Program Specific Admission Requirements
Admission is granted only to those with promise for success in graduate study as demonstrated by work experience, previous education, test scores (GRE) and an essay explaining their reason for pursuing a Master of Arts in International Relations. Generally, students must provide acceptable test scores at the time of enrollment.
- Test scores are considered in conjunction with undergraduate grade point average to produce an Academic Index. The minimum Academic Index required is:
GPA x Verbal GRE score = 450. Minimum writing score is 4.0
An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above is required. Exceptions to this minimum may be granted at the discretion of the program director if extenuating circumstances warrant.
There are no course prerequisites for the Master of Arts in International Relations.
Programs in International Relations
Certificate in International Relations
IR 6000X. Maintaining Matriculation. 0 Semester Hours.
IR 6300. International Relations Research Methods. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the principles of social science research design and the various statistical techniques used to manipulate social science data. Students are introduced to various research techniques and methods utilized in all facets of the discipline from behavioral research to public policy analysis.
IR 6301. Internship. 3 Semester Hours.
Credit is awarded for work with a U.S. or foreign private business, non-governmental agency, state, national, or international organization that is involved in international trade, activity, or research. Three hours may be earned during a regular academic semester in which a student works 20 hours a week. Students may enroll in two semesters (up to six hours) for internship credit. If a student enrolls for six hours of internship in one semester, the student must work 40 hours a week. A member of the graduate faculty coordinates the internship. The internship student keeps a weekly log of activities and prepares at least one paper integrating theory with the internship experience.
IR 6302. Internship. 3 Semester Hours.
Same description as IR 6301; used if student is enrolling for additional 3 hours of internship.
IR 6305. Research Design. 3 Semester Hours.
An advanced application of social science research design applied to international relations issues. Prerequisite: IR 6300.
IR 6309. Topics in International Development. 3 Semester Hours.
A special topics seminar that focuses on critical issues related to sustainable development within the context of the international arena. The specific topics may vary and students may take the course more than once if topic is different and with permission of the Program Director. The course will fulfill a focus course requirement for students in the International Development Studies focus area and will be considered an elective for students in other focus areas.
IR 6311. Topics in Inter-American Studies. 3 Semester Hours.
A special topics seminar that focuses on issues of politics, economics, security, or social and cultural history as they relate to Latin, Central, or South America. The specific topics may vary and students may take the course more than once if topic is different and with permission of the Program Director. The course will fulfill a focus course requirement for students in the Inter-American Studies focus area and will be considered an elective for students in other focus areas.
IR 6312. International Relations Theory. 3 Semester Hours.
This course provides students with an understanding of the diversity of approaches to the study of international relations, along with an appreciation of key concepts and frameworks. Another aim is to identify themes and issues that have enduring importance rather than those which are of the moment.
IR 6313. Topics in International Conflict Resolution. 3 Semester Hours.
A special topics seminar that focuses on various issues related to resolution of conflict, intra-state and/or inter-state within context of the international arena. The specific topics may vary and students may take the course more than once if topic is different and with permission of the Program Director. The course will fulfill a focus course requirement for students in the International Conflict Resolution focus area and will be considered an elective for students in other focus areas.
IR 6314. Topics in Security Issues. 3 Semester Hours.
A special topics seminar that focuses on issues related to national and international security issues. The specific topic can vary and students may take the course more than once if topic is different and with permission of the Program Director. The course will fulfill a focus course requirement for students in the Security Policy focus area and will be considered an elective for students in other focus areas.
IR 6315. United States Foreign Policy. 3 Semester Hours.
History of the United States’ foreign policy; consistencies and variations. Analysis of the role of vital interests of the United States in the world today.
IR 6320. Research and Writing in International Relations. 3 Semester Hours.
Introduction to research and writing assignments required in the program. General knowledge of the learning objectives and requirements for graded exercises. Understanding the research process and the steps to producing original research and a quality written product.
IR 6324. National Security. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines the politics and economics of national security issues. Special emphasis is given to the changing international paradigm (i.e., post cold War) and the impact on domestic political and economic decision making.
IR 6340. International Political Economy. 3 Semester Hours.
This course stresses the human, strategic, and political dimensions of managing international economic change. The interrelatedness of the state, multinationals, NGOs, and international institutions will be examined as they impact North-North and North-South competition.
IR 6342. Inter-American Security Issues. 3 Semester Hours.
This course will examine the politics and economics of current security issues in the Americas. Military and non-military security issues will be discussed. Examples are: narco-trafficking, role of the military, human rights, environmental policies, population, etc.
IR 6346. International Law & Treaties. 3 Semester Hours.
Study of rules governing the community of nations, their nature, sources and development; international treaties and the agencies responsible for their development, interpretation, and administration.
IR 6352. Human Rights. 3 Semester Hours.
