M.A. in Democracy & Governance

Empowering leaders for democracy, human rights and governance.

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Drive Change Through Accountable Democracy

Positioned at the crossroads of political science, international development, public policy and diplomacy, the Master of Arts in Democracy & Governance is designed to cultivate leaders committed to promoting democracy, human rights and good governance. We are the only program directly focusing on democracy and governance that professionalizes students in the field. Our diverse curriculum blends theory and practice, providing relevant and focused training on topics like electoral violence, international electoral policy, conflict and democracy and countering democratic backsliding and authoritarianism. Our faculty, comprised of scholars and practitioners, bring theoretical rigor and practical experience into the classroom; and our Washington, DC, location provides unique access to the principles and institutions relevant to democratic governance.

Flexible for Working Professionals
We welcome working professionals to the program and value those perspectives. Part-time students finish in three years (full-time students in two) by taking courses during evenings and weekends to accommodate busy schedules. 
Customize Your Curriculum for Success
We’re dedicated to helping you find classes that meet your requirements and interests, ensuring you achieve your goals. You can earn a certificate through elective credits and take language courses at no additional cost. 
Build a Strong Foundation with Professional Skills
We offer one-credit skill classes for professional development in topics like interagency coordination in U.S. foreign policy and data visualization for storytelling. Gain essential skills for success while diversifying your experiences.

Application Deadlines for Fall Enrollment

January 15 | Fall Entry Deadline

Curriculum that Integrates Theory, Research & Practice

The Master’s in Democracy & Governance curriculum exposes you to the complexities of contemporary democracies, exploring the philosophical, social and economic factors driving political change. With our core courses and elective offerings from various departments, you’ll build a tailored experience aligning with your specific interests and career aspirations.

Located in the heart of DC, we offer a unique opportunity to integrate academic studies with hands-on experiences through internships, guidance through the employment process and the option to participate in research.

Our curriculum includes

  • Skills-based learning taught by faculty in the field
  • Concentration coursework and certificate options to tailor your focus
  • Professional research experience working on real-world scenarios
  • Evening classes that allow flexibility for working professionals

Putting Your Knowledge into Practice

We provide opportunities for career and academic advancement. Through our strong partnerships, over 75% of our students secure internships or jobs with prestigious entities, including the federal government, nonprofits, consulting firms and think tanks.

To date, students and graduates have interned or obtained full-time employment at organizations like the United States Department of State, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Freedom House, National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, United Nations Foundation, Human Rights Watch, World Bank and Brookings Institution.

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Meet Our Faculty: Leaders in the Field

What Makes Us Unique

Our program focuses on professionalizing students in the field. With exclusive access to DC, you’ll gain insight into government and policy-making. As part of the National Endowment for Democracy’s Network of Democracy Research Institutes, we conduct scholarly research and host influential events.

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Discover how our Master of Arts in Democracy & Governance addresses challenges in democratic governance, human rights protection and inclusive political participation, highlighting the significance of fostering dialogue, strengthening institutions and promoting democratic principles at every level.

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