MIP Academics

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Study in an Interactive and Innovative Learning Environment

Program Overview

The Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy (MIP) is a two year, full-time, professional graduate degree program. The M.A. degree is earned through completion of core and elective coursework, an area of specialization, and a capstone project. The program is interdisciplinary in nature, and students are encouraged to pursue coursework that spans academic fields at Stanford.
MIP Degree Requirements
  • MIP Degree Requirements
  • Core Courses
  • Area of Specialization
  • Customized Elective Units
  • Policy Change Studio: The MIP Capstone

MIP Degree Requirements

80 units are required for graduation:
  • 28 units of mandatory core courses (31 units of mandatory core courses for Class of 2022)
  • 20 units in the area of specialization
    • 2 required courses
    • 3+ elective courses from a pre-approved list
  • 9 units of Policy Change Studio (capstone project)
  • 23 flexible elective units (20 elective units for the Class of 2022)


For complete degree requirements and policies for the Class of 2023 and prospective applicants, please see Stanford University's 2021-22 Bulletin

For the Class of 2022, please see the Archived Bulletin

Core Courses

Core courses are required for all students and comprise the majority of the Year 1 curriculum.  

31 units (Class of 2022) / 28 units (Class of 2023)

Autumn Quarter

INTLPOL 300A: International Policy Speaker Series (1 unit)
INTLPOL 301A: Research Methods and Policy Applications I (5 units)
INTLPOL 302: The Global Economy (5 units)

Winter Quarter

INTLPOL 301B: Research Methods and Policy Applications II (5 units)

Spring Quarter

INTLPOL 300S: Leading Effective Teams (2 units)
INTLPOL 306: International Relations Theory and the American Experience (5 units)
INTLPOL 307: Policy Problem-Solving in the Real World (5 units)
INTLPOL 308: Comparative Public Policy (4 units) (Not required for MIP Class of 2023)

Area of Specialization

20 units.

Each student will complete a minimum of five courses within the following specializations:

  • Cyber Policy and Security (CYBER)

  • Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment (ENRE)

  • Governance and Development (GOVDEV)

  • International Security (ISEC)

Customized Elective Units

20 units.

Students have freedom to customize their course of study with these customized elective units, which may be fulfilled by completing additional specialization courses or choosing from Stanford's wide-ranging course offerings. Students will need to submit a rationale to the Academic Services Team explaining the courses in which they plan to enroll.

Policy Change Studio: The MIP Capstone

9 units.

Students enroll in Policy Change Studio during the winter and spring quarters of their second year of study. Policy Change Studio is designed to provide students with the know-how to bring about change in the real world. Guided by the MIP Problem-Solving Framework, student teams partner with outside organizations to solve real policy problems with the support of faculty, staff, mentors, and teamwork coaches. Field work is a crucial aspect of the capstone experience, which requires students to travel around the world during their spring break.

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Study with Stanford's World Renowned Faculty

Stanford University is home to some of the world's best scholars on global issues. The Ford Dorsey Program also features leading practitioners from government and industry, including former ambassadors, UN officials, and Silicon Valley policy executives.

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Joint and Dual Degrees

MIP offers joint degrees with Stanford Law School and the Public Policy Program as well as formal dual degrees with the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.