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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Master of Arts in International Policy Studies


To receive the M.A. degree in International Policy Studies, students must complete the courses listed below. These requirements entail 4 units of core courses, 24-25 units of policy skills courses, a 10-unit practicum or master's thesis, a 5-unit writing and rhetoric seminar, a 5-unit course in international economics, and a total of six courses at a minimum of 24 units from the concentration curriculum. Only students with two or more years of relevant work experience may petition to write a master's thesis instead of taking the practicum. To obtain the M.A. degree in IPS, students must complete a minimum of 72 units over two years.

Undergraduates at Stanford may apply for admission to the coterminal master's program in IPS when they have earned a minimum of 120 units toward graduation, including AP and transfer credit, and no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree.

Students who have been admitted to Stanford's Law School as well as the IPS program may choose to complete a joint JD/MA in IPS degree. Students interested in pursuing the joint JD/MA in IPS should speak with a program administrator, as degree requirements are tailored to each individual student.

The IPS program has the following prerequisites: ECON 51, 52, and either 102A or POLISCI 150A, and ECON 165 and 166.

Core Courses

  1. IPS 300. Public Policy Colloquium (1 unit)
  2. IPS 201. Managing Global Complexity (3 units)

Policy Skills—

  1. IPS 204B. Cost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluation (4 units)
  2. IPS 205A. Foundations of Statistical Inference (4 units)
  3. IPS 205B. Econometrics (4 units)
  4. IPS 206A. Politics and Collective Action (4 units); or IPS 208. Justice (4 units); or POLISCI 336. Global Justice (5 units)
  5. IPS 206B. Organizations (4 units)
  6. IPS 207A. Judgment and Decision Making (4 units); or IPS 207B. Public Policy and Social Psychology: Implications and Applications (4 units)

Writing and Rhetoric Seminar—One of the following (5 units):

  1. IPS 210. Politics of International Humanitarianism
  2. IPS 211. The Transition from War to Peace: Peacebuilding Strategies
  3. IPS 244. U.S. Policy Toward Northeast Asia
  4. IPS 314S. Decision Making in U.S. Foreign Policy

International Economics—IPS 202. Topics in International Macroeconomics; or IPS 203. Issues in International Economics (5 units)

Practicum or Thesis—IPS 209. Practicum (10 units); or IPS 209A. Master's Thesis

Concentration Curriculum—Students are required to complete a total of six courses at a minimum of 24 units from a list of IPS approved courses within their area of concentration (see list below). A gateway course in the area of concentration must be taken prior to enrolling in subsequent courses. A complete list of the courses in these areas is available on the IPS web site.

- Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law

- Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources

- Global Health

- Global Justice

- International Negotiation and Conflict Management

- International Political Economy

- International Security and Cooperation

Language Requirement—Proficiency in a foreign language is required and may be demonstrated by completion of three years of university-level course work in a foreign language or by passing an oral and written proficiency examination prior to graduation.

Grade Requirements—All courses to be counted toward the degree, except IPS 300, must be taken for a letter grade.

Financial Aid—Limited financial aid is available for graduate students entering the IPS program.


The courses listed below fulfill elective requirements within the various areas of concentration. Not all courses are applicable for every area of concentration. Additional relevant courses may be offered; for updated information, please visit the program office or web site. For course descriptions, see respective department listings.

ANTHRO 109/209. Archaeology: World Cultural Heritage

ANTHRO 277. Environmental Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases (Same as HUMBIO 114)

ANTHRO 336. Anthropology of Rights

ANTHRO 356. The Anthropology of Development

BIO 180/280. Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture (Same as EARTHSYS 280)

BIO 247. Controlling Climate Change in the 21st Century (Same as EARTHSYS 247, HUMBIO 116)

BIOMEDIN 432. Analysis of Costs, Risks, and Benefits of Health Care (Same as MGTECON 332, HRP 392)

CEE 242A. Creating Sustainable Development

CEE 265A. Sustainable Water Resources Development

CEE 265C. Water Resources Management

CEE 265D. Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries

CEE 275A. Law and Science of California Coastal Policy (Same as EARTHSYS 275)

COMM 336G. Democracy, Justice, and Deliberation

COMM 338. Democratic Theory: Normative and Empirical Issues

COMM 344. Democracy, Press, and Public Opinion

ECON 106. World Food Economy

ECON 127. Economics of Health Improvement in Developing Countries (Same as MED 262)

ECON 214. Development Economics I

ECON 216. Development Economics II

ECON 265. International Economics I

ECON 266. International Economics II

GES 253. Petroleum Geology and Exploration

HISTORY 102. The History of the International System

HISTORY 227/327. East European Women and War in the 20th Century

HISTORY 257/347. The Politics and Ethics of Modern Science and Technology (Same as STS 221)

HISTORY 304G. War, Culture, and Society in the Modern Age

HISTORY 326G. Civilians and War in Modern Europe

HISTORY 378A. The Logic of Authoritarian Government, Ancient and Modern

HISTORY 391E. Maps, Borders, and Conflict in East Asia

HRP 207. Introduction to Concepts and Methods in Health Services and Policy Research I

HRP 208. Introduction to Concepts and Methods in Health Services and Policy Research II

HRP 212. Crosscultural Medicine

HRP 231. Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

HUMBIO 122S. Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health (Same as SOC 141A)

HUMBIO 153. Parasites and Pestilence: Infectious Public Health Challenges

INTNLREL 140C. The U.S., U.N. Peacekeeping, and Humanitarian War

LAW 330. International Human Rights

LAW 336. International Jurisprudence

LAW 338. Land Use

LAW 407. International Deal Making: Legal and Business Aspects

LAW 605. International Environmental Law: Climate Change

MED 242. Physicians and Human Rights

MGTECON 331. Political Economy of Health Care in the United States (Same as HRP 391, PUBLPOL 231)

MS&E 243. Energy and Environmental Policy Analysis (Same as IPER 243)

MS&E 248. Economics of Natural Resources

MS&E 294. Climate Policy Analysis

PHIL 176/276. Political Philosophy: The Social Contract Tradition

POLISCI 110B. Strategy, War, and Politics

POLISCI 110D/110Y. War and Peace in American Foreign Policy

POLISCI 113F. The United Nations and Global Governance

POLISCI 116. History of Nuclear Weapons (Same as HISTORY 103E)

POLISCI 134. Democracy and the Communication of Consent (Same as COMM 236)

POLISCI 215. Explaining Ethnic Violence

POLISCI 216E/316. International History and International Relations Theory (Same as HISTORY 202/306E)

POLISCI 218. U.S. Relations in Iran

POLISCI 221. Tolerance and Democracy

POLISCI 223S. The Imperial Temptation: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Unipolar World

POLISCI 231S. Contemporary Theories of Justice

POLISCI 236. Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector

POLISCI 336. Justice (Same as PHIL 271)

POLISCI 348R. Workshop: China Social Science (Same as SOC 368W)

POLISCI 440B. Political Economy of Development (Same as HISTORY 378E)

PSYCH 215. Mind, Culture, and Society

SOC 141/241. Controversies about Inequality

SOC 210. Politics and Society

SOC 218. Social Movements and Collective Action

SOC 240. Introduction to Social Stratification

SOC 247A. Comparative Ethnic Conflict

SOC 314. Economic Sociology

SOC 345. Seminar in Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations

STS 210. Ethics, Science, and Technology

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