MIP Academics

rsd17 104 0088a


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 
  • 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 


For complete degree requirements and policies for the Class of 2023 and prospective applicants, please see Stanford University's 2022-23 Bulletin

Core Courses

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

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)
INTLPOL 306: Foreign Policy Decision-Making in International Relations (5 units)

Spring Quarter

INTLPOL 300S: Leading Effective Teams (2 units)
INTLPOL 307: Policy Problem-Solving in the Real World (5 units)

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

23 units.

The customized electives provide students an opportunity to explore the many academic offerings across campus, and gives them the ability to tailor courses in a suitable manner. These courses must be related to international policy, broadly understood. Students may choose to enroll in additional courses in their area of specialization or build their own course of study.

Options include but are not limited to: enrolling in area studies courses; pursuing a certificate program (e.g., Computational Social Science Certificate); enrolling in language courses; informally completing a second area of specialization; or combining a diverse range of courses to supplement their academic focus.

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. The Capstone 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.

rsd16 054 0045a 28388347913 o

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.

gradceremony 06 mg 0734

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.

FSI students

Coterminal Degree

The MIP coterminal degree is open to Stanford undergraduates in any major. Students traditionally apply during their Junior year and complete their MA in a fifth or sixth year at Stanford.