Global Master of Arts Program: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the Global MA program work?
2. Am I a good fit for this program?
3. Why Webster University?
4. What courses are offered in the Global MA of International Relations program?
5. What makes the Professional Seminar courses in the Global MA program so valuable?
6. How much class time is there each week?
7. What are the living accommodations and are there breaks throughout the year?
8. Are there career planning and development services?
9. How much does the Global MA program cost?
10. Is Financial Aid Available?
11. Are there scholarships available for U.S. and International students?
12. What professional careers do alumni of the program have?

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1. How does the Global MA program work?

A: Webster began offering this innovative program in August of 2006. The Global MA in International Relations (GMAIR) program blends theory and practice, as students learn about international relations and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) while being immersed in five different countries at Webster University extended sites.

Global MA students follow a pre-determined order of campuses, spending eight weeks each in five different locations. Students travel in a cohort of 8-12 students grouped according to their certificate track and spend an eight-week term in five locations, which can include: Accra, Ghana; Athens, Greece; Geneva, Switzerland; Havana, Cuba; Leiden, the Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Bangkok, Thailand; Beijing, China; Washington DC, USA.

Students are able to complete the Global MA program in just 11 months because of the full-time, accelerated nature of the course offerings and program structure. At most extended campuses, Webster's GMA students are integrated in each classroom with local Webster University IR students and are taught by faculty who are experts in the field. The GMA combines traditional classroom courses with a professional seminar component, where students engage the classroom material through site visits to international organizations.

Student Orientation

Prior to departure, all students will receive the Global MA Student Handbook, which contains dates, important arrival information and other pre-departure details. All GMA students will travel to a designated Webster campus for a mandatory group orientation in August, just prior to the start of the academic year. In the past, orientation for the Global MA in International Relations, has taken place at our campus in Leiden. The orientation is designed specifically for the GMA program. Students will meet with all members of their GMA class and other important Webster staff who will assist them throughout the year. While attending the program orientation, accommodations will be provided. After the group orientation, students will travel to the location of their first term.

In addition, upon your arrival at each of the Webster University international campuses, students have an orientation designed to orient them to that campus, campus policies, library, country and coursework to be taken. Students are expected to arrive at their respective campus each term in time for the campus orientation and should arrange travel around the recommended arrival dates provided in the Global MA Student Handbook. This handbook will be available in the spring.

Passport and Visa Logistics

All students must hold a valid passport from their respective country of citizenship. If you currently hold a passport, please ensure that it will not expire while you are abroad. To apply for a U.S. passport, visit any Post Office, or visit www.state.gov for detailed instructions and time frames. Allow at least 3 months for processing.

You may be required to obtain a student visa or residency permit for the countries visited during the program. Once admitted, Webster University will work to provide you with information that may help you determine what visas will be necessary, but ultimately all students are responsible for procuring the proper visas to ensure compliance with immigration laws. You can visit the countries' embassy websites for more information.

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2. Am I a good fit for this program?

A: This program is excellent for academically strong students who have a passion for international relations and/or possibly working for an INGO in the future; love to travel, experience new cultures and meet interesting people; are flexible, especially with change and a bit of ambiguity; self-disciplined; work well in groups (since you'll be traveling in a cohort of 8-12 students); and have healthy ways to manage the inevitable stress of a rigorous global graduate program.

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3. Why Webster University?

A: Global. Action Oriented. Academically Excellent

With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with more than 17,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

Distinctive learning

  • Global feature in academic programs. Globalized curriculum is our distinctive hallmark
  • Academic programs engage your mind and stimulate your understanding beyond your home country and culture
  • Every student experiences a global learning component
  • Every student is exposed to a worldwide network of fellow students who live, work and study around the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia
  • Learn in class today and apply it in real life tomorrow

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4. What courses are offered in the Global MA of International Relations program?

A: Courses vary depending on the graduate certificate you would like to earn in conjunction with your degree.   We offer four different Graduate Certificates:

Please visit the Cohort Route & Course Schedule. Or you can visit the online Graduate Catalog, which lists the Global MA in IR curriculum.

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5. What makes the Professional Seminar courses in the Global MA program so valuable?

