Preparing Leaders

GSPIA provides the educational requirements and advanced studies to help students gain entry into careers throughout the U.S. and around the world. View a list of careers of GSPIA alumni.

Joint Degrees

GSPIA students may pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, through GSPIA’s partnerships with other professional schools at the University of Pittsburgh (and two foreign universities). Joint programs reduce the number of credits needed for each degree, allowing students to earn two master’s degrees in just three years, or a master’s degree and a law degree in just four years.

To participate in a joint degree program, students apply separately to both schools, and must meet all of the usual admissions requirements. If admitted to both schools, students spend one full year in GSPIA followed by a second full year in the other program (or vice versa). During the third and/or fourth year, they spend a minimum of one additional term in GSPIA, earning a total of 36 GSPIA credits.

Although it is possible to apply to both schools at the same time, currently enrolled students may still apply for a joint degree as long as they have not yet completed one year (or, in the case of current law students, two years) of full-time study.

Full-time students in the MPA, MPIA, or MID programs are eligible to participate in the following joint programs: 

  • Juris Doctor with University of Pittsburgh School of Law: The joint JD allows students to combine the study of law and policy, preparing them equally well for employment in the judicial or executive branches of government. Graduates are positioned to work in international law firms, nonprofit advocacy, and in public or nonprofit agencies that require knowledge of legal issues, such as refugee services and the Department of Justice. Pitt Law School also partners with GSPIA in the University of Pittsburgh’s Washington Center.

  • Master of Business Adminstration with University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business – MPIA and MID students only: Combining a GSPIA degree with an MBA opens many opportunities for a career in international finance, government financial regulation, or multinational corporations. Students with both degrees are highly marketable in the fields of international business and international economic policy.

  • Master of Public Health with University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health: Students pursuing a joint MPH gain a unique perspective on public management, government responses to epidemics, and the effect of sanitation on international development. They study health policy and the science behind it, both at the local level and on the world stage, where disease recognizes no borders. Graduates are employed by medical relief agencies, nonprofit organizations that distribute vaccines, and government authorities responsible for protecting society from epidemics.

  • Master of Social Work with University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work: Today’s community building arena demands well-trained professionals across a wider array of skills and systems than one degree program may offer. That’s why the joint degree program between GSPIA and School of Social Work provides students with focused professional education in the community building arena to prepare them for careers in non-profit and government organizations, community development, social policy, and urban and regional affairs.
  • Master of Science in Information Science with University of Pittsburgh School of Information Science: The joint MSIS degree allows GSPIA students to combine the study of public management and information technology management, at a time when both fields are increasingly interconnected. Students are prepared to pursue public or nonprofit-sector careers that require strong knowledge of modern information systems.

  • International Organizations MBA with University of Geneva, Switzerland – MPIA and MID students only: In this unique program, students spend one year in Pittsburgh followed by a year in Switzerland. There, they pursue an internship in Geneva’s thriving diplomatic community while completing the requirements for the University of Geneva’s IO-MBA, a unique management program which focuses on the needs of international organizations. After returning to Pittsburgh for one semester, students receive degrees from both universities. Both degrees are taught in English. For more, click here.

  • Joint Degrees at Kobe University, Japan: Through a special partnership, students may combine their GSPIA degrees with one of several degrees offered by the Graduate School of International Cooperative Studies at Kobe University: the Master of International Affairs, Master of Laws, Master of Economics, or Master of Political Science. The Kobe GSICS curriculum is in English. For more, click here.

  • Five-Year Accelerated Program for Pitt Undergraduates: High-achieving University of Pittsburgh juniors (and in some cases, first-semester seniors) in the School of Arts & Sciences or College of General Studies may apply early to GSPIA. If admitted, they may enroll at GSPIA in what normally would have been their senior years, allowing them to complete both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a total of five years. Special eligibility requirements apply. Pitt undergraduates interested in this program should contact GSPIA at 412-648-7640.

Joint MPPM/Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students in the Master of Public Policy and Management program may pursue their degree concurrently with a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. This joint degree combination may be completed full-time or part-time, either in a 100% on-campus or a 100% online format. The program is ideal for mid-career nurses, health care managers, and individuals working in charitable organizations that provide health care abroad. For details and a sample plan of study, click here

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260