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 (one required):

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 630 Comparative Politics (fall): Introduction totheory and methods of comparative analysis; authoritarian and democratic political regimes and institutions; democratic governance and citizenship, comparative political economy; contentious politics and social movements; civil-military relations; and appropriate courses on selected regions, such as the European Union, Latin America, or the Post-Soviet countries.


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.

1.2 Methodological core courses (two required):

Students may take any graduate-level methods course such as INS 611 (International Relations Methodology II), INS 612 (Qualitative Methods), GEG 691 (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems), POL 695A (Introductory Statistical Methods), POL 695T (Advanced 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. 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).

3. Comprehensive Exam, Thesis and Non-thesis Options: As a final requirement to graduate, students must select one of the following 3 options:

- Pass a written qualifying (comprehensive) examination in one of the three fields of specialization. The MA qualifying examination probes student knowledge of one of the Department’s three fields of study and the ability to think and express ideas clearly. Masters level students are required to answer three questions within four hours

- 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.