8 Best Colleges for Masters in International Relations

Masters in International Relations: International Relations is an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on the history, politics, international law, economics, wars, current affairs, diplomacy, institutions and so on that have played, and still play, an important role in shaping the relations between various countries. It is a relatively new and evolving field of study and consists of a diverse range of sub-fields of specialisation. 

Best Colleges for Masters in International Relations

The course of Masters in International Relations is research intensive where a student is required to do data analysis, critical thinking, communication, brainstorming and so on. It is intellectually rewarding and may result in a student developing deep interests in it. It also provides a diverse range of careers, including Professorship and opportunities to work directly with top government officials.

Many Indian and foreign universities and colleges provide master’s and Ph.D. courses in International Relations. In India, both Private and Public Universities provide such courses. In India, Master in International Relations courses are provided as Master of Arts (M.A.), as opposed to Master of Science(M.Sc.) in a few foreign countries. In this article, we provide you with a list of the best colleges in India that provide Courses in Masters in International Relations. 

List of Colleges for Masters in International Relations

1) Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi

Jawaharlal Nehru University is the oldest University that provides courses in Masters in International Relations. The school that deals with such courses is the School of International Studies (SIS). Founded in 1955 by stalwarts such as Pandit H.N. Kunzru, Prof. A.Appadorai and Prof M.S. Rajan as the Indian School of International Studies (ISIS), it was the first institution in the country to teach International Relations. Associated with the Indian Council of World Affairs, the school was first affiliated to the University of Delhi. However, it became a deemed University in 1961. Initially based in Sapru House, New Delhi, the school moved to JNU in 1970. 

School of International Studies offers two courses in Masters in International Relations:  

  1. M.A. in Politics with Specialization in International Studies (PISM)
  2. M.A. in International Relations and Area Studies (IRAM)

What is the difference between the two?

Here are the differences between the two courses in Masters in International Relations

Number of Intakes11550
Focuses onInternational Political TheoryInternational PoliticsInternational OrganizationsComparative PoliticsArea Studies

How to Apply?

Jawaharlal Nehru University admits students in Masters programs through the Common University Entrance Test (CUET). Thus, to get into any of the above two courses in Masters in International Relations, you need to apply for CUET and get good enough marks to qualify for JNU. The cutoff for both programs varies from year to year. 

There are quite a lot of perks in studying at JNU. First, the tuition fee is low. Second, the campus provides you with a rich experience with people coming from divers

2) South Asian University (SAU), Delhi

Despite being relatively new, the South Asian University has made a name for itself in various fields of study, especially International Relations. Proposed by the then Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh at the 13th SAARC Summit (2005) in Dhaka as an International University for the eight SAARC members, the university came into existence in 2010 when it admitted its first batch of students. 

Earlier based out of Akbar Bhawan, Chanakyapuri, the University shifted to its permanent campus in 2022 in Maidan Garhi, South Delhi. The University provides courses in Doctorate and two-year Masters in International Relations. 

Intake: The South Asian University takes only 30 students each year in its Masters in International Relations programme. Among the 30 seats. 15 are reserved for Indian students and the rest are reserved for students from other SAARC countries. Each year, SAU conducts its entrance test for admission into Masters in International Relations. The question paper consists of 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) that are designed in a way to test the applicant’s understanding of basic concepts of the subject. The duration of the entrance test is 2 hours and there is no negative marking.

South Asian University also provides tuition fee waivers, hostel fee waivers, and scholarships consisting of a monthly stipend of Rs. 5000/- to students with limited means. Students who have completed their 12 years of schooling and have completed their graduation (minimum 3 years) are eligible to apply.

Studying Masters in International Relations at South Asian University provides a unique opportunity for students. It not only exposes them to the best faculties and minds in IR in the country but also provides diversity unmatched by any other college. Fellow students from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan give whole new perspectives on various incidents, theories, ideologies and so on that challenge our own conceptions about many things.

Diversity is the biggest USP of South Asian University. It is also the reason why the university came into existence in the first place. 

3) Jadavpur University

Established in 1955, Jadavpur University is a renowned university and one of the best universities in India for Arts and pure Sciences. Located in Kolkata, West Bengal, the University is a pioneer institute focusing on academics and research. It was originally established as Bengal Technical Institute in 1905, but was made a University and named after the neighbourhood in which it is located: Jadavpur. It is also special because it has achieved such academic excellence despite not being a Central University.

Jadavpur University’s Department of International Relations is one of the oldest in India that has a programme on Masters in International Relations. It also has a programme for B.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations. The department encourages research in a variety of fields, including human rights, environmental concerns, gender in international relations, bilateral relations of nations, foreign policy of India, issues of ethnicity, society, and the role of the military in South Asia, as well as internal and external security of India and South Asia. 

