Admission Requirements

Welcome to the Penn State School of International Affairs! We offer a rich and extensive curriculum that allows you to pursue a flexible, interdisciplinary Master's degree tailored to your individual career goals. Our current student body comes from a wide array of backgrounds, interests, and disciplines, representing more than twenty different countries from around the world. Some of our students are recent graduates, others are mid-career professionals and others are concurrently pursuing degrees in another of Penn State's top graduate or professional programs.

The program has expanded rapidly since its inaugural class in 2008, but the School strives to maintain a student teacher ratio of 9:1. If your plan is to be a leader in the 21st century in international politics, law, agriculture, business, government, science, or the public sector, we strongly encourage you to apply.

Admission Requirements

The Master of International Affairs (M.I.A.) program requires no specific undergraduate degree or course work. Admission will be based on a review of all submitted materials and spaces will be offered to the best of qualified applicants, taking into account academic achievement, relevant work experience, and other indices of aptitude for advanced study in international affairs.

To be considered for admission to the Master of International Affairs program, all applicants must have:

  • a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or
  • a postsecondary degree equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

The SIA admissions committee considers applications holistically. Thus, we consider GPAs and GRE exams with no pre-determined minimum scores.  You will find the average scores for the most recent incoming cohort below. Above all we look for students who have adequate academic preparation and who are interested in being leaders in the field of international affairs.  Our admissions committee looks at the full profile of the applicant.  We look for students who are well prepared for our program, bring diversity to our student community, and show promise of success.

  Fall 2015


  Average GPA


  Average GRE 
Verbal Percentile


    Average GRE 
Quantitative Percentile


  Average GRE 
Writing Percentile


Applicants interested in the Joint Degree in Law and International Affairs (J.D./M.I.A.) must follow separate admissions procedures; please e-mail for further information.

The School of International Affairs is an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs.