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International Affairs, M.A.

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The Master of Arts degree in International Affairs can open a new world of career opportunities in an increasingly globalized world. The graduate program provides students with a unique combination of analytic research and practical applications tools. The degree track appeals to students with an intense interest in and desire for work in professional international fields and/or study at the doctoral level. Highly qualified faculty teach the latest research methods in international issues; skills to organize field projects and work in interdisciplinary teams; and theoretical and methodological tools to evaluate national or international policies. Graduates also will have opportunities to develop a complete understanding of foreign cultures.

Note: Program requirements changing starting Summer 2020 term. Please review the Requirement page for more details. 


What We're Doing

M.A. candidate works for Transparency International in Mexico City

M.A. candidate works for Transparency International in Mexico City

Rachel Harmon spent four months in Mexico for a prestigious practicum experience with Transparency International, a pre-eminent anti-corruption organization. Harmon, earning her M.A. in International Affairs in fall 2013, helped revise a survey that asks about people's participation in and perception of corruption (bribes, favoritism, etc.). She also worked on The Open Parliaments Project which promotes standards for openness and transparency for local legislators. "The fact I got to work for Transparency International is something that not many people can say in grad school, much less someone who comes from a public institution," Harmon says. The 2012 Political Science grad credited MTSU professors for opportunities including helping fund her education and studies abroad. Harmon saw political culture firsthand, visited historic ruins, increased her Spanish skills "tenfold," and fell in love with Mexico City and its welcoming citizens. Her goal is to help a nonprofit civil society organization find solutions to conflict and corruption.

Army officer chooses program to assist with nuclear weapons issues

Army officer chooses program to assist with nuclear weapons issues

U.S. Army Capt. John Erick Peters came back to MTSU for the new master's program in International Affairs after being selected as a nuclear counter-proliferation officer. Part of his job involves advising general officers and government officials on international nuclear weapons treaties and situations. "I needed a broader world view of the possible strategic complications nuclear weapons can have for the U.S. and its allies," he says. Peters could choose any university to further his education for the job, but since he was satisfied with his undergrad education (B.S., General Science) and the MAIA was the type program he was seeking, he chose MTSU. He will return to the Army on a nuclear disablement team upon graduation. He left MTSU as a Second Lieutenant in the Army's Chemical Corps; deployed to Iraq in 2008; served as a rear detachment commander for an infantry unit in Afghanistan 2010-11; and commanded the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Captains' Career Course.


Related Media

  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies

 
 
 

The M.A. in International Affairs prepares students for careers in international affairs; international business; domestic and international non-governmental organizations focusing on poverty alleviation, human rights, or environmental policies; foreign policy organizations; government; analysis and risk management firms; homeland security; and the military. Some potential occupations:

  • Charitable aid director
  • City development manager
  • Combat engineer
  • Diplomat
  • Educator
  • Environmentalist
  • Equal employment opportunity coordinator
  • Foreign policy advisor
  • Government employee
  • Human rights advocate
  • Import company representative
  • International trade compliance analyst
  • Linguist
  • Military official
  • Multinational banker
  • Nonprofit director
  • Program analyst
  • Public servant
  • Relief agency director
  • Senior intelligence specialist in defense
  • Staff assistant to members of Congress
  • World health advocate

Employers of MTSU alumni

Because this degree program is quite new, employer information is still being compiled.

The International Security and Peace Studies track could lead to work at such agencies as the United Nations or other UN agencies, the CIA and the Department of State; nongovernmental organizations like the International Red Cross and Doctors without Borders; and think tanks that research international conflicts.

The MAIA program can lead to work at such agencies as the United Nations or other UN agencies, the CIA and the Department of State; the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, U.S. Agency for International Development; nongovernmental organizations like the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders; and think thanks that research international conflicts. Students may choose to work with organizations that help communities with sanitation, clean water, and financing for agricultural activities. 

Graduate

A Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is offered for students who have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited university or college. It is the only program of its type in the state of Tennessee.

International Affairs candidates must fulfill a requirement for either a practicum or a thesis. A study-abroad experience is encouraged, which additionally will help develop foreign-language skills. 

