Accelerate Your Global Career Combine your BA with an SIS MA degree

The Combined BA/MA program is an opportunity for advanced AU undergraduate students to begin a professional master’s degree program in international affairs while completing your bachelor’s degree. By taking shared courses that count towards the requirements of both degrees, our BA/MA option can open doors to more advanced careers more quickly,  saving you time and money.

Potential Benefits

  • Save upwards of $22,000 in tuition costs by sharing credits between the two degrees. But there are credit limits, so please talk to your academic advisor early.
  • Reduce the overall time required to earn both degrees.
  • Obtain a competitive edge in the job market.
  • Earn an advanced degree from a top 10-ranked, DC-based professional school of international affairs.
  • Enjoy unique curricular flexibility so you can work or intern in DC while completing your graduate training.

Program Details

  • 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.
  • Interested students should meet with their academic advisor and are encouraged to meet with a career advisor.

Example of Credit Sharing

Example of an SIS undergraduate student combining a master’s degree in Global Governance, Politics & Security.

Example of an SIS undergraduate student combining a master’s degree in Global Governance, Politics & Security.
Graduate Course Semester Application in BA Application in MA

SIS-619 Statebuilding

Fall (Senior)

GCG Thematic


SIS-707 History of Global Politics

Fall (Senior)

GCG Thematic

Core Course

SIS-681 Intelligence & Foreign Policy

Spring (Senior)



SIS-708 Foundations of Global Security

Spring (Senior)

PGSCR Thematic

Core Course


Admission to the combined BA/MA program requires completion of 75 credit hours. Interested students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor earlier to discuss academic plan. SIS also welcomes applications from non-SIS AU undergraduate students seeking a career in the field of international affairs. Non-SIS students should meet with the advisor as early as possible to discuss credit-sharing opportunities.

Program Options

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

Scholarship Process

BA/MA students will be considered for the Double Eagle Scholarship in support of their enrollment in a fully residential MA program at SIS. BA/MA students will receive a guaranteed 30% tuition discount towards their MA, inclusive of any credit-sharing. There is no further action needed and students will be notified of their final graduate funding decision the semester before they start their master’s degree.

BA/MA Application Checklist

  1. Meet with your undergraduate advisor to learn more about the BA/MA program (please note that this is not required for you to submit an application).
  2. Complete online graduate application by submitting the following documents (more details):
    • Online application form
    • Resume
    • Personal Statement
    • Two recommendation letters
    • Official undergraduate transcript(s) (including AU transcript)
  3. If admitted, complete the online admissions reply form to accept the offer; BA/MAs do not need to submit the enrollment deposit.
  4. After admission, you will jointly meet with a degree advisor in the SIS Office of Graduate Academic Advising and the BA/MA advisor in Undergraduate Academic Advising.
  5. At any time during your BA/MA planning process, if you would like to know more about the number of credits you can share between your BA and your MA, please consult with your 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.

Priority Deadlines

February 15
October 1

Students are strongly encouraged to complete their application by the priority deadline to be eligible for priority registration. Applications are otherwise accepted all year round, on a rolling basis.

Students are recommended to apply when they would have at least two undergraduate semesters remaining after their admission to the BA/MA program to allow maximization of shared credits.


Contact the SIS Graduate Admissions Office at or 202-885-1646.

Bringing International Expertise to Journalism

Ayman Mohyeldin, SIS/BA '00, MA '01

The role of journalism is to offer transparency into how our society's governed.

If you come into journalism, I think you have added value if you bring expertise in, let’s say, Latin America or international relations or business....You can come into American University, study international relations, live abroad, learn a foreign language, and because you did that, you have something very unique to offer as a reporter. Learn more about Mohyeldin's experience as a journalist.