To understand what it means for a human being to make a claim that she or he has rights, how the idea of human rights has evolved over time, why the ability to make a claim to institutions with moral, legal, and political power matters, and how far humanity still has to go before human rights claims are fully recognized and enforced by governments.
IR 6398. Thesis Research. 3 Semester Hours.
Prior to writing a Master’s thesis, students are required to develop and defend a review of the pertinent literature, and an explanation and defense of the proposed methodology. The thesis proposal will be orally defended before the Thesis Committee comprised of three faculty.
IR 6399. Thesis. 3 Semester Hours.
The thesis is a culminating experience which provides a record of a student’s achievement in the program. The thesis requires research leading to the discovery of new knowledge or enhancement of existing knowledge in the field of interest. A project that helps solve a practical problem may also be acceptable. The thesis is a complete documentation of the research study, including the theoretical background, description of the problem, the method used to investigate or solve the problem, presentation of results, interpretation of results, and explanation of the significance of the results.
IR 7101. Directed Studies in International Relations. 1 Semester Hour.
The course emphasis will vary according to area of study, perceived needs, or research interest. Course must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
IR 7201. Directed Studies in International Relations. 2 Semester Hours.
The course emphasis will vary according to area of study, perceived needs, or research interest. Course must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
IR 7300. Ethical Issues in International Relations. 3 Semester Hours.
This is designed as a capstone course and discusses the ethical dimension of international relations from an interdisciplinary perspective.
IR 7301. Directed Studies in International Relations. 3 Semester Hours.
The course emphasis will vary according to area of study, perceived needs, or research interest. Course must be approved the Graduate Program Director.
IR 7320. Asian Security Issues. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines the politics and economics of current security issues in Asia. Both military and non-military security issues are discussed. Examples are: collective security organizations, environmental security issues, technological transfers, the arms trade, and immigration/refugee patterns.
IR 7325. International Development and Human Security in a Post-conflict Setting. 3 Semester Hours.
International Development and Human Security in a Post-conflict Setting is premised on the conviction that human security, international development and the consolidation of peace in post-conflict settings are interrelated and mutually constitutive. This course is also a reflection of and response to the changing state of the world in which western notions of human security, peace-building and socioeconomic progress translate differently into local settings in the aftermath of conflict. Capturing such dynamism presents various conceptual and methodological challenges as we move between scales of inquiry (the state and local actors), traverse disciplinary boundaries and creatively adapt formal definitions of development to local interpretations and hybrid models that defy easy categorization.
IR 7340. Middle East Security Issues. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines the politics and economics of current security issues in the Middle East. Both military and non-military security issues are discussed. Examples are: regional balance of power politics, the role of international agencies, environmental security issues such as water, technological transfers, and immigration/refugee patterns.
IR 7350. European Security Issues. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines the politics and economics of current security issues in Europe. Military and non-military security issues are discussed. Examples are: the changing role of NATO, a united European defense system, environmental security issues, technological transfers, and immigration/refugee patterns.
IR 7380. African Security Issues. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines the politics and economics of current security issues in Africa. Military and non-military security issues are discussed. Examples are root causes of regional conflict, the international arms trade, environmental security issues, technological transfers, and immigration/refugee patterns.
IR 8300. Theories on the Causes of War. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines current theories on the root causes of war and violent conflict, both civil and international. Causal actors such as ethnicity, race, religion, territory, water, population migration/refugees, arms race/militarism, personality of leaders, etc. are researched.
IR 8303. Woman and War. 3 Semester Hours.
An examination of the role of women in war. Literature will examine women in the workforce during war, women in the service, women as victims of war, and women in the peace movement.
IR 8305. Conflict Transformation: Theory and Analysis. 3 Semester Hours.
Whether between empires, states, tribes, or villages, violent social conflict has left an indelible imprint on human history. While the realities of and potential for violent conflict remains, so do the desires for lasting peace and coexistence. A better understanding of the dynamic and varied field of conflict transformation requires that we endeavor to understand the sources and consequences of inter and intra state conflicts, as well as the variety of theoretical models helpful for managing and transforming conflict. Through readings, collaborative analysis, research, writing and weekly dialogue, students will conduct an interdisciplinary, multifaceted and interdisciplinary investigation into the underlying attitudinal, behavioral, and structural causes of violent conflict. Appropriate theories and practical implications will be analyzed. Empowering and investing in people in order for them to take ownership of reconciliation processes beyond dialogue into transformative action steps will be explored. Students will be challenged to explore the diverse range of actors and institutions participating in the work of conflict transformation, their motives as well as moral-ethical framework of their work within conflict transformation.
IR 8307. Sustainable Development. 3 Semester Hours.
How are the benefits and costs of socioeconomic development shared across different sets of stakeholders? By analyzing the relationship between social organization, technology and the environment, this course examines different models for the provision of basic needs for present and future generations, particularly those most vulnerable to further impoverishment through displacement, loss of livelihood through environmental degradation and other challenges to sustainable development.
