Master of Arts in International Studies Requirements

Students must complete three core courses and are free to design their program of study on any topic within the broad sphere of international studies under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Major themes covered in International Studies elective courses range from international conflicts, refugee movements and migration, international trade and investment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, poverty alleviation, humanitarian crises, and emerging public health threats.

1. Core courses:

1.1 Thematic core courses:

INS 601 International Relations (fall) Introduction to the theory of international relations; globalization; social movements beyond the nation‐state; security studies; peace and conflict studies; international law and organization; international political economy; foreign policy analysis, global public health, and related fields.


INS 637 International and Comparative Political Economy (fall): Introduction tothe politics and institutions regulating the global trade, investment, and financial regimes; comparative international development; the politics and economics of international environmental regimes; democracy, partisan politics, and global governance, the domestic and international distributive impacts of globalization; and international economic theory.


INS 621. International Development Theory I. (fall). A synthesis of major theories of international development, institutional architecture, and practice of international development. Focus on key international development polices such as trade, macroeconomic finance, and equity. Considers narrow conceptions of modernity, growth, progress, wellbeing, and culture toward broader conceptions of freedom and/or sustainable development.


INS 610. Graduate Seminar in INS. (spring). Second seminar in the sequence of International Studies theory. Explores constructivist approaches.


INS 622. Advanced Seminar in International Economics. (Spring). This is a seminar in International Economics at the graduate level. The first part consists of a rigorous but nontechnical presentation of international trade theory, followed by a discussion of the main arguments for protection and their validity. The third part of the course analyzes the process of globalization; its meaning, measurement and effects. A final brief section is devoted to the determination of exchange rates and the international monetary system.


Methodological core courses:

Students may take any graduate-level methods course such as INS 611 (International Relations Methodology II), GEG 691 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems), POL 610 (Introductory Statistical Methods), APY 611 (Methods of Anthropological Research); SOC 610 (Advanced Research Methods). In addition, a variety of other statistics courses are available in other social science departments that may be used to satisfy the Methodological requirement.


2. Some Elective courses include (for a complete list go to the bulletin here):

INS 603. Dissertation Proposal. INS 603 Research Design: A writing course designed to assist Master's students in the preparation of their graduation requirements: publishable papers or MA thesis.

INS 604. Int Rel Topics II. Selected topics in International Relations Theory. Subtitles describing the topics to be offered will be shown in parentheses in the printed class schedule, following the title.

INS 605. Int Relations Topics. Selected topics in International Relations Theory. Subtitles describing the topics to be offered will be shown in parentheses in the printed class schedule, following the title.

INS 609. Globalization and Human Rights. The integration of markets has many concerned for the political and economic rights of the common citizen. This course examines The effect of globalization on the human rights standards throughout the world.

INS 613. Transnational Social Movemen. Focuses on global civic activism and contentious politics, with particular attention to transnational non-state actors - NGOs, social movements, environmental protection, and the emergence of a global civil society.

INS 620. International Migration and the Health Care System. (). Critical aspects of development globally: the migration-development nexus. The centrality this issue has in current debates on development. Research and policy-making approaches to different aspects of this nexus. Several countries and regions are covered throughout the semester. Development of research skills through systematic participation in specific projects.

INS 628. International Peace and Conflict Resolution. The major sources of conflict, and what resources are available for making and keeping the peace? This class introduces students to the most fundamental concerns of the field of International Relations (IR), and especially of its sub-field IPCR.

INS 638. U.S.-Latin American Relations. Political, economic and strategic aspects of U.S.-Latin American relations; the historical experience and contemporary issues, including the influence of extra-regional parties such as Europe and China.

INS 642. Drug-Trafficking in the Americas. The political economy of the U.S.-Latin American drug trade in the 20th Century along with the dynamics of the U.S.-led war on drugs through the first years of the Twenty First Century.

INS 693. European Security. Regional security in Europe, focusing on NATO expansion, EU expansion, Russian foreign policy, and related issues.

INS 694. European Topics. Subtitles describing the topics to be offered will be shown in parentheses in the printed class schedule, following the course number and title.


3. Foreign Language Requirement: All students must demonstrate competency (reading and basic comprehension) in at least one foreign language. Students are expected to pass a foreign language examination by the end of their first year to determine if they meet this essential requirement or may require additional foreign language training. A variety of options is available for practical language training including courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (insert link) and the Directed Independent Language Study (DILS, insert link).

4. Thesis and Non-thesis Options: As a final requirement to graduate, students must select one of the following options:

- Thesis and Non-Thesis options: Both thesis and non-thesis options are available and students are expected to identify a specific topical interest and research focus by the end of their first semester in residence. The non-thesis option consists of two short papers and an oral examination; the thesis option involves production of a MA thesis that will be examined by a committee of three faculty members (link to Graduate School policies here), one of whom is the faculty mentor. Students opting for an MA Thesis must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.