For 183 years, many students have flocked to the University of Toronto as their preferred post-secondary education facility. With its latest program commencing this fall however, a number of those pupils are signing on to be turfed right back out.

Such is the modus behind the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto (1 Devonshire Place) and their Master of Global Affairs program. As director Steven Bernstein relates, the two-year designation features, “specialized instruction on global economic and financial systems, global institutions, global security and global civil society.” The (temporary) ejection comes during an element unique to most universities: During their second year, students are placed in an internship outside of Canada.

Essentially, apart from foreign affairs schooling, the Master of Global Affairs degree is the first of its kind with a universal focus. It's also the premiere program featuring mandatory international internships integrated into the curriculum. Bernstein feels this practice will offer graduates accelerated experience in their field.


“The unique factor of this program is that it combines the (aforementioned specializations) with applied learning,” he notes. “It teaches government, non-profit and markets at the global scale.”

Conceptually, the program originated via both students and businesses advocating for a union of academics with professional development and practical skills. In application, it incorporates a number of internationally-revered professors instructing on customized courses in their area of expertise.

Upon completion of a final capstone course based on internships taking students to Africa, Latin America, Asia or Europe, graduates attain a new designation: MGA with ability to combine degrees.

“We expect it will become known quickly,” Bernstein smiles. “I believe we're the only one using it currently, but it is a Master designation from the University of Toronto. We believe it will be well-recognized as a university degree distinct from a traditional MBA.”

MGA program

Ensuring the Global Affairs program is well-rounded, Bernstein and
crew have created a comprehensive curriculum over a two year span.
Mandatory first year classes provide a broad foundation of information
divided into the following courses:

  • Development of the Global System

  • Global Security

  • Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making

  • Global Civil Society

  • International Economics

  • International Law

  • Global Public Policy

Specialization occurs in year two, with elective courses honing in on one of Global Affairs' major components:

  • Economics in Markets

  • Institutions for Foreign Policy

  • Global Civil Society

  • After a successful internship, graduates are graced with an MGA designation.

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