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The Dual Degree Master’s in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies (NPTS) and Master’s in International Affairs is a four-semester, 62-credit (124 ECTS*) program.

The program gives students a specialization in WMD nonproliferation, nuclear policy, and global security. It prepares students for professional careers in the nonproliferation field in national governments, international organizations, think tanks, and the private sector.

*MGIMO is on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). These credits translate to half the amount in the Middlebury Institute semester credit system.

Start Date Credits Practicum Language Competency Program Chair
August 62 Required Required Jeff Knopf

Semester One

Students spend semester one at MGIMO in Moscow, Russia.

Sample Courses

  • Russia’s Nonproliferation Policies

  • Modern Strategy of Russian Foreign Policy

  • Analysis of International Situations

  • International Organizations in World Politics

  • The Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy: Issues for International Security and International Cooperation

  • Great Powers and Regional Subsystems in World Politics

  • Introduction to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

  • Theory and Practice of Arms Control and Disarmament

  • Megatrends and Global Problems

  • Research Methods

  • Language Studies

Language Studies

A student’s language of study will be determined on a case-by-case basis. For those who require it, English classes can be taken at MGIMO. Additional English classes may be required at the Middlebury Institute in the second and third semesters. Students with sufficient proficiency in English will typically take Russian as their language at MGIMO in the first semester, then continue Russian at the Middlebury Institute. For students who are sufficiently advanced in a second language other than Russian, it is possible to study another language from among those available.

Semesters Two and Three

Students spend semesters two and three at the Middlebury Institute.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Terrorism Studies

  • Science and Technology for NPTS

  • Language Studies

Sample Elective Courses

In addition to the electives below, students can choose NPTS classes that focus on terrorism or cybersecurity as well as classes from other Institute programs. Sample courses:

  • Nonproliferation Treaty Simulation

  • Evolution of Chinese Nuclear Policy

  • Security and Arms Control in Northeast Asia

  • Geospatial Tools for NPTS

  • The Nuclear Age: A Historical Introduction

  • Cybersecurity Aspects of Nuclear Security

  • Security and WMD in the Middle East

  • Biological and Chemical Weapons and Arms Control

  • Deterring and Influencing Terrorism and WMD

Language Studies

Language courses at the Middlebury Institute combine language skills development with a focus on substantive topics related to graduate degree work and professional interests.

Final Semester

Students in their final semester enroll at MGIMO but can be in the United States, Russia, or another location. The fourth semester is devoted to an internship and thesis preparation, with the student’s location determined on a case-by-case basis.


Students are expected to do an internship of at least 12 weeks. MGIMO, the Institute, and the Russian Center for Policy Research (PIR) will assist with internship placement, including the possibility of intern positions in government agencies, international organizations, and think tanks. Possible international organizations for internship placement:

  • International Atomic Energy Agency

  • United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

  • Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization


Students write a research thesis on a topic chosen in consultation with relevant faculty members. Each thesis will have one advisor from MGIMO or PIR Center and one advisor from the Middlebury Institute. Students will present a defense of their thesis in June of their final semester.

Sample Course Schedule

Fall Start, Full Time, Four Semesters, 62 Credits (124 ECTS)

Fall 1: Enrolled at MGIMO (Moscow, Russia) 15 Credits (30 ECTS)
Core and Elective Courses 11
Language Studies 4
January: Exams
Spring 1: Enrolled at MIIS (Monterey, California) 16 Credits
Introduction to Terrorism Studies 4
Science and Technology for NPTS 4
Seminars/Advanced Courses in Nonproliferation Topics 4
Language Studies 4
Fall 2: Enrolled at MIIS (Monterey, California) 16 Credits
Electives/Seminars/Advanced Courses in Nonproliferation Topics 12
Language Studies 4
Spring 2: Enrolled at MGIMO (Multiple Location Options) 15 Credits (30 ECTS)
Directed Study Project and Internship 4
Thesis Research 8
June: Thesis Defense 3
TOTAL 62 (124 ECTS)