Earn two degrees Combined BA/MA in International Studies

The BA/MA program is an opportunity for advanced AU undergraduate students to begin a master’s degree program before completing their bachelor’s degree. Doing so allows students to take shared courses that can fulfill both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements, saving students time and money.

Undergraduate students may apply up to 15 credit hours of approved, graduate-level coursework to satisfy both degrees’ requirements. Shared credits vary depending on a student’s current major/minor and master’s degree program. A minimum of 18 credit hours in graduate studies must be completed in residence after the undergraduate degree has been awarded.

Sample Credit Sharing

Examples of courses that students can take and how they would apply to both the bachelor's and master's degrees.
Graduate Course Semester Application in BA Application in MA

SIS-619 Global International Relations Theory

Fall (Senior)

GCG Thematic

Core Course to Concentration

SIS-707 History of Global Politics

Fall (Senior)

GCG Thematic

Core Course

SIS-619 Comparative International Defense Policy

Spring (Senior)



SIS-708 Foundations of Global Security

Spring (Senior)

PGSCR Thematic

Core Course


Students must meet the following criteria by the time they apply for the SIS BA/MA program:

  • Completion of at least 75 credit hours is required
    • If you apply with 75-90 credits, you may have up to fifteen (15) credits maximum to share between the two degrees
    • If you apply with 90 or more credits, your sharing opportunity will most likely be limited to six (6) credits
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0

Required Applications Materials

Students must submit the following materials to apply:

  • Online application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Undergraduate transcripts (including current AU transcript)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required. The SIS application fee is waived for BA/MA applicants. Prior to submitting the application, students must have met with the SIS Undergraduate Advising Office to understand the degree/credit requirements and been cleared to apply.

Program Options

The following SIS MA programs are available for the BA/MA combination:

  • Comparative and Regional Studies
  • Development Management
  • Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights
  • Global Environmental Policy
  • Global Governance, Politics, and Security
  • International Affairs Policy and Analysis
  • International Development
  • International Economic Relations
  • International Economic Relations: Quantitative Methods
  • International Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Intercultural and International Communication
  • United States Foreign Policy & National Security

Scholarship Process

BA/MA students will be considered for SIS scholarship before they commence their MA programs from Fall 2023 onward. Students will be contacted in the final semester of their BA for an updated resume, and will then be added to the pool of students for funding consideration. All students, whether awarded funding or not, will be notified.

BA/MA Application Checklist

  1. Fill out BA/MA intake form.
  2. A BA/MA advisor in SIS Undergraduate Academic Advising will reach out to schedule an appointment.
  3. If cleared to apply, complete online application along with supporting documentation.
  4. If admitted, complete the online admissions reply form to accept the offer; BA/MAs do not need to submit the enrollment deposit.
  5. If admitted, jointly meet with a degree advisor in the SIS Office of Graduate Academic Advising and the BA/MA advisor in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

What to do now?

Discuss your interest in the BA/MA program with your first-year advisor.
Discuss your interest in the BA/MA program with your SIS academic advisor. Consider delaying your completion of the SIS thematic area courses. Courses can typically be shared using your Thematic Area courses.
Discuss the BA/MA program with your academic advisor. Follow the BA/MA application checklist to apply after you have completed 75 credits (ideally no more than 90 credits).
After being admitted to the BA/MA program, begin taking shared graduate courses.
Global Scholars
Global Scholars students are eligible to apply with at least two semesters remaining. Note that admission is not guaranteed, and you will be evaluated as any other applicant.
Some graduate courses are available during summer terms. However, summer courses are limited. It is better to plan shared BA/MA classes for fall and spring terms. If one of your two remaining semesters will be a summer semester, it is especially important that you consult with the advising office as soon as you reach 75 credits.

Application Deadlines

February 28
June 1
November 1

Students are recommended to apply by no later than their penultimate semester, i.e. they would have at least two undergraduate semesters remaining after they are admitted to the BA/MA program. This is to allow maximization of shared credits.