International Studies, M.A.

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)


Course Title Credits
POLI 715International Relations Theory3
POLI 780Theories of Comparative Politics3
Select six additional hours of internationally-themed courses (which may include courses outside POLI)6
Total Credit Hours12

Core Skills Courses (12 Hours)


Course Title Credits
POLI 502Methods of Political Analysis3
POLI 706Advanced Methods of Political Analysis3
Select six additional hours of skills courses (which may include research design, Public Administration courses, and courses outside POLI)6
Total Credit Hours12

Electives (6 Hours)

If not choosing the 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 the additional electives.

Students who plan to apply for Ph.D. 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.