The Department of International Relations provides high-quality education in the field. It has a collection of around 30000 and subscribes to 56 reputed national and international journals. The department currently has 19 faculty members.

4) Pondicherry University, Pondicherry (Puducherry)

Pondicherry University is a central university established in 1985 by an act of the Parliament. It offers courses in a variety of fields and sub-fields in arts, sciences, management, commerce, technology, etc. 

The programme for Masters in International Relations that Pondicherry University provides is an M.A. in Politics and International Relations which comes under the Department of Politics and International Studies. In the programme, the students are taught about the evolution of the state system, theories of international relations, and significant developments in the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries in International relations and world history. Students are also taught about the prevailing perceptions of IR. The program’s overarching goal is to prepare students for employment in fields like foreign policy analysis, international organisations, and international relations.

Pursuing a Masters in International Relations from Pondicherry University provides a unique and enriching experience. The students are provided with numerous opportunities to interact with many distinguished Indian and foreign scholars and practitioners through seminars, conferences, and workshops. Being a central university, the library of the university is one of a kind. Also, the department encourages its students pursuing masters in international relations to publish scholarly papers in reputed journals such as the International Journal of South Asian Studies.

Apart from masters in international relations, the department has programmes for an M.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies (Full-time and part-time). The admission to Masters in International Relations at Pondicherry University is based on CUET.

5) University of Mumbai

One of the oldest Universities in India, the University of Mumbai holds a special place in the consciousness of India. The University was established in 1857 by the British and was modelled on the lines of the University of London. It has produced a plethora of people of national importance such as Homi Bhabha, M.C. Chagla, B.R. Ambedkar and M.N. Srinivas to name a few.

The School of International Relations and Strategic Studies (SIRSS) was established in 2021 and was inaugurated by General Manoj Mukund Narvane, Chief of Army Staff of India. The school provides a programme for Masters in International Relations in the form of an M.A.(Hons) in International Relations and Strategic Studies. In addition to that, it also provides a Post Graduate Diploma Course in International Relations and Strategic Studies.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a graduate in any field. The annual fee is Rs. 46,171/-. Though the University is quite old, the school is relatively new. Hence, it is advised to be diligent while choosing this institute.

6) Jamia Millia Islamia

Jamia Millia Islamia is a central university that has a rich history and a significant place in the Indian struggle for Independence. It was set up by stalwarts like Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The University is renowned for its academic excellence and focus on research, especially in social sciences and humanities. It was made a deemed university in 1962 by the University Grants Commission. 

Jamia Millia Islamia provides Masters in International Relations in the form of M.A. Politics (International and Area Studies). It is a standard two-year course and has a total of 40 seats. Apart from this, the college provides other programmes in Masters in International Relations as well: M.A. (International Studies -Arab-Islamic Culture) and M.A.(International Relations-West Asian Studies). While the theories taught in the course remain the same, the area of study remains confined to the Islamic world in these two courses. 

Pursuing Masters in International Relations from JMI provides you with a unique cultural perspective on politics and international relations. Also, the campus is lovely and well-kept, with an additional perk being situated in the heart of Delhi. The organisation of the classes is conventional. The library is quite practical and well-run. 

7) Christ University

Established in 1968, Christ University, Bangalore is one of the top private universities in India which has made a name for itself in various fields of studies ranging from Management, Arts, Sciences, Business, Commerce and so on. Though it is mostly known for the affordable courses in Management, it is much more than that. 

Christ University provides a Masters in International Relations. The number of intakes is not fixed and depends upon the number of applicants. Also, the University does not conduct an entrance examination for its MA in International Relations. The Candidates have to just send an application and it is up to the University to decide the further process.

8) Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE)

Founded as Manipal Engineering College in 1957, and inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Mysore State S. Nijalingappa, the institute has built a formidable reputation for itself since its foundation. The institution provides an extensive selection of undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programmes in subjects like communication, engineering, business, humanities, health sciences, and more.

The Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) offers a programme in Masters in International Relations in the form of an MA in Geopolitics and International Relations. As the name suggests, the course focuses equally on geopolitics and international relations. This is what precisely differentiates its course from other courses in Masters in International Relations in which Students gain a comprehensive awareness of the current discussion of international security, along with giving students a deep understanding of numerous global concerns as well as analytical and critical thinking abilities.

Apart from the immensely enriching classroom experience, the department also conducts special conferences, seminars and talks by eminent personalities in the realm. For instance, it launched the EU-India Think Tanks Twinning Initiative 2019, in association with the University of Warsaw, and supported by the EU that connects research institutions in Europe and India. This, along with the reputation of the college, makes the experience of a student special and distinct.

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