The M.A. in International Affairs provides preparation for careers in an increasingly globalized world by offering students a combination of theoretical knowledge, analytical research skills, and practical experience relevant for employment in:

• international affairs
• diplomacy
• international business
• domestic and international non-governmental organizations
• foreign policy organizations and government
• analysis and risk management firms
• homeland security
• the military and intelligence

Degree Is Designed for Students with:

• an intense interest in the professional fieldsrelated to international affairs
• a capacity to think critically and engage in independent analysis
• a strong initiative to develop professionally
• an undergraduate degree

Program Helps Students Develop:

• a deep understanding of the latest research and methods in international affairs
• the skills to organize practical field projects, work in interdisciplinary teams, and prepare and conduct professional presentations
• the theoretical and methodological tools to evaluat national or international policies
• creativity, self-reflection, and an appreciation for foreign cultures
• the foundations for a professional international career and/or doctoral-level study

Admission Requirements
To apply to the College of Graduate Studies:

1. A baccalaureate degree
2. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, for unconditional admission as a degree-seeking student

For entrance into the M.A. program in International Affairs:

3. Submission of a letter of interest stating the reason for applying to the program, academic interest, and professional goals, along with three letters of recommendation

Application Deadlines
Admission is on a rolling basis. Submit applications at: mtsu.edu/graduate

Financial Aid
Limited numbers of graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and scholarships are available in addition to other forms of aid. Applications may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies website. Students must meet the requirements for admission to graduate school and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. More info: mtsu.edu/financialaid

Graduate Assistantships
If you are interested in applying for a graduate assistantship, notify the program director for the M.A. in International Affairs by these deadlines:
Nov. 1: for spring semester
April 1: for fall semester

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right. 

International Affairs, M.A.

John Maynor, Program Director
(615) 494-8758
John.Maynor@mtsu.edu
www.mtsu.edu/maia

The Department of Political Science and International Relations offers the Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and a minor in Political Science at the graduate level.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions will be made after reviewing all materials and determining the applicant's capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. Admission decisions are based upon consideration of a number of criteria which are believed to indicate a high potential in the graduate program.

Admission to the Master of Arts in International Affairs program requires

  1. an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale for all college work taken.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit three (3) letters of recommendation from professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a master's program in International Affairs;
  4. submit a statement of interest stating reason for applying to the program, academic interest, and professional goals.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in International Affairs requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete at least 30 semester hours of graduate-level designated courses in international affairs, with at least 70 percent of the hours at the 6000 level;
  2. successfully complete a professional portfolio including a practicum.

Curriculum: International Affairs

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Thesis Option (30 hours)

Core Requirements (12 hours)

  • PS 6100 - Theory and Practice I: International Relations

    2credit hours

    Examines the theoretical foundations of international relations, the historical contexts in which they arose, the practical implications of the competing theoretical models, and the contemporary issues that occupy researchers and policymakers in the discipline.

  • PS 6200 - Theory and Practice II: Comparative Politics

    2credit hours

    Examines the theories and methods of comparative politics, the evolution of the discipline, and the issues that drive comparative political research today. Readings include both classic and contemporary literature from different theoretical, empirical, and methodological orientations.

  • PS 6350 - International Affairs I: Concepts and Cases

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor for non-International Affairs students. Applies professional techniques and scholarly knowledge to historical and contemporary case studies of international and transnational problems. Emphasizes the use of concepts and evidence to understand and analyze complex issues and conflicts in international affairs, as well as skills needed to develop, justify, advocate, and present solutions and policy options.

  • PS 6400 - International Affairs II: Governance and Transnational Issues

    3credit hours

    Familiarizes students with the major actors, institutions, and legal networks in the fields of U.S. foreign policy and global governance as well as with the policy outcomes-discusses in a systematic manner what actors do, how they do it and how do they interact in the process. Special attention given to the effects these actors, institutions, and legal regimes have on the international system in such areas as maintaining order and promoting peace; regulating migration and economic development; and promoting social equality, human rights, and environmental security. Encourages students to relate the course material to the ongoing international processes and current events.

  • PS 6550 - International Affairs III: Professional Skills and Methods

    2credit hours

    Prerequisites: PS 6250 and PS 6400 or approval by the MAIA graduate director. Foundational skills to work as professionals in international affairs. Focuses on the acquisition, evaluation, analysis, and presentation of information on problems and issues in international affairs. Emphasis is on open-source research, creating the types of documents that are in-demand in professional settings, and professional oral presentations.

