Admission Requirements

General Admissions Information

CEU welcomes applications from excellent candidates all over the world. The University's admissions policy and criteria are set by its Senate in accordance with international practice. Candidates may simultaneously apply up to five degree programs.

For general CEU admissions requirements please visit CEU's How to Apply page. Before starting an application, please check the relevant application deadline, and carefully read the Checklist and FAQ.

The Department of International Relations asks applicants to fulfill the following requirements / submit the following documents, in addition to CEU's general admission requirements:

Degree requirement

Applicants are expected to hold an internationally recognized Bachelor's degree or comparable degree. To be admitted to the program applicants must have completed at least four years (for one year program) and at least three years (for two years program) of undergraduate studies and be able to demonstrate English proficiency.

If you are interested in applying for the "New York City" track in one year program, please make sure to submit your application to Bard College as well. 500 word essay (see below) is sufficient as a writing sample required by Bard in the application. 

Required documents

In their online application package, applicants to the MA in International Relations program need to submit the following documents (Department-specific requirements are bolded):

  • completed online CEU application form;
  • two confidential letters of recommendation (preferably academic, but can be also from your supervisor); 
  • relevant undergraduate and graduate transcripts and diplomas;
  • a full curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any;
  • proof of relevant English language competency;
  • a max. 500-word essay;

Drawing on academic literature, the essay should elaborate on a research question, which applicants would wish to pursue during their studies in the department.

*** Please note that this 500-word essay is accepted as a writing sample by Bard MA in Global studies program in case of application for MA one year program "New York City" track. 

  • statement of purpose;

The purpose of this part of the application is to help you and the department to get a preliminary idea of how your optimal study-plan may look like, to see how your individual interests may fit with the courses we offer, and how together we may come up with the best possible overall ‘IR experience’ at CEU.


This is a free-form part, but try to keep it to 500 words maximum. 500 words is the limit for this part only; parts 2 and 3 have no word limit. Applicants are welcome to provide references and bibliography which will not count towards the word limit. 


This is not meant to be cast in stone. We expect - even encourage - you to change your mind as you move along. After all, this is what university is about: changing our minds. Still, we want you to indicate the possible trajectory of your study, so that we could best help you in achieving the goals you set for yourself. Check the list of courses usually offered by the department below. Please note that, as a rule, students are expected to take 3-4 courses each term.


Sample elective courses offered in the Academic Year 2023-2024:

International Relations: Concepts and Theories

International Political Economy

Strategy, Security, and Contemporary Warfare

Foreign Policy Analysis

International Law in a Turbulent World

Political Economy of the EU

Border (in)security and social inequalities

Worldly Philosophers of Capitalism, Democracy and Development

Psychology of Statecraft


Politics of the Anthropocene


Sample elective courses offered in the Academic Year 2023-2024:

Orders Of Inequality: Race, Class, Gender

What is Diplomacy?

International Political Economy of Development

Nationalism, Populism and Ethnic Conflict Management in Eastern Europe

European Security

International and EU Refugee Law and policy

Illiberal Capitalism

Dark legacies: Coming to terms with Europe's past

Global Political Economy of Eastern Europe


Here you may argue how exactly the courses you want to take may contribute to your study- or career-objectives.