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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

A Global Politics course

A Research Methods course


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 — Ernesto Verdeja

Strategic Peacebuilding & Reflective Practice — Lisa Schirch

Developing a Peacebuilding Practice — Norbert Koppensteiner

International Peace Studies Capstone — Norbert Koppensteiner

Sustainable Development


Foundations of Sustainable Development — Santosh Kumar

Policy Evaluation (fulfills the Research Methods requirement) — Alejandro Estefan

Environmental Policy — Ellis Adams

*Quantitative Analysis for Global Affairs (or Elective) — Yong Suk Lee

*Applied Microeconomics for Policy Analysis (or Elective) — Alejandro Estefan

Governance and Policy


Foundations of Global Governance (fulfills the Global Politics requirement) — Erin Graham

Foundations of Global Policymaking — Joshua Eisenman

Research Design for Governance & Policy (fulfills the Research Methods requirement) — Kyle Jaros

*Quantitative Analysis for Global Affairs (or Elective) — Yong Suk Lee

*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 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

  • Policy writing

  • Management & Leadership

  • Geographic Information Systems

  • Negotiation & Mediation

  • Methods for Research & Project Design

Policy Coursework


  • Immersive course in Washington, DC

  • Sustainability, Ethics, & Natural Resources

  • Poverty Policy

  • Global Water Policy & Governance

  • Migration & Refugee Policy

  • Global Education Policy



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.


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