A: Professional Seminar is a course designed to take students beyond the textbooks and provide a first-hand glance at the practical world of international relations. It sets the Global MA program apart from most other graduate programs at Webster! As part of the Professional Seminar course, taken during the first four terms of the program, students will have many opportunities to visit various international institutions and organizations. Global MA students have visited the United Nations, OPEC, the EU Parliament, NATO, the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The basic structure of the Professional Seminar course includes regular class meetings, visits, and occasional guest lectures; but the content of the course and the format for site visits vary from campus to campus. The Professional Seminar will help students connect their on-going in-class studies to the "real world" of international relations.

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6. How much class time is there each week?

A: Global MA students spend approximately 10 hours per week in class. In each of the first four 8-week terms of the program, students are enrolled in two 3-credit-hour graduate courses and one 1.5-credit-hour Professional Seminar course. In the final summer term (the fifth 8-week session), students are enrolled in two 3-credit-hour courses, including the capstone course. There is no Professional Seminar the final term.

Each 3-credit-hour course meets four hours per week for eight weeks. Many times, the courses are held once a week in the evening, although at certain locations, classes may be held during the day. There is also a daytime schedule for Professional Seminar courses, which varies from campus to campus. Professional Seminar enables students to learn outside of the classroom and engage in the field through various site visits, which will be organized and scheduled by the instructor at each individual campus.

In addition, Global MA students can expect approximately 20-30 hours of coursework a week outside of class time for completing readings and other assignments.

Of course, a program like this provides students with wonderful opportunities for experiencing cultures and, thus, it is important for students to spend time outside of the library or classroom. There should be time for some travel in the region and time to enjoy the distinct social and cultural features of each city. However, a respected graduate program does require discipline on the part of students, so appropriate budgeting of time is imperative.

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7. What are the living accommodations and are there breaks throughout the year?

A: For living accommodations in each study location, Students will reside in a variety of student housing depending on the country. Each campus has several on-campus and off-campus housing options. Accommodations are arranged for students by Webster staff on-site at each location. While we cannot guarantee identical housing for all students, there are certain standards and requirements for Global MA student housing. At all campuses, students will have single accommodations (or at least their own room), Internet access, and access to laundry and kitchen facilities. In addition, all housing will be located within walking distance or with access to public transportation routes, for travel to and from each campus.

There are several student breaks throughout the academic year, where students will take the opportunity to do a variety of things. Some travel back to the U.S., especially during the winter break, to visit family and friends; others take the opportunity to travel and explore new cities and sites. When traveling some students travel alone, but many either travel with fellow Global students or with family and friends who might come to visit. There are many cost effective ways to travel, such as traveling on discount airlines in Europe, taking advantage of the extensive train systems in Europe and Asia, and staying in hostels.

Since housing between academic terms is not covered in the program cost, students are encouraged to research housing options that suit their individual needs during breaks. Breaks in between each 8-week term include one break in the fall, winter, spring and summer. Academic breaks are usually one week long, except for winter break (late Dec - early Jan), which is about three weeks.

To alleviate the inconveniences of overweight baggage charges and traveling with heavy luggage during breaks, many students choose to ship some of their belongings to the next campus, whether by using the local post or FedEx in each location.

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8. Are there career planning and development services?

A: Yes! Webster offers a full-range of personalized services to Global MA students throughout the program, helping them to prepare for their professional lives. These services include one-on-one career counseling, as well as, online seminars with career planning specialists at the Webster University Career Planning & Development Center, which are designed specifically for Global program students. The Webster Mentoring Program is also available to Global MA students who wish to get connected to a mentor who can offer real-world advice and guidance. 

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9. How much does the Global MA program cost?

A: The Global MA program cost for 2016-17 is $48,600. The cost covers tuition (36 graduate credit hours), housing during each 8-week academic term (single occupancy), Professional Seminar expenses, textbooks, on-site orientation, a mandatory study abroad fee that includes health insurance, an International Student ID card, a guide book for each country, and other pertinent pre-departure materials. Webster University requires emergency international health insurance coverage, which is provided through HTH Worldwide. This coverage is mandatory for all participants in the program, and is arranged through the Office of Study Abroad.

