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MA IR Signature Courses – Maxwell’s Interdisciplinary Edge

Culture in World Affairs offers an important Anthropological lens into international affairs issues

Culture in World Affairs offers an important Anthropological lens into many issues in international affairs

Maxwell’s setting, as a School of Social Sciences, is quite distinctive from other professional schools offering the MA IR degree.  As a school of Social Sciences, we have the ability to provide a strong inter-disciplinary lens to our MA IR degree. With ten inter-disciplinary research centers and over 150 faculty members, many of them leading scholars in their fields, the Maxwell School houses all the academic disciplines of Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Economics, and Geography.  These operate alongside the professionally oriented MA programs in Public Administration and International Relations administered by the (wholly graduate) Department of Public Administration and International Affairs. 

During a comprehensive curriculum review in 2011, the Department was adamant that we maintain and even enhance the inter-disciplinary strength for our MA IR program. By incorporating a required “Signature Course” into the core requirements of the MA IR, we have placed great importance on our view that students entering this field, should view the critical issues in international affairs from a variety of disciplinary lenses. Our MA IR core courses encompass classes on management of international organizations, understanding the context of the field, and having solid policy analysis skills, including an understanding of research design.  Taking a signature courses allows our students the advantage of looking at a particular policy issues from another perspective and allows them to fully benefit from the larger School’s expertise in public affairs and cutting edge social science research.

The signature courses offered include:

Culture in World Affairs (Anthropology)
Comparative Foreign Policy (Political Science)
History of International Relations (History)
Economic Dimensions of Global Power (Economics)
Development and Sustainability (Geography)

Each signature course matches one or more career tracks in the MA IR program.  Students can select a course relevant to their career track to develop more depth, or one that will broaden their perspective outside their chosen area of focus.  These courses are meant to augment a students understanding of the key concepts/issues they will explore, not only in their studies, but also in their careers.

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April 2024
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