Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Government and International Affairs
College of Architecture & Urban Studies
Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region (NCR) is dedicated to furthering the university's three missions - education, research, and outreach. With facilities, faculty, graduate degrees, and research in the region since 1969, Virginia Tech has a long tradition of creating new knowledge and applying it to the critical problems facing the Washington DC area, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world.
1021 Prince Street
School of Public and International Affairs
Virginia Tech Alexandria Ctr Arlington VA 22206
Northern Virginia Center
Degree(s) Offered:
MPIA Degree in Government and International Affairs
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Aug 01
Spring: Jan 01
Summer I: May 01
Summer II: Jun 01
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The Graduate School
Northern Virginia Center

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Department Chair : Giselle Datz
Graduate Program Director(s) : Timothy Luke (Blacksburg), Giselle Datz (NCR)
Professors: Timothy Luke; Joel Peters (National Capital Region); Joyce Rothschild; Gerard Toal (National Capital Region)
Associate Professors: Ariel Ahram (National Capital Region); Giselle Datz (National Capital Region)
Affiliated Faculty: Matthew Dull (National Capital Region); Ilja Luciak; Randall Murch (National Capital Region); David Orden (National Capital Region); Georgeta Pourchot (National Capital Region); Ioannis Stivachtis; Edward Weisband; Kris Wernstedt (National Capital Region)

Government and International Affairs

The analysis of government and international affairs during the 21st century clearly constitutes a complex and interdisciplinary set of challenges. To be effective, such study requires knowledge from all of the social sciences and humanities. This program in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) draws insights from these areas of learning into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students in the Government and International Affairs (GIA) program work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Therefore, methodological pluralism is the foundation of GIA's scholarly pursuits. This program approaches the challenges of governance and international affairs comparatively, empirically, and historically at each level of activity and analysis to see how the processes of globalization are being shaped and what their implications may be. We also consider carefully the requirements for more democratic governance of the economy and society. The faculty's key educational objectives are to conduct research, perform service, and train graduate students at both the master and doctoral levels of study in a manner that can engage the GIA program as well as the larger School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech in the public life of our nation and the world. Through this work, the GIA program contributes to the development of new knowledge, enhances global well-being, and prepares all its graduates with the latest skills for conducting their research, service, and teaching.

The Government and International Affairs Program offers two graduate degrees: a  Master's in Public and International Affairs (MPIA), and a Ph.D. in the Governance & Globalization (G&G) Stream of the Planning, Governance & Globalization Ph.D. program (PG&G), which is a wide program in which most of the departments, programs, and schools in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies now participate. The goal of these two GIA graduate programs is to prepare SPIA graduates for a life-long, rich, and full engagement in public activity, continuing professional development, and effective service as academics, government officials, journalists or technical experts in the vitally important fields of government and international affairs. The overall unifying focus of the School of Public and International Affairs is directed at issues in politics, policy, planning, and practice. GIA students will work closely with faculty and students in the school's two sister programs Public Administration and Public Policy as well as Urban Affairs and Planning and those departments in the other collegiate units at Virginia Tech that can assist them with their education.

Additional Study Option

Two Capitals, Two Masters [National Capital Region]

Virginia Tech and University of Kent, Brussels are excited to partner in creating a unique, time efficient graduate program for students to study international relations in a Euro-Atlantic context.  The new and innovative double Master's program is designed to offer students the opportunity to study, train, and network in two major centers of political activity, Washington D.C. and Brussels. The program benefits students interested in government, teaching or non-profit careers, helps them learn to navigate the U.S. and EU institutional structures, and offers opportunities to network for their future. Students earn two graduate degrees in half the time.

The program consists of the following:

1. One year of study at the University of Kent, Brussels (UKB): Students select an MA from the following specializations: international relations, international conflict and security, international political economy, European public policy, or international development.

2. One year of study at Virginia Tech, National Capital Region: Students enroll in the Master's in Public and International Affairs (MPIA).

3. At the end of two years, students earn an MA from UKB, and an MPIA from

Contact Dr. Georgeta Pourchot at

Offered In (National Capital Region)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
    • Paper
      • 620.0
      • Essay Writing Score : 4.5
    • Computer
      • 260.0
      • Essay Writing : 4.5
    • iBT
      • 105.0
      • Essay Writing : 26.0
  • GRE [Optional]
    • General
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :

Project and Report (Choice of Major Paper or Practicum)* Option

5000-6000 level courses        33 credit hours
5904 Project & Report              3 credit hours
5964 Field Work/Practicum      3 credit hours

Thesis Option

5000-6000 level courses              30 credit hours
5994 Research & Thesis                6 credit hours

Total Hours for all Capstone Options:  36 credit hours

[Further information found in Student Handbook]

All MPIA students have Major Paper or Practicum as options. Full-time students have Thesis option.

Government and International Affairs

Contact Myriam Lechuga or Julie Hudson at National Capital Region Center for more information. or 703-706-8111 or 703-706-8105


For information on facilities, please contact Myriam Lechuga or Julie Hudson for further details.
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