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Masters in International Studies

The MA program is designed to prepare students for careers in government, the private sector, or international agencies, or for doctoral studies.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers certificate programs in African-New World Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Transnational and Regional Studies, among other. The graduate program encourages its MA students to pursue regional certification in conjunction with their work in the MA program.

The following is a brief summary of program requirements. For more information, see the IR Graduate Program Handbook

  • Admission Requirements

    Admission Requirements

    To be considered for admission to the MA program, applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 in upper-level work, or its equivalent, from a recognized institution of higher education. International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 80 on the iBT TOEFL or 6.5 overall on the IELTS is required. Admissions requirements are minimums and even if the minimums are met, admission is not assured.

  • Degree Requirements

    Degree Requirements

    The MA program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit at the graduate level. Undergraduate courses taken to satisfy prerequisites for graduate courses will not count toward the 36 hour minimum requirement. The Graduate Advisory Committee may approve the transfer of a maximum of six graduate credits earned at another recognized institution of higher education.

  • Core Sequence (15 credits)

    Core Sequence (15 credits)

    All MA students must complete a core sequence of five courses (15 credits).

    These courses are:

    • GEO 6473 Space, Place and Identity
    • INR 6706 Political Economy of International Relations
    • INR 5609 Contemporary Dynamics of International Relations
    • INR 5615 Research Design in International Relations
    • INR 5017 Approaches to Area Studies
  • Major Field (9 credits)

    Major Field (9 credits)

    MA students also must select a major field of study in (1) Global Institutions and Issues, or (2) Foreign Policy and Securities Studies, by taking three courses (9 credits) from an extensive list of approved courses in the social sciences. Students must take at least two courses offered by the Department of International Relations to satisfy the field requirement. Click here for a list of INR courses listed by field.

  • Electives (6 credits)

    Electives (6 credits)

    To satisfy the program’s elective requirement, students must take two additional courses (6 credits) from the field lists. Students wishing to elect other graduate-level courses offered by the University may do so with permission of the Graduate Director.

  • Thesis and Alternatives (6 credits)

    Thesis and Alternatives (6 credits)

    To complete degree requirements, MA students have the option of (a) writing a thesis or (b) taking a comprehensive examination. Before electing any of these options, students must demonstrate competence in the use of a foreign language other than English.

    Any student electing (a) to write a thesis will normally take 6 credit hours of thesis supervision and prepare a thesis proposal subject to the approval of three members of the University graduate faculty. A graduate faculty member of the Department of International Relations must chair any thesis committee thus constituted. No thesis may be approved until the writer has defended it in a public examination. Any student electing (b) to take a comprehensive examination must have 6 semester hours of course work in preparation for the exam. One half of the comprehensive examination will cover the core sequence of courses, and the other half will cover the student’s major field.

PhD in International Relations

The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for careers as scholars and teachers. It provides students with a solid theoretical foundation while allowing individual latitude for rigorous research on a wide range of subjects. Students work closely with dedicated, internationally recognized scholars.

The following is a brief summary of program requirements. For more information, see the PIR Graduate Catalog

  • Admission Requirements

    Admission Requirements

    To be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program, all applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from a recognized institution of higher education, or have received a bachelor’s degree before they matriculate in the program.

    Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.2, or its equivalent, a minimum grade point average of 3.5 for all combined graduate work, and verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 90 on the iBT TOEFL (equivalent to 575 on the paper-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language) or 6.5 overall on the IELTS is required.

    Applications will be reviewed only in the spring term for fall admission. Students who wish to be considered for graduate assistantships must submit an application by January 15 in the year in which they wish to begin their studies.

  • Degree Requirements

    Degree Requirements

    The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 75 semester hours of credit at the graduate level.

    Undergraduate courses taken to satisfy prerequisites for graduate courses will not count toward the 75 hour minimum requirement. Students earning an M.A. degree within the last five years may count 36 credits toward the 75 hour minimum requirement. The Graduate Advisory Committee may approve the transfer of a maximum of 12 graduate credits earned in a non-degree capacity at FIU.

