American Foreign Policy

Program Activities
Cross-Listed Courses
Events Calendar

The American Foreign Policy Program prepares students to understand the history (particularly from the Spanish-American War to the present), culture (ideas, premises and perspectives), process and politics of America’s foreign relations and contemporary issues of American foreign policy.

Capitol Hill Trek 2016. April 8, 2016
Conversation with Thomas L. Friedman (10/15/2015)
GPP Residency Program 2015
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Program Activities


Faculty Book Panel Discussions

The American Foreign Policy Program regularly sponsors discussions of recently published books written by faculty.


Research Opportunities

Small stipends are available for AFP-related research, at the director's discretion.


Domestic Study Visits

The American Foreign Policy Program sponsors annual visits to the US Congress and the US Department of State.


International Study Trips

The American Foreign Policy Program offers its students the opportunity to take part in international study trips, contingent on available funding. In academic years 2010-11, AFP sent students on a study trip to China.



American Foreign Policy | MA Requirements

American Foreign Policy Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2017-2018

MA students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 courses (48 credits) or 14 courses (56 credits) as approved by Academic Affairs.



MA students concentrating in American Foreign Policy (AFP) must take at least 5 courses within this program. One of the five can include the core course SA.100.720 American Foreign Policy Since World War II, if taken for credit. Students may also count the spring two-credit course SA.200.767 International Crisis Diplomacy as one of the 5 courses.



Students must complete 16 credits. The four required courses are:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent: Microeconomics)
  • International Trade Theory (prerequisite: Microeconomics)
  • International Monetary Theory (prerequisite: Macroeconomics)

If a student passes a waiver exam in one of these areas, the student must take a replacement International Economics program course(s) to fulfill the concentration requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term will have the concentration reduced to 12 credits, but still must complete Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory (or a replacement course(s) if waiver exam(s) passed). The Pre-Term Microeconomics course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.

Beyond the requirements, many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

Concentration GPA Requirement
Students must achieve a combined GPA of at least 2.67 in four (or three if Microeconomics is passed in Pre-Term) required International Economics program courses or they must retake the course(s) until a 2.67 concentration GPA is achieved. In the standard case, the concentration GPA will be the average of the grades of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory.

If one or more of the four standard courses is waived, the school will use the highest grade(s) from any eligible replacement International Economics program course(s) to compute the International Economics concentration GPA.



Students must complete one course from the list below.

  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
  • Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
  • Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Risk Analysis and Modeling
  • Quantitative Global Economics (prerequisite International Monetary Theory)
  • Credit Markets & Credit Risk (prerequisite Corporate Finance)

Students may not double-count the same course toward the Quantitative Reasoning requirement and as an International Economics concentration course and vice-versa.

If a student passes the statistics waiver exam, the student must take an alternate course from the list above to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Statistical Methods for Business & Economics in Pre-Term will have fulfilled the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. The Pre-Term course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.



All students must pass 2 core courses and/or exams from the subjects below. American Foreign Policy concentrators must pass American Foreign Policy Since World War II as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the core courses/exams are not completed by the start of the final semester, the student no longer has the option of completing the exam and must enroll in the core course(s) for credit.

  • American Foreign Policy Since World War II
  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International Systems
  • Theories of International Relations


MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in a second language. This language must be offered at the school. Students whose native language is not English may use English as their proficiency language. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering the school, even if not using English for proficiency.



American Foreign Policy concentrators must produce a major research paper on an AFP subject. This must be approved by the director or acting associate director of the American Foreign Policy Program. This requirement is fulfilled by ONE of the following:

  • Successful completion of the course SA.200.762 Case Studies in US Foreign Policy  [offered in Bologna]
  • A paper produced through significant research in a regular course or through supervised independent research. Students who successfully complete either SA.200.700 Congress & Foreign Policy OR SA.200.701 Conduct of Foreign Policy and who choose the paper option, will meet this requirement. All papers must be at minimum 20-25 pages (5,000-6000 words) exclusive of notes, bibliography, illustrations, summary or abstract. Papers written for other courses may need to be revised in order to meet the capstone requirement.


Entering Class 2016-2017
Entering Class 2015-2016
Entering Class 2014-2015
Entering Class 2013-2014
Entering Class 2012-2013
Entering Class 2011-2012
Entering Class 2010-2011
Entering Class 2009-2010


American Foreign Policy Minor Requirements:

  • 3 American Foreign Policy or (cross-listed) courses, which can include the core course SA.100.720American Foreign Policy Since World War II and/or the two-credit course SA.200.767 International Crisis Diplomacy. 
  • Passing the core examAmerican Foreign Policy Since WWIIif not taken as one of the three AFP minor courses, is highly recommended

General Minor Requirements:

  • MA students may pursue an optional minor in a policy or regional program. A student cannot pursue a minor in General IR or International Economics, but can pursue a Specialization in International Economics
  • A student can have only one minor and can declare a minor at any time prior to graduation.
  • Students do not receive bidding priority for a minor.
  • All minors require three courses. Some minors require a specific course(s) and/or language proficiency.
  • A student may use a maximum of one applicable cross-listed course (4 credits) toward both a minor AND concentration requirements. In the IR or Asia concentrations, the cross-listed course must be from the primary concentration area and not from the 2 additional required courses in the other IR or Asia areas.

To add or change a minor, please click HERE.

Cross-Listed Courses

SA.200.700 (01)                 Congress & Foreign Policy
SA.200.700 (02)                 Congress & Foreign Policy
SA.200.706 (01)                 Values, Interests, and the Crafting of American Foreign Policy
SA.200.738 (01)                 Kissinger Seminar: History, Strategy, and American Statecraft
SA.600.738 (01)                 Psychology and Decision-Making in Foreign Policy
SA.660.740 (01)                 Strategy and Policy
SA.660.742 (01)                 American Grand Strategy: 1945 to the Present
SA.660.789 (01)                 The War with Al-Qa'ida and ISIS
SA.660.816 (01)                 Seminar in Crisis Simulation
SA.810.721 (01)                 Waging the Cold War in Latin America: US Regional Security Policy from WWII to the End of the Soviet Union
SA.810.722 (01)                 Drugs, Walls and Aging Guerillas: Seminar on Current U.S.-Latin American Relations
SA.200.701 (01)                 Conduct of Foreign Policy
SA.200.701 (02)                 Conduct of Foreign Policy
SA.200.716 (01)                 Road to Empire: The United States from Independence to World War II
SA.200.734 (01)                 Kissinger Seminar: Contemporary Issues in American Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy
SA.650.752 (01)                 United Nations and International Security
SA.650.765 (01)                 U.S. Constitutional Law and the International System
SA.660.701 (01)                 American Defense Policy
SA.660.740 (01)                 Strategy and Policy
SA.660.765 (01)                 The First Nuclear Era: Strategy, Force Structure, Nuclear Crises: 1945-1998
SA.660.779 (01)                 Am Intelligence: Role Practice and Impact
SA.660.779 (02)                 Am Intelligence: Role Practice and Impact
SA.680.759 (01)                 Facing the Oil Problem: The United States, Canada, OPEC and the World
SA.710.920 (01)                 Allies at War
SA.750.717 (01)                 U.S.-China Relations
SA.760.749 (01)                 US-Japan Relations in Global Context


Contact Us

Charles Stevenson
Acting Associate Director
Nitze 513

Starr Lee
Program Coordinator
Nitze 509

Address & Phone

American Foreign Policy
Nitze Building
1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC