1. Specializations
  2. Co-op Program
  3. Credit Requirements
  4. In-Program Second Language Proficiency Test
  5. PhD Fast-track Option

NPSIA students receive comprehensive, interdisciplinary, high-quality instruction and training in their chosen specialization of international affairs.  Our programs develop a strong foundation in policy formulation, policy research methods, and economics.

We focus on practical knowledge and skill development that complement theoretical instruction through the regular use of research assignments, case studies and simulations, mediation exercises, the preparation of  policy papers, and project evaluation activities.

Recognizing that the ability to communicate is essential to international affairs, all students must be able to function in a second major international language by the completion of their degree.

The NPSIA MA program is interdisciplinary, reflecting the philosophy that exposure to a range of disciplines is necessary to develop an understanding of our complex global environment.


*NEW* Specialization in Cyber Security

Specialization in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Specialization in Data Science

Specialization in African Studies

Co-op Program

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, in conjunction with Carleton University’s Co-op Office, offers a co-op option to full-time students in the MA program. 

Students undertaking a co-op work term will be considered full-time for the duration of the term in which they are completing a co-op work term.  A student may take only 1 course (0.5 credit) in the evening, while participating on a co-op work term, and will pay full-time student fees.

Students must request a change of status if they wish to be changed to part-time status for the duration of their co-op work term. Please note that students who are funded will not receive funding if their status is changed to part-time. A student may take only 1 course (0.5 credit) in the evening, while participating on a co-op work term, and will pay part-time student fees.

In order to graduate with a co-op designation on their transcripts, students must successfully complete two co-op work terms. The two work terms may be taken successively or be separated by one or more study terms. A co-op work term may be undertaken during any of the co-op cycles (January, May or September).

Students participating in the Co-op option must complete all co-op work terms prior to completing their full program requirements.  Students must complete their program on an academic term, and not on a co-op term.

For further information on NPSIA’s Co-op program, please visit the Graduate Student section of Carleton’s Co-op website.

Outreach Activities:

NPSIA continues to pursues co-operative endeavours with other Canadian institutions as well as international bodies in the field of international affairs. For example, NPSIA has co-sponsored a Canada- Malaysia Conference along with the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Committee of the Pacific Basin Economic Council, and the Malaysian Institute for Strategic International Studies.

Credit Requirements

The program requirements for the M.A. program are completion of 5.0 credits. Students will complete the 5.0 credit program by Course Work Option, Research Essay Option or Thesis Option. All three options will allow students to complete one or more co-op terms and/or complete an international exchange. For further details, please speak to the MA Graduate Administrator.


  1. Students who wish to obtain the Field designation are required to complete 1.5 credits of field courses and their required economics field course if they choose the coursework option. For students in the IEP field both INAF 5308 and INAF 5309 must be completed in order to receive the field designation. If students choose to complete by Research Essay or Thesis, 0.5 credit  will be applied towards the field designation. Students in the African Studies Specialization, the Research Essay  or Thesis must cover both their field and the African studies component.
  2. For elective courses, 1.5 credits of the total required 5.0 credits may be selected from courses offered in other departments, with a maximum of 1.0 credit from a single department and a maximum of 1.0 credit selected from fourth year undergraduate courses. Any course not identified as an INAF 5000-level course must be approved by the M.A. Program Supervisor.

In-Program Second Language Proficiency Test

All students must provide proof of second language proficiency prior to the completion of their program. Students with no prior knowledge in a second language are encouraged to contact the Language Advisor (Cristina Trevisan) during their first term to discuss their options for completing the language requirement. All students must begin their language training no later than the first semester of their second year in the program.

Language proficiency can be demonstrated by one of the following options:

For more information regarding the Modern Languages Unit at the School of Linguistics & Language Studies, please see: http://www.carleton.ca/slals/modern-languages/.

PhD Fast-track Option

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs offers a fast-track option into the NPSIA PhD program, after 1 year in the MA program (open to full-time MA only students).  Students interested in the fast-track option should meet with the MA and PhD program supervisors during the fall of their first term in the program. Eligible students will be evaluated based on research abilities and performance in the first term of studies.