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New MA Program Requirements

New MA Program Requirements Effective Fall 2012

The School of International Service is pleased to announce some exciting enhancements to the MA program. Beginning Fall 2012, SIS will roll out new program requirements that are designed to further professionalize the MA program. Students in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP), Comparative and Regional Studies (CRS), Global Environmental Politics (GEP), International Communication (IC), International Development (ID), International Economic Relations (IER), International Media (IM/SIS), International Politics (IP), International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Social Enterprise (SE), and U.S. Foreign Policy (USFP) will have the opportunity to “opt-in” to the new program requirements.

The Ethics Peace and Global Affairs (EPGA) and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) program requirements will not change.The Development Management (DM) degree and the Masters in International Service (MIS) will eliminate the comprehensive exam.

Here is a summary of the key changes to the MA degrees:

  • The research requirement is reduced to 3 credits. Students have the option of fulfilling the research requirement through the completion of a practicum, an SRP, or a thesis. The practicum is designed for students to work as a team on projects. Many of these will involve a client outside of the University, such as an intergovernmental organization, a major NGO, a business, an embassy, or a US government agency.

  • Students are required to certify that they have professional experience (like an internship) relevant to their degree program. Students may also fulfill this requirement by completing an internship. While students will have the option to register their internship for academic credit, students may opt to register the internship for non-credit. In some cases, students may fulfill this professional experience requirement based on certification of their previous employment or internship experience.

  • A 3-credit elective is added to the degree programs. Students are encouraged to use the elective for professional development by registering for skills institutes (e.g. grant writing, policy brief writing, strategic planning), an additional methods course, a for-credit internship, an elective course, or additional thesis credits (for those pursuing the 6-credit MA thesis).

  • The comprehensive exam requirement will be eliminated.

The Practicum

Please note that we are not yet able to post all practica for fall 2012. SIS will likely offer between 4-8 practica for Fall 2012, with many additional practica available in Spring 2013. The scheduled Fall 2012 offerings are:

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: China, Latin America and Challenges for U.S. Foreign Policy

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: Counter-Terrorism

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: Non-Proliferation

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: North American Integration: The Challenge of Regulatory Convergence

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: International Communication (TBD)

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: International Development (TBD)

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: International Peace and Conflict Resolution (TBD)

    • SIS 793.00X Practicum: International Economic Relations (TBD)


You will need to apply to participate in one of the practica. Each program will develop its own application for Fall 2012 offerings and will announce these offerings and processes on their program listervs. Students will be notified if they are selected for a practica before the end of the semester. (The time table for practica registration will be moved up fall.)

Last Updated 19 June 2012