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Why SPIA?

1. Location (Fairfax, VA)

  • If you are interested in politics, domestic or global – if you crave the excitement of electoral competition, high-wired campaigns, and policy making – you can hardly find a better location than Fairfax in northern Virginia!
  • The School of Public and International Affairs at VIU is ideal with both of its programs – Master of Science in International Relations (MIR) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) – being consistently set to take full advantage of its immediate access to the three levels of US politics: federal, state, and county/city.

2. Faculty

  • Our full-time faculty have doctoral degrees from some of the best schools in the country.
  • Since Fall of 2014, most of SPIA’s part-time faculty will also be coming from some of the top universities in the area and will be splitting their time between VIU and Georgetown, American University, and the University of Maryland.
  • Starting in Summer 2014 and continuing into future semesters, the SPIA will also tap into the diplomatic epicenter that is Washington, DC and bring high-level diplomats to VIU’s campus through its Ambassadorial Talk Series.

3. Internships & Employment After Graduation

  • SPIA’s two master’s programs combine a robust scholarly and academic approach with a significant element of hands-on, practical experience.
  • We maintain partnerships with local governments, such as Fairfax County, and non-profit organizations in the area where our students can intern and learn on-the-job skills and practices.
  • Such experiences expose our students to some of the best administrative and policy-making practices in the field, and help them to establish valuable professional ties and networking opportunities for the future.

4. Events & Activities

  • SPIA regularly organizes events with VIU’s Center for Democracy and International Affairs (CDIA) which seek to expose students to a wide range of ideas, discussions, and developments in the area of international politics and US public policy.
  • This past April 2016, we hosted our second annual Conference on International Development whose theme was “Power Shifts: Conflict, Emergencies, and Global Response.
  • SPIA just co-sponsored a community driven Iftar dinner to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
  • On August 12th 2016, the SPIA will be hosting a professional development program on the Middle East & Terrorism, and in September, a Policy & Social Leadership Certificate Program.
  • All events seek to bring practitioners, policy makers, and academics to discuss pressing issues and offer policy and development options for the future.