study research questions in international relations.
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