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Curriculum & Courses

Curriculum & Courses

Connect theory, practice, and policy


The Master of Global Affairs offers a two-year curriculum that connects theory, practice, and policy through a combination of engaging coursework and immersive practical experiences. You will develop critical skills needed to build your career while pursuing your choice of concentration and elective courses within global affairs.

Core Courses: Build your foundation


Foundational courses present an integrative understanding of global affairs and provide you with a breadth of knowledge on different approaches and topics. You will learn to view issues from multiple perspectives and to work across disciplines alongside colleagues from across the world.

Within the foundational coursework, you will begin tailoring the curriculum to your professional aspirations and interests by selecting from a list of course offerings:


Integral Human Development — Clemens Sedmak

Economics of Growth and Development — Lakshmi Iyer

Keough Career Colloquium — Melinda Fountain

A Global Politics course of your choosing

A Research Methods course of your choosing


Concentration coursework: Develop your expertise


As a master of global affairs student, you will choose an area of concentration. Within each concentration, classes are designed to take you deeper into a specific field, giving you the professional skills and knowledge to address issues about which you are the most passionate. All students acquire training in global affairs, plus focused training in a specific area of interest—global health, human rights, international law, global religion, democratic politics, migration and refugees, or other areas.

International Peace Studies


Foundations of Peace Studies — Ann Mische

Strategic Peacebuilding & Reflective Practice — Susan St. Ville

International Peace Studies Capstone — Rashied Omar

Sustainable Development


Foundations of Sustainable Development — Paul Winters

Environmental Policy — Dan Miller

*Quantitative Methods for Global Affairs (or Elective) — Sisi Meng

*Applied Microeconomics (or Elective) — Sisi Meng

Governance and Policy


Foundations of Global Affairs — Gary Goertz

*Quantitative Methods for Global Affairs (or Elective) — Sisi Meng

*Applied Microeconomics (or Elective) — Sisi Meng

Electives in your area of specialization


*Students who fulfill this course requirement prior to matriculation can pursue elective coursework

Electives: Customize your experience


Where do you want to make an impact? With direction from faculty advisors and concentration directors, you will choose elective courses that help you craft an academic experience tailored to your unique career goals. Select from a rich array of classes offered both at the Keough School and across the University of Notre Dame’s six other academic colleges and schools. Elective courses provide you the opportunity to specialize further, gaining the knowledge and skills that connect to your professional goals. Courses vary by semester but fall into general thematic and professional skills areas:

Thematic Areas


  • Environment & Climate Change

  • Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution

  • Global Education

  • Global Religion

  • Migration & Refugees

  • Human Rights & International Law

  • Global Health

  • State, Society, and the International Order

  • Courses with a regional focus

Professional Skills


  • Monitoring & Evaluation

  • ICT4D (Information Communications Technology for Development)

  • Policy writing

  • Management & Leadership

  • Geographic Information Systems

  • Negotiation & Mediation

  • Methods for Research & Project Design

Policy Coursework


  • Policy Lab (practical experience in Washington, DC)

  • Sustainability, Ethics, & Natural Resources

  • Poverty Policy

  • Global Water Policy & Governance

  • Migration & Refugee Policy

  • Global Education Policy


View list of recent elective courses


Career Development: Gain practical experience


Take your classroom learning into the field and work alongside seasoned policymakers, global organizations, and renowned academic experts. All students participate in global fieldwork and on-the-job training as part of the Master of Global Affairs curriculum. Students in the Sustainable Development and Governance and Policy concentrations participate in the Integration Lab (i-Lab) program, while students in the Peace Studies concentration complete an extended, custom-designed field immersion. All students engage with global policy guests and participate in specialized career development coursework that extends over the full two-year arch of the program.