Two Capitals, Two Masters 2017-02-02T23:11:04+00:00


Virginia Tech and University of Kent, Brussels are excited to partner in creating a unique, time efficient graduate program for students to study international relations in a Euro-Atlantic context. Two Capitals, Two Masters is a new and innovative double Master’s program, designed to offer students the opportunity to study, train, and network in two major centers of political activity, Washington D.C. and Brussels.

With their locations, near the U.S. executive (The White House), legislative (U.S. Congress) and judicial (Supreme Court) branches in Washington D.C.; and NATO and EU headquarters in Brussels, the two universities offer ample opportunities for learning, research and professional advancement.

The program is designed for students interested to study the corridors of power up close and personal, as decisions about international politics are being made. The program benefits students interested in government, teaching or non-profit careers, helps them learn to navigate the U.S. and the EU institutional structures, and offers them opportunities to network for their future. It allows students to earn two graduate degrees – an appealing feature in the job market – in half the time, and for half the cost of a typical graduate degree in the United States, making it a cost and time-effective alternative to existing graduate programs in international affairs.

The program consists of the following:

  1. One year of study at the University of Kent, Brussels (UKB): Students select an MA from the following specializations: international relations, international conflict and security, international political economy, European public policy, or international development.
  2. One year of study at Virginia Tech, National Capital Region (VT-NCR): Students enroll in the Master’s in Public and International Affairs (MPIA).
  3. At the end of two years, students earn an MA from UKB, and an MPIA from VT.
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Dawn Cutler

Meet the Virginia Tech Faculty

Ariel Ahram

Ariel Ahram

Ariel I. Ahram (@ariel_ahram) is associate professor of government and international affairs (GIA) at Virginia Tech. His substantive research focuses on issues of security and development, particularly in the Middle East. His book, Proxy Warriors: The Rise and Fall of State-Sponsored Militias (Stanford University Press, 2011), examines the emergence and evolution of armed non-state actors that collaborate with governments.

Giselle Datz

Giselle Datz

Giselle Datz specializes in the field of global political economy with research interests in sovereign debt restructuring processes, economic policy reform (particularly pension reforms), financial crises and financial development. Her regional focus is on Latin America.


Joel Peters

Joel Peters is Chair of Government and International Affairs Program at Virginia Tech specializing in the field of global security and conflict resolution. Joel Peters’ research interests and publications cover Israeli politics and foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli peace process, regional cooperation in the Middle East and Europe’s relations in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.


Gerard Toal

Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail) has been a founding figure in establishing Critical Geopolitics as a domain of research within Political Geography, and features in the book Key Thinkers on Space and Place (Sage, second edition 2010). His latest book is Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and Its Reversal (Oxford, 2011) which he co-authored with Dr Carl Dahlman.

Frequently Asked Questions

The student visa expires two weeks after completing the requirements for the UKB degree, and the university cannot extend that visa. If students want to spend more time in Europe but retain the option of pursuing Two Capitals, they can enroll as part-time students at UKB. That will enable them to finish the degree in two years, and give them more time in Europe.
They can, but it will take them longer to complete the degrees. See Schedule of Study.
It is entirely up to the student’s academic interests. UKB offers a variety of MA programs to choose from, see Programs/Course Work. VT offers only the MPIA program.
Students can transfer a maximum of 15 credits, or the equivalent of 5 three credit courses from UKB to VT.
Yes, they can. They can apply for financial aid for the year in the MPIA, and the year in the UKB.
Yes. Based on their valid student visa status, they can work up to 20 hours a week.
Yes, to the extent that their F-1 visa permits it.
By law, non-U.S. students holding a valid F-1 visa have 18 months of “practical training” after they graduate. That means they can work in a field related to their graduate studies for 18 months after graduation.