University of San Francisco - International Studies

Why you should consider this program

USF’s Master’s in International Studies provides students with an in-depth and critical perspective on the key actors and processes that shape our contemporary world. This four-semester program provides students with a broad understanding of critical social theory and global-local connections, along with an opportunity to focus on one of three areas: Governance and Global Justice; Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice; or Culture, Power, and Social Movements. Our students also receive training in the skills needed to effect change in the world, including research and writing skills, research design and methods skills, and options for professional skills such as grant writing, GIS, and advocacy skills.

The mission of the University of San Francisco and the International Studies program centers on social justice from a global perspective. The program is designed to provide students with in-depth, interdisciplinary knowledge of the issues and challenges that face the global community. By analyzing these issues through a social justice lens, our students spend a significant amount of time learning about how to support underserved populations. Our program provides Returned Peace Corps Volunteers with the opportunity to expand on their experience in a meaningful way in one of the country’s greatest cities.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 50,320 $ 12,580 $ 37,740
Out of state $ 50,320 $ 12,580 $ 37,740
* Net cost is equal to tuition/fees minus fellowship value. For some universities, the fellowship value includes non-tuition/fee benefits such as health insurance or housing—see the first point below for more details.

Where the cost savings value of the Coverdell Fellowship comes from

Cost savings will either come entirely from a tuition waiver or a combination of tuition waiver and a teaching assistantship positions. Each application is reviewed holistically to make an appropriate determination. Our Fellowship award minimum is $12,580, but additional funding may be awarded.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 18,000

Application fee waived?



Our internship program provides an opportunity for students to gain practical professional work experience by working at one of the many international studies-related organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. Our students have completed internships across five continents with governmental branches, international organizations, research organizations, non-profits and advocacy groups, and corporations. Recent organizations include Kiva, International Rescue Committee, and the United Nations.

The program office houses a database of potential internship locations to which Fellows can apply. We also send internship postings to all students in a bi-monthly basis. In addition, we host various internship workshops and networking events throughout the year. Fellows will work with the program, their faculty advisers, and the University Career Services Center to identify and apply to internships. 

Jobs for program alumni

Our students are equipped for professional work in international agencies, government information offices and non-governmental organizations. Some students may also pursue further study in International Studies in a PhD program. Our alumni are working at organizations such as: African Diaspora Network, American Red Cross, Amnesty International, Environmental Defense Fund, Global Fund for Women, Google, International Rescue Committee, Mission Housing Development Corporation, UN Development Project, and World Affairs Council of Northern California.

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

All applicants to the program will undergo an initial application review by two faculty members in the Department and are assessed using the following criteria:

  • Official Transcripts
  • Resume (internship or job related experience)
  • International Studies Background (jobs, internships, community activities, etc.)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Professionalism displayed throughout the application process

Admissions process

If an applicant meets our admissions criteria, the scholarship committee will then review all RPCVs, comprised of four faculty members, to determine if they meet our standards for a scholarship. If there are multiple RPCV applicants, the scholarship committee will determine who will receive the fellowship. Application fee waiver, by emailing [email protected]

Program begins


Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Ariella Campisi, Program Assistant, Master of Arts in International Studies

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117