MA in International Affairs Program Requirements

The one-year MA in International Affairs program is a two semester program*, with an additional part-time semester for the research project, comprised of 38 credits. The program is composed of two courses (8 credits), plus eight modules (22 credits) which are short, workshop style seminars taught by visiting professionals. The final eight credits are fulfilled with a required research methods seminar (2 credits) and a 12,000-word thesis (6 credits).

* Classes for this program are not offered during the summer. Students starting the program in the spring semester will complete the program at the end of the following spring semester (May). Please contact graduate admissions for further details.


Core courses (8 credits)

Choose two of the following courses:

PO5005 Philo. Found. Of Internat'l Relations

Articulated within the emergence of the European nation-state and born in the context of the First World War and its aftermath, the discursive field of International Relations is organized around the constitutive concepts of conflict, anarchy, power, system, rule, law, and justice, and the practices of civil society and political economy. These concepts and practices organize, in turn, both the major schools of International Relations theory and contemporary methodological pluralism. This course interrogates these founding concepts from a philosophical perspective within the historical and discursive context of each major school: 1) from classical liberalism to international liberalism; 2) from classical realism to modern realism; 3) the ‘English School’ of IR theory (Bull); 4) Marxist tenets within international relations (from Karl Marx to international political economy); 5) Modern and Contemporary Critical Liberalism (Polanyi and Held); 6) The philosophical grounds of contemporary Constructivism.


PO5012 Civil Society: Internat'l & Comp. Persp.

“Civil society” is one of the more elusive entries in the social science lexicon, and not a few have argued that we could do well without it. In a critical but appreciative spirit, this seminar introduces to the various meanings and uses that have been attributed to, or made of, civil society across time and national contexts. A constant in its various meanings is the reference to an elementary capacity of social self-organization beyond states and markets. This has made civil society an attractive alternative to diminished states and unfettered markets in the era of globalization, interestingly for the political left and right alike.


PO5058 Conflict Manag't, Prevent'n, & Resolut'n

Course will examine both the theory and practice of decision making, diplomacy and conflict resolution. It will examine theories of procedural and instrumental rationality, prospect theory, multiple advocacy, along with an examination of actual policy formation involving bureaucratic politics, policy networks, and caucuses. The course will likewise examine diplomatic theories ranging from “ripe for resolution” to “ripe for prevention”. And finally, specific historical and contemporary cases studies involving conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict transformation and conflict resolution will be examined.


PO5072 Us & World Affairs

America's predominant position in the modern world system derives from a continuous process of expansion. Using a pluridisciplinary approach with a strong historical focus, this course critically explores the US’s ascending movement from the confines to the center of the world system and the ways in which America has shaped the global political economy. It will allow students to anchor controversial contemporary debates (imperialism and hegemony, cooperation and conflict, multilateralism and unilateralism, globalization, transnationality and the nation state, etc.) in historic and comparative perspective. Major IR and IPE theoretical frameworks (realism, liberalism, Marxism, transnational theories) will be discussed and their relevance assessed when applied to different issue areas.



Elective courses (12 credits)

Choose three courses from the PO and LW course offerings.


Modules (10 credits)

Five modules (as available - module topics change from semester to semester):

PO5002 Modules

The module topics change each semester and are taught by working professionals in the fields of international affairs, conflict resolution and civil society development. Each semester four or more different modules are offered.



Seminar and Thesis (8 credits)

End level completions are either a thesis or internship. Students choose between:

PO5095 Thesis

In the last semester of their studies students are required to complete a 20,000 word thesis. Additional paperwork available in the office of the Registrar is MANDATORY for registration of the thesis.

PO5099 Thesis Methodology Seminar

This seminar is required for all students in their final semester of classes in the MAIA program. It is designed to instruct them in the appropriate methodology for the actual writing of the thesis. During the course of the semester students will be personally guided as they choose their thesis topic and will create an outline and abstract in preparation for their research and/or fieldwork.




Core Courses 4 2 8
Electives 4 3 12
Modules 2 5 10
Thesis  6 1 6
Thesis Seminar 2 1 2


1 core course+ 2 electives 1 core course + 1 elective Thesis
2 modules 3 modules
1 Thesis Methodology Seminar
16 credits 16 credits 6 credits

See the tuition and fees for this program. 

* A special note: U.S. Federal regulations state that AUP students receiving federal loans cannot do their Internship or write up their thesis in the United States. Students can only complete an Internship in the United States when it is not in pursuit of their degree.