Global MA Frequently Asked Questions

1. This sounds too good to be true. How exactly do the Global MA programs work?
2. I'm intrigued! First, can you tell me more about Webster University?
3. How long have the Global MA programs been in existence?
4. Can I choose the courses I take in the program?
5. What is Professional Seminar? Are site visits included in the program curriculum?
6. How much time do I spend in classes?
7. The Global MA programs sounds exciting but also very stressful with moving around that often. Would it be a good fit for me?
8. Do you have a job placement service?
9. What is the application process?
10. Is work experience required in order to apply?
11. How much does the program cost, and what is included in the cost?
12. Is there a tuition deposit?
13. Is financial aid available?
14. I am an international student. Does Webster provide any scholarships for non-US citizens?
15. How does the field work/internship component work in the GMAINGO program?
16. Do I need a passport or a visa?
17. What if I do not speak the language specific to the country?
18. Would a family member(s) be able to accompany me during the program?
19. May I switch campuses for a particular term once I start the program?
20. If I am accepted, whom do I contact about specific details regarding travel information and living abroad?
21. What is the average age of each cohort?
22. Is there an orientation before or when I arrive?
23. What are the housing accommodations like in each country?
24. What do students do during academic breaks? What are my housing options during breaks?


1. This sounds too good to be true. How exactly do the Global MA programs work?

A: The Global MA in International Nongovernmental Organizations (GMAINGO) and the Global MA in International Relations (GMAIR) programs blend 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. The first cohort of GMAINGO students began the program in August 2013, traveling and learning together for 11 months in the following locations: Bangkok, Thailand; London, England; Leiden, the Netherlands; Geneva, Switzerland; and Washington, D.C. GMAIR students travel in a cohort of 8-12 students and spend an eight-week term in five locations, which can include: Bangkok, Thailand; London, England; Leiden, the Netherlands; Geneva, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; a partner school in Beijing, China; and a partner school in Havana, Cuba. (There is a separate application for those who wish to be in the cohort that incudes Havana.)

Students are able to complete the Global MA programs 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 INGO and 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.

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2. I'm intrigued! First, can you tell me more about Webster University?

A: Absolutely. Founded in 1915, as Loretto College, today Webster University is a regionally accredited, nonprofit private institution based in St. Louis, Missouri, with locations around the world — in metropolitan locations, military installations and online. We offer academic programs for our 22,000+ graduate and undergraduate students worldwide. Because of our network of campuses in the United States and internationally, we are able to offer one-of-a-kind academic programs such as the Global MA in International Relations and the Global MA in International Nongovernmental Organizations programs. Learn more about Webster at http://www.webster.edu/about/.

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3. How long have the Global MA programs been in existence?

A: While Webster University has offered a Master of Arts in International Nongovernmental Organizations since 2008, the GMAINGO program begins with the first cohort of students in August 2013. Webster began offering the Global MA in International Relations, GMAINGO's sister program in August 2006.

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4. Can I choose the courses I take in the program?

A: To finish either Global MA program in 11 months (five 8-week terms), students must fulfill all degree requirements for the major. To ensure that Global MA students complete the degree requirements, and to serve the other INGO and IR students at our campuses, the rotation of courses must be planned carefully. In many cases Global MA students will study together as a cohort in classes that are chosen by the faculty to make sure they meet all degree requirements by the final summer term.

Please see Cohort Route & Course Schedule.

Prospective students can get a general sense of the courses from which the GMAINGO and GMAIR curriculum is selected, by visiting our online Graduate Catalog.

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5. What is Professional Seminar? Are site visits included in the program curriculum?

A: Professional Seminar is a course designed to take students beyond the textbooks and provide a first-hand glance at the practical world of INGOs and international relations. It sets the Global MA programs 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. In addition, all Global MA students will receive a one-year membership to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House, an elite diplomatic forum and study-institute in London. While in London, students are able to attend lectures and receptions featuring influential people from the world of politics, business, NGOs, and academia. 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 INGOs and international relations.

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6. How much time do I spend in classes?

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. The Global MA programs sounds exciting but also very stressful with moving around that often. Would it be a good fit for me?

A: Ultimately, only you can answer that question. But if you are an academically strong student who has 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 graduate program and changing addresses five times, then it is likely you would be a great fit for the Global MA program.