The total program cost will be divided equally over five terms and billed at three points throughout the year for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

Students are responsible for all airfare, visa fees, travel expenses throughout the program, housing between academic terms, food, personal expenses, which can vary dramatically based on a student's personal preferences and comfort levels. As a rough guide, Global MA students can plan to spend on average $20,000 to $25,000 throughout the year for these expenses.

There is an initial program deposit.  The total amount required for the deposit is $2100. (Note: The deposit is part of the overall program cost, not an addition to it, and is later applied to the student's tuition bill.) Admitted students must submit a $500 partial deposit to the Office of Admission by April 1 to secure their place in the fall cohort. Students will receive a reminder notice for the remaining $1600, which will be due by May 15. (Please note: We will still accept the initial deposit after April 1. Accepted students must let us know their intentions to join the fall cohort by submitting the entire deposit by May 15.) Please note that the program does have a maximum number of students and could fill prior to the April 1 deadline. The only way to secure a spot is by submitting a deposit.

The initial and final deposits are non-refundable after May 1.

 Accepted students can make checks or money orders payable to Webster University and mail to: 

Webster University
Office of Admission
Re: Global MA Program
470 East Lockwood Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119-3141

 We can also accept your deposit online

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10. Is Financial Aid Available?

A: Yes! Students should apply for financial aid after January 1, and after they have been accepted. Students must complete both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Webster University Graduate Financial Aid form, which can be found at the following links:

Financial assistance from Webster University is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are degree-seeking students at Webster. Webster students retain all federal, state and institutional financial aid while overseas. Currently graduate students are eligible for a maximum of $20,500 in federal loans each academic year. Most Global MA students also apply for Graduate PLUS loans to help finance the full cost of the program. Students who qualify for the maximum amount for both federal and GradPLUS loans have most, if not all, they need to finance the program.

Webster undergraduate students, who qualify for the Grad to Grad Program, may use their scholarship towards this program. For further information regarding this program, please contact Graduate Admissions. We highly encourage students to seek opportunities for outside sources of funding by creating a student profile on www.fastweb.com.

For additional questions or to schedule an appointment with your financial aid counselor, contact the Financial Aid Office at 314-968-6992 or 1-800-983-4623. Comprehensive financial aid information is also available at the Financial Aid Office.

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11. Are there scholarships available for U.S. and International students?

A: Yes! The Global MA in International Relations (GMAIR) program awards $15,000 Westphalia Scholarships and $10,000 Global MA Scholarships to the most qualified admitted students.

These scholarships are awarded based on the applicant’s merit and financial need. A minimum 3.2 GPA from an applicant’s undergraduate institution is required for review. The applicant’s full admission file and federal Student Aid Report (SAR) are reviewed as part of the award process
.

Domestic (U.S.) applicants: All domestic students admitted to the Global MA program who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming academic year are automatically considered for Global MA Scholarships.  Applicants who complete their admission file and FAFSA by March 1st are given priority consideration and will be notified of the decision by the third week of March.  Applicants who complete their file and/or FAFSA after March 1st will receive notification approximately two to three weeks after completing their file, as funds remain available.

 Note: Webster University’s FAFSA school code is 002521.

International (non-U.S.) applicants: All international students admitted to the Global MA program who submit the International Student Financial Assessment Form are automatically considered for Global MA Scholarships. Applicants who complete their admission file and file the ISFAF by March 1st are given priority consideration and will be notified of the decision by the third week of March.  Applicants who complete their file and/or ISFAF after March 1st will receive notification approximately two to three weeks after completing their file, as funds remain available.

 Download the International Student Financial Assessment form here.

Please contact Sarah Nandor (nandor@webster.edu, 314-246-7109 or 1-800-753-6765) with questions about scholarships. 

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12. What professional careers do alumni of the program have?

A: The skills, experiences and contacts you develop in the program will make you an excellent candidate for INGO, government, humanitarian, and non-profit positions, to name a few. Of course, it is up to you to take advantage of your surroundings and make the most of these opportunities.

Many of our graduates from the Global MA in International Relations have had success stories, including internships at the U.S. Department of State, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; and jobs with a wide variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the UN High Commission of Refugees, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the United Nations Environment Program, Chemonics International Inc. (a development consulting firm), and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

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