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2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Apr 15, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

International Studies, M.A.

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The Master of Arts degree in International Studies provides students with skills and knowledge demanded by the 21st century workplace. The curriculum combines coursework in relevant Political Science sub-fields (primarily International Relations and Comparative Politics) with skills courses in data analysis, and with the option to take further classes in data analysis and research design, or to select from a variety of Public Administration courses that provide practical, marketable skills to help students qualify for jobs in the government and non-profit sectors.

The admission deadline for the program is April 1 (Fall admission only).

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop and complete a course of study that provides a sophisticated grounding in world affairs and policy analysis and includes specialization in a career-relevant field. 
  • Students will demonstrate their acquired skills in policy analysis, statistical analysis, and (optionally) foreign language facility. 
  • Students will demonstrate skills in searching for, identifying, and applying for professional positions in international affairs, including employment and internships. 

Degree Requirements (30 Hours)

Students must take 12 hours of Core Substantive courses, 12 hours of Core Skills courses, and an additional 6 hours of electives or thesis hours. 12 hours (4 required courses) are taught in the Department of Political Science. For the remaining 18 hours, students may take a variety of additional Substantive and Skills courses offered in Political Science, or could substitute relevant courses in other departments, with the approval of the Director of the MAIS program. There is no language requirement, though students can take up to 6 credit hours of language courses as electives. Foreign langauge courses generally cannot be accepted as Core Substantive or Core Skills courses.

Core Substantive Courses (12 hours required)


Plus six additional hours of internationally-themed courses (which may include courses outside POLI)


Core Skills Courses (12 hours required)


Plus six additional hours of skills courses (which may include research design, Public Administration courses, and courses outside POLI)

Electives (6 hours if not choosing thesis option)

Electives can consist of additional substantive or skills courses. Additionally, students who prefer to take foreign langauge courses may take up to 6 hours as electives.

MAIS Thesis option (6 hours if not taking additional electives)

Students who plan to apply for PhD programs should choose the Thesis Option. Students who choose the Thesis Option must enroll in six credits of POLI 799B, which may be taken all in one semester or distributed across more than one semester. Students must defend the thesis in an oral examination conducted by the MAIS Director.

MAIS Non-thesis option

Students who do not take the thesis option, opting instead to take 6 hours of electives, must pass an oral examination during their final semester, conducted by the MAIS Director. Typically, this oral examination will cover the substance of a course paper of the student’s choice, which must be submitted to the MAIS Director.

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