IR 8308. NGOs, Civil Society and Non-State Actors. 3 Semester Hours.
This course aims to foster a critical perspective on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other non-state actors by examining key concepts underlying their evolution and practice, including civil society, social capital and development.
IR 8309. Foundations of International Aid. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines international aid programs originating in donor countries. The decision-making process regarding program/resource allocation and assessment will be analyzed as well as designing donor nation participation in this process.
IR 8311. World Religions and International Affairs. 3 Semester Hours.
This course will provide students with a general understanding of major world religions, then analyze the extent to which religion/s are a major source of conflict and how religion/s can become part of a peaceful end to violent conflict and to successful reconciliation between warring parties.
IR 8313. Cross-Cultural Approaches to Socio-Economic Development. 3 Semester Hours.
Development aid is rarely a neutral process. Alongside innovations in technology and income generation, the flow of technical support and financial assistance affects/is affected by local values, customs and power relations, to name a few. This course equips students with the analytic tools and historical, political and ethnographic perspectives with which to develop their own critical understanding of international aid with an emphasis on the pivotal role that culture plays in the development encounter.
IR 8328. Intelligence Gathering and National Security. 3 Semester Hours.
An examination of the role intelligence agencies play in defining national security interests and in the making of foreign policy (i.e., the relationship between the intelligence communities, the NSC, Congress, and the White House).
IR 8330. Global Political Geography. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is an introduction to the theories and methods of political geography. It focuses on where the political and spatial meet, illuminating the close relationship between geography and power on a variety of scales – from local to global. Included are such topics as geopolitics, frontiers and boundaries, physical and ideological characteristics of the States, imperialism, nationalism, war and terrorism, migration, laws of the sea, and human geography and the environment.
IR 8342. Ethical Issues in International Development. 3 Semester Hours.
This course will examine ethical issues in economic development and globalization. Students will be asked to apply ethical theory/reasoning to hard cases related to environment, free trade, marketing practices in poor countries, tax policies, outsourcing, etc.
IR 8351. Identity, Religion and Violent Conflict. 3 Semester Hours.
Understanding the complex tectonics of identity . religious, ethnic, tribal, etc. . is necessary for policymakers and academics wanting to grasp more fully the underlying causes of violent conflict between communities. This course examines identity construction in the diverging contexts of conflict and coexistence. It explores the relationship between identity and conflict transformation. In particular, it focuses in on the paradoxical role of religion, religious ritual, and religious identity in escalating violence and building peace.
IR 8352. Models for Engagement and Encounter. 3 Semester Hours.
This course introduces participants to established and emerging peace-building methodologies used to help transform conflict in positive ways and heal divisions in divided and traumatized societies. Participants are exposed to a variety of imaginative and relevant conflict transformation techniques used by practitioners working with divided communities, including: narrative theory and practice, trust-building dialogue, thematic interventions (i.e. religious, ethnic, political, etc.), interface work, and creative remembering. With particular emphasis on trauma and its impact on conflict-affected individuals, communities and societies, this course examines specific methodologies for increasing resilience and supporting healing following civil conflict.
IR 9300. Topics in International Relations. 3 Semester Hours.
A special topics seminar that can focus on a variety of issues that cannot be limited to any one focus area. Topics can include a systematic consideration of politics, economics, security and/or social and cultural history as related to a specific topic in international relations. The specific topic can vary and students may take the course more than once if topic is different and with permission of the Program Director. The Program Director will determine whether or not the course will be considered a focus course or an elective for the different areas.
IR 9301. Topics in International Relations International Field Study. 3 Semester Hours.
The primary focus of the course is sustainable economic development and a second focus is the relationship of sustainable economic development to security and conflict resolution. The course is normally taught in Summer 1 or Summer 2 and includes a required international field trip that is designed to give students an exposure to governmental, not-for-profit, educational, micro-entrepreneurial, small business, and cooperative organizations in less-developed countries that are struggling with sustainable economic development.
IR 9302. Conflict Transformation Capstone: Field Study. 3 Semester Hours.
The capstone course gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their competency in the learning objectives set out in the conflict transformation curriculum. In this capstone course students will apply curricular objectives through a field study project in Northern Ireland. The course will conclude with a summative evaluation by faculty of the participant's ability to comprehend and integrate the strategies, concepts, and practices of conflict transformation.
IR 9396. Grant Proposal Writing (same as CM 7334). 3 Semester Hours.
This course is designed to teach the fundamental process of grant development for the beginning grant writer. Participants will be expected to develop a complete grant proposal suitable for submission to a funding agency. Those registering for the course should have conducted preliminary, independent research about a potential grant development project suitable for a major grant submission. Projects may be related to education, public works, museum programs, art, research, or similar areas. Specific projects are normally developed during the first two weeks of the course.