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8. Do you have a job placement service?

A: Like most schools, we do not place students in jobs after graduation. The program does offer wonderful opportunities to make contacts across the globe, whether it is fellow students who will be future colleagues or professionals in the IR and INGO field whom you may meet along the way through Professional Seminar. 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 various governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the UN High Commission of Refugees, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 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).

We do offer career-related assistance through our Career landing and Development Center (CPDC), based in St. Louis. We encourage students to get to know their career counselor as soon as they begin the program. For more information about the CPDC, visit http://www.webster.edu/career-services/.

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9. What is the application process?

A: Detailed information about applying to the program can be found here.

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10. Is work experience required in order to apply?

A: No. Work experience is a great asset to any student, especially in today's economy, and relevant work experience can always help a student bring a unique perspective to classroom discussions. However, work experience is not a requirement for admission. To join the GMAINGO program, please note that there is a prerequisite of an introductory IR course.

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11. How much does the program cost, and what is included in the cost?

A: The Global MA program cost for 2014-15 is $45,800. 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.

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12. Is there a tuition deposit?

A: Yes. 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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13. 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:

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
http://admissions.webster.edu/admissions/finaid/apply.asp

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 available at http://www.webster.edu/financialaid/index.html.

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14. I am an international student. Does Webster provide any scholarships for non-US citizens?

A: Unfortunately, no. While we would be pleased to see international students in the Global MA program, international students are responsible for securing funding for the program.

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15. How does the field work/internship component work in the GMAINGO program?

A: All students in the GMAINGO program will participate in an individualized field work experience as part of their academic program. Working with staff based in Washington, D.C., they will plan an individualized program that combines academic work with an in-depth examination of the workings of a specific INGO. There are two tracks for this experience: the Field Work track and the Internship track. In the Field Work track, students will select a specific DC-based INGO for an in-depth case study and research project. In the Internship track, students will secure an internship in the DC area at either an INGO or an agency or organization that works extensively with INGOs. All Field Work and Internship experiences will follow the guidelines laid out in the GMAINGO Student Handbook and Graduate Catalog. Internships are not guaranteed as part of the program; while we provide resources to aid you in securing an internship, the responsibility to find one is that of each individual student.

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16. Do I need a passport or a visa?

A: 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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17. What if I do not speak the language specific to the country?

A: Not a problem. The main language at all Webster University international campuses is English. All classes are taught in English, and the staff is bilingual in English and the host language to help you. At select campuses, informal language courses are available to assist you in engaging your local environment. While we do not require you to speak the language of your host country, we always encourage you to acquire basic knowledge before your departure. This basic knowledge will be helpful to you when you are off campus and spending time in locations where the host language is the predominant language spoken.

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18. Would a family member(s) be able to accompany me during the program?

A: Webster University can provide housing arrangements only for admitted students.

Therefore, students bringing friends or family members are responsible for separate housing accommodations and all related costs for those individuals. Because a cohort experience enables students to offer mutual academic and social support to one another, we do not encourage students in this program to live apart from the rest of their cohort. Also, housing is included in the overall program cost, and the cost cannot be adjusted if students choose to live with family members.

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19. May I switch campuses for a particular term once I start the program?

A: No. The Global MA programs are cohort programs with a defined order of campuses and courses structured to ensure that all degree requirements are met within five terms. Students must follow the order of the campuses and courses for the assigned cohort.

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20. If I am accepted, whom do I contact about specific details regarding travel information and living abroad?

A: In late Spring, students who have confirmed their seat in the program by submitting an initial deposit will receive detailed program information about preparation and travel tips in the Global MA Student Handbook.

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21. What is the average age of each cohort?

A: The average age of our cohorts is 24-25 years old.

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22. Is there an orientation before or when I arrive?

A: 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. Orientation for GMAINGO students has taken place in Bangkok. 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.

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23. What are the housing accommodations like in each country?

A: Students will live in a variety of student housing depending on the country. Each campus has several on-campus and off-campus housing options. Accommodations will be arranged 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.

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24. What do students do during academic breaks? What are my housing options during breaks?

A: Students do a variety of things over break. Some will 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. It just takes some research.

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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Contact:

Office of Admission
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119
1-800-753-6765
gadmit@webster.edu

Find out more about Webster's Global MA programs