Global affairs touch nearly every aspect of our lives, from personal to professional. You can take online courses at UW-Madison to better understand issues affecting governments, economies, and communities around the world—and earn your International Politics and Practice Certificate.

Is this program right for you?

Employers increasingly expect their rising employees to understand globalization and how it affects their industry. With an online certificate in International Politics and Practice from UW-Madison, you will have the analytical skills and background to navigate effectively in our interconnected world.


U.S. News & Annual Report recently ranked UW-Madison’s International Politics program the 10th best in the nation. You will benefit from our faculty’s wide range of viewpoints and perspectives on international politics, as well as their diversity in teaching styles.


Flexibility is the keyword for this program. Our online certificate in International Politics and Practice is taught in conjunction with our on-campus courses. Each lecture is captured on video, so you will have the same experiences and information as your colleagues here at UW-Madison—but you can watch the lectures at your convenience. Begin your certificate in any semester and complete your courses in as few as four semesters, or work more slowly if that better suits your schedule.


Through weekly virtual interactions with faculty and students from around the world, you will gather and share information and perspectives. You will also strengthen your critical analysis and writing skills as you discuss and interpret theory, history, and current events.


Most of our students are working professionals, often with a military or corporate background. Like you, they seek to understand how international relations affects their business or personal life. Whether you hope to work for a global organization or are currently part of an organization with global scope, the UW-Madison International Politics and Practice Certificate is a critical step in your professional development.


What you Learn

  • Acquire foundational knowledge of domestic and international policies that affect both national economic policymaking and developments in the world economy
  • Identify the role of international financial institutions, trade and development, financial crisis, and the relationship between globalization and inequality
  • Recognize and distinguish patterns of global governance and their impact over time
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between national and international security
  • Apply important connections to real-world experiences

Where & How you learn


  • Online


  • Take from one to three courses each summer; tailored to your schedule
  • Listen to lectures from any location around the world
  • Complete projects and interact online, on a weekly basis, with faculty and other students

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All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale; this requirement may be waived for applicants holding a master’s degree or graduate certificate credential from an accredited college or university, applicants with a demonstrated ability to complete graduate-level courses with a grade of B or higher, or applicants demonstrating substantial experience in the international field
  • Complete an online application
  • Submit an official transcript from all institutions attended; a 500-word personal essay stating your intellectual and practical interest in international relations; an indication of your ability and level of competency in languages other than English; and a résumé or curriculum vitae

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