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About SPIA

Welcome to the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). The SPIA opened its doors in Fall 2013 with two programs, a Master of Science in International Relations (MIR) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Our MIR program offers two concentrations for students to choose from: International Economic Development and International Business. The MPA program offers three concentrations: Public Management, Information Systems, and Health Care Administration and Public Health. The programs are offered both on-campus and partially online.

The analysis and practice of governmental and international affairs in the 21st Century requires a multidisciplinary and complex approach, combining knowledge from the social sciences, policy studies, business administration, economics, computing technologies, and the sciences. SPIA programs are designed to incorporate key elements of these disciplines into a multidimensional and academically challenging program that prepares students to be problem-solvers in today’s demanding public arena. As a student you will acquire both the scholarly knowledge and the confidence of practical experience to address and tackle the challenges of the modern workplace.  

As an institution, SPIA is set to take full advantage of our location in Fairfax in northern Virginia, just an hour away from Washington, DC. Fairfax is one of the most politically active areas in the United States, and the state of Virginia has recently emerged as a key battleground state. Our programs are designed to maximize the benefits of this location and provide students with easy access to a variety of government and non-government institutions, policy making bodies, and international organizations. Both programs incorporate significant hands-on experiential learning that takes students out of the classroom and introduces them to all levels of government and organizational settings. During their studies at SPIA, students will gain direct exposure to the workings of a variety of local, state, federal, and international institutions, and will be able observe and engage with the US political and policy-making process.

SPIA is dedicated to providing students with an excellent, rewarding, and multifaceted education experience. This experience will allow our alumni to build careers in a multitude of settings such as international organizations, (i.e., the World Bank, IMF, or the United Nations), non-profit organizations, local and federal governmental agencies, intergovernmental organizations, media outlets, and for-profit businesses and corporations. Our alumni will be able to transfer this experience everywhere in the world, applying it both in the US and in the many countries our students come from.

This is an exciting time to be at the School of Public and International Affairs. On behalf of the school’s faculty and staff I welcome you and wish you a great experience at VIU. I also welcome your questions or suggestions and look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Klara Bilgin, Dean
School of Public and International Affairs
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