    Ph.D. students who have satisfied all other requirements for the M.A. apart from the exit requirement (i.e. all coursework and the foreign language competency) are eligible to receive an M.A. degree. Passing the doctoral comprehensive examinations serves as equivalent to the M.A. comprehensive examination. Ph.D. students who have satisfied their requirements should consult with the Graduate Program Director about the necessary paperwork and procedures to receive the M.A. degree in the course of their Ph.D. studies.

  • Core Sequence (15 credits)

    Core Sequence (15 credits)

    All Ph.D. students must complete a core sequence of five courses (15 credits). These courses are:

    • INR 5609 Contemporary Dynamics of International Relations
    • INR 5615 Research Design in International Relations
    • INR 6604 International Relations Theory I
    • INR 6608 Contemporary International Relations Theory

    Second methods course from the following list (or another methods course approved by the Graduate Program Director):

    • INR 5616 Qualitative and Interpretive Methods in International Relations
    • POS 5706 Graduate Seminar in Political Science Research Methods
    • ECO 7424 Econometric Methods 1
    • ANG 6480 Ethnohistorical Research Methods
    • ANG 6497 Qualitative Research Methods
    • GIS 5935 Topics in GIS
    • PAD 7705 Applied Quantitative Analysis I
    • PAD 7707 Applied Quantitative Analysis II
    • PAD 7703C Empirical Methods in Public Administration
  • Fields selection:

    Fields selection:

    a. Global Political Economy and Development
    b. Comparative Area Studies
    c. Foreign Policy and Security Studies
    d. Global Governance, International Law and International Ethics

  • Gateway courses (9 credits)

    Gateway courses (9 credits)

    Each field has one or two gateway courses. Students take three gateway courses out of three fields.

    • Global Political Economy and Development: INR 6706 Political Economy of IR
    • Comparative Area Studies: INR 5017 Approaches to Area Studies
    • Foreign Policy and Security Studies: INR 6338 Strategic Studies
    • Global Governance, International Law and International Ethics: INR 5409 Int'l Law I OR INR 5507 Int'l Organizations
  • Major and Minor Fields (15 credits)

    Major and Minor Fields (15 credits)

    Students must select a major field of study in (1) Global Political Economy and Development (2) Comparative Area Studies (3) Foreign Policy and Security Studies, or (4) International Law by taking three courses (9 credits) from a list of approved courses. Students must also select a minor field of study consisting of at least two courses (6 credits), (a) by choosing a second field from the above list,(b) by taking a Ph.D. field in some other teaching unit of the University, or (c) by creating a field in consultation with the Graduate Program Director and three members of the University faculty.

  • Electives (15 credits)

    Electives (15 credits)

    To satisfy the Ph.D. program’s elective requirement,students must take 15 credits of additional course work, including independent study courses. Students wishing to elect a course or courses offered elsewhere in the University may do so with permission of the Graduate Program Director. Students must demonstrate the ability to use a foreign language other than English for scholarly purposes.

  • Comprehensive Exams (6 credits)

    Comprehensive Exams (6 credits)

    Within 6 months of completing the foreign language requirement and 60 hours of course work, students must sit for written comprehensive examinations on the core sequence and in both of their fields. Students may sit for their comprehensive examination during the term in which they complete these requirements.

  • Dissertation (15 credits)

    Dissertation (15 credits)

    Within 3 months of passing the comprehensive examinations, students should publicly present a dissertation proposal that is acceptable to a committee of at least four qualified scholars. Three members of the committee, including the dissertation supervisor, must be graduate faculty members of the Department of Politics and International Relations. One must be from outside the department, but inside FIU. Other members must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.To complete program requirements, Ph.D. degree candidates must enroll for a minimum of 15 dissertation credits and maintain matriculation until the degree is awarded.