NOTE:PS 6100, PS 6200, and PS 6550 are taken concurrently; PS 6350 and PS 6400 are taken concurrently.

Guided Electives (12 hours)

  • Advisor-approved graduate electives 12 credit hours

Thesis (6 hours)

  • PS 6170 - Literature Review in International Affairs  3 credit hours  
    ANDAND  dotslash:AND title:AND 
    AND 

    PS 6170 - Literature Review in International Affairs

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PS 6100, PS 6200, PS 6400, PS 6500, PS 6110, and PS 6120 or PS 6210 and PS 6220. Focuses on the selection of a research topic and review of pertinent literature associated with a thesis.

  • PS 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 3 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    PS 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 6170. Drawing on work from PS 6170, collect and analyze data and compose thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion.

Non-thesis Option (30 hours)

Core Requirements (12 hours)

  • PS 6100 - Theory and Practice I: International Relations

    2credit hours

    Examines the theoretical foundations of international relations, the historical contexts in which they arose, the practical implications of the competing theoretical models, and the contemporary issues that occupy researchers and policymakers in the discipline.

  • PS 6200 - Theory and Practice II: Comparative Politics

    2credit hours

    Examines the theories and methods of comparative politics, the evolution of the discipline, and the issues that drive comparative political research today. Readings include both classic and contemporary literature from different theoretical, empirical, and methodological orientations.

  • PS 6350 - International Affairs I: Concepts and Cases

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor for non-International Affairs students. Applies professional techniques and scholarly knowledge to historical and contemporary case studies of international and transnational problems. Emphasizes the use of concepts and evidence to understand and analyze complex issues and conflicts in international affairs, as well as skills needed to develop, justify, advocate, and present solutions and policy options.

  • PS 6400 - International Affairs II: Governance and Transnational Issues

    3credit hours

    Familiarizes students with the major actors, institutions, and legal networks in the fields of U.S. foreign policy and global governance as well as with the policy outcomes-discusses in a systematic manner what actors do, how they do it and how do they interact in the process. Special attention given to the effects these actors, institutions, and legal regimes have on the international system in such areas as maintaining order and promoting peace; regulating migration and economic development; and promoting social equality, human rights, and environmental security. Encourages students to relate the course material to the ongoing international processes and current events.

  • PS 6550 - International Affairs III: Professional Skills and Methods

    2credit hours

    Prerequisites: PS 6250 and PS 6400 or approval by the MAIA graduate director. Foundational skills to work as professionals in international affairs. Focuses on the acquisition, evaluation, analysis, and presentation of information on problems and issues in international affairs. Emphasis is on open-source research, creating the types of documents that are in-demand in professional settings, and professional oral presentations.

NOTE:PS 6100, PS 6200, and PS 6550 are taken concurrently; PS 6350 and PS 6400 are taken concurrently.

Guided Electives (12 hours)

  • Advisor-approved graduate electives 12 credit hours

Practicum (6 hours)

  • PS 6290 - Practicum in International Affairs  1 to 6 credit hours  
    (6 credit hours required)(6 credit hours required)  dotslash:(6 credit hours required) title:(6 credit hours required) 
    (6 credit hours required) 

    PS 6290 - Practicum in International Affairs

    1 to 6credit hours

    A supervised experience with students placed in organizations active in globalization and development issues. The practicum placement must be approved by the graduate advisor and departmental graduate director prior to enrolling.

Financial Aid

A limited numbers of graduate assistantships and scholarships are available in addition to other forms of aid. Applications may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies Web site. The Student Financial Aid Office has information on various kinds of financial aid online.

Academic Common Market

The SREB Academic Common Market is a program that allows students to study in a specialized field at an 
out-of-state college while paying in-state tuition. Students from such states as Alabama, Arkansas, 
Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and other states in the south may be eligible. For more information, go to: http://www.sreb.org/page/1304/academic_common_market.html.

Forms

Checklists

Links

Student Practicum Reports and Theses

Contact Information

John Maynor, Graduate Director
John.Maynor@mtsu.edu
615-494-8758

Who is My Advisor?

John Maynor, Graduate Director
John.Maynor@mtsu.edu
615-494-8758

Mailing Address

Department of Political Science and International Relations
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 29
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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