The Master of Arts degree with a major in international studies provides students with a strong foundation in the theory and practice of international studies.
The admission deadlines for international studies are:
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).
Degree Requirements (30 Hours)The Master of Arts in International Studies provides students with a strong foundation in the theory and practice of international studies. The Department offers courses covering a wide array of topical areas such as international relations theory and practice, comparative politics, and foreign policy analysis. The curriculum is designed to be responsive to the more professionally oriented student rather than the student seeking an academic career. Normally, the master’s candidate will complete 24 hours of substantive course work plus 6 hours either of thesis credit or additional elective courses or internship credit for a total of 30 hours. Students may count credit hours from outside the Department towards the degree reflecting the value of interdisciplinary training for this degree. Students who select the Non-Thesis Option may count a maximum of 12 hours from outside the Department towards the degree, with no more than 9 of those credit hours within the fields. The program may require more hours in the event of deficiencies. Each student will select two of three fields and take in each field a minimum of 9 hours. The three fields available are: international relations theory and practice, foreign policy analysis, and comparative politics/area studies. An oral exam focused on the thesis, or on coursework, or on coursework and internship experience, is required.Master’s candidates must successfully complete a professional development series. The professional development series provides fundamental professional skills, reflecting the program’s commitment to professionally oriented students.Competency in one foreign language or in the use of quantitative methodologies is also required. The program is designed to be completed in three semesters or less.Fields (18 hours in two of the three fields)Field 1: International Relations Theory and PracticeRequired: POLI 710 - Introduction to International Relations Two (2) additional courses as approved with advisement.Field 2: Foreign Policy AnalysisRequired: POLI 740 - Formulation and Conduct of United States Foreign Policy or POLI 741 - Contemporary United States Foreign Policy Two (2) additional courses as approved with advisement.Field 3: Comparative PoliticsRequired: POLI 719 - Political and Social Change or POLI 780 - Theories of Comparative Politics Two (2) additional courses as approved with advisement.
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 hour required)
POLI 715 - International Relations Theory
POLI 780 - Theories of Comparative Politics
Plus six additional hours of internationally-themed courses (which may include courses outside POLI)
Core Skills Courses (12 hour required)
POLI 502 - Methods of Political Analysis
POLI 706 - Advanced Methods of Political Analysis
Plus six additional hours of skills courses (which may include research design, Public Administration courses, and courses outside POLI)
Electives (3 Hours)Students take 3 credit hours of elective courses, inside or outside the Department as approved with advisement. Students who take POLI 706 and earn a grade of “B” or better in it may count the course towards this requirement.
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.
Thesis Option / Non-Thesis Options (6 Hours)Thesis Option:Students complete 6 hours of Thesis Preparation and successfully complete in MA thesis. POLI 799B - Thesis PreparationNon-Thesis Option:Students who opt not to write a thesis must take 6 credit hours of additional electives.6 credit hours of: POLI 789 - Master of International Studies InternshipOR 6 credit hours as approved with advisement: 3 credit hours of additional electives POLI 789 - Master of International Studies Internship (3 hours)
Language or Quantitative SkillsStudents are required to develop their quantitative skills by taking POLI 706 (and earning a grade of “B” or better in it) OR develop their language skills by passing the graduate reading exam or advisor-approved equivalent in a given foreign language.Credit hours for language courses cannot be counted towards the required 30 credits for the degree, credit hours for POLI 706 can be counted towards the required 30 credits for the degree but cannot be counted towards the fields or the Non-Thesis Option.Data Analysis (3 Hours)Students must take: POLI 502 - Methods of Political Analysis or POLI 771 - Public Data AnalysisOral ExamStudents take a comprehensive oral exam focused on their Thesis, or on their coursework, or on their coursework and internship experience.Professional Development SeriesStudents complete a professional development series. The professional development series provides fundamental professional skills, reflecting the program’s commitment to professionally oriented students. The professional development series is non-credit bearing.
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.
The 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.
The proposal to revise the Master of Arts in International Studies curriculum is made with two goals: (1) to provide students with skills and knowledge demanded by the 21st century workplace, and (2) to reflect the teaching strengths of faculty, particularly given resource constraints that limit the number of courses we can offer each semester. This proposal for a revised MAIS curriculum combines coursework in relevant Political Science sub-fields (primarily IR/CP) with skills courses in data analysis, 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. Students can also take several classes outside POLI (technically up to 18 credits, though these need approval by the Director of the MAIS program), allowing for highly customized, interdisciplinary programs of study.
The major differences between the current proposal and existing MAIS degree is that the proposal streamlines requirements and removes "tracks." Both of these revisions are necessary because POLI no longer has enough faculty to administer the existing MAIS degree program. Furthermore, the existing program is out of touch with a changing workplace that increasingly values data analytics--but with grounding in theory and research design that POLI is in a unique position to provide. The proposal requirements reflect the input from MAIS alumni who expressed commonly that employers in the government, non-profit, and private sectors increasingly value concrete research/analysis skills.
The revisions also remove language requirements (though the option remains) and removes a separate professionalization requirement. MAIS professionalization will be incorporated into our existing, comprehensive professionalization series. Finally, given that the revised program essentially resembles the first 30 hours of the PhD program (with an emphasis in international relations and comparative politics), the department can better leverage existing resources and add MAIS students to existing courses, reducing the number of course offerings at the graduate level.
Returned, as per instructions from Kris Finigan
Corrected spelling error and removed an extraneous course description from the updated text. (DBM, 21 Oct 2016)
Removes "tracks" minor updates to curriculum. No BOT required, NOC to CHE, and notify SACS
CHE approved 3/31/17
SACS acknowledged, move forward. 7/27/17