Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Government and International Affairs
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Erected in 1916 as Blacksburg High School. Purchased by the University as part of three building package totaling $310,000 at auction in 1965. Used as the main office for the School of Public and International Affairs, and Urban Affairs and Planning.
900 N Glebe Road Arlington VA 22203
Architecture Annex Building
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
To get Google Maps directions from:

The Graduate School
Architecture Annex Building

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Department Chair : Ariel Ahram
Graduate Program Director(s) : Timothy Luke (Blacksburg), Ariel Ahram (NCR)
Professors: Ilja Luciak; Timothy Luke; Joel Peters (National Capital Region); Ioannis Stivachtis; Gerard Toal (National Capital Region); Edward Weisband; Kris Wernstedt (National Capital Region)
Associate Professors: Ariel Ahram (National Capital Region); Aaron Brantly; Giselle Datz (National Capital Region); Matthew Dull (National Capital Region); Besnik Pula
Assistant Professors: Nataliya Brantly; Chad Levinson (National Capital Region)
Adjunct Faculty: Georgeta Pourchot (National Capital Region)
Professor of Practice: Joyce Barr (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.

Accelerated BA/MPIA

 Accelerated BA/MPIA is available for highly qualified undergraduates in such fields at political science, international studies, and other social sciences.  Students apply during the third year.  All applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5.  If accepted, the student will take a number of 5000 level courses in year four in lieu of undergraduate requirements.  In year 5, they move to entirely graduate levels courses. 
Offered In (National Capital Region, Blacksburg)

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

MPIA is offered in two locations: Virginia Tech Main Campus, BlacksburgVirginia Tech Research Center-Arlington, 900 N. Glebe Rd, Arlington Va. 22203

Contact Elia Amegashie, 

Architecture Annex

Architecture Annex, 140 Otey St. NW

VT Research Center-Arlington

Virginia Tech Research Center-Arlington, 900 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington Va. 22203
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