New Master of Arts in Global Affairs Offered

Posted: April 23, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By B.J. Koubaroulis

Beginning this fall, Mason will offer a new Master of Arts in global affairs that provides students an opportunity to study abroad and pursue a course of study tailored to their personal career plans.

The new MA in global affairs is an interdisciplinary degree based in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). However, students in the program will take courses in academic programs across the university.

Designed to cultivate advanced perspectives across a broad range of international and global issues, the new program will position its graduates for success in a rapidly growing international community.

“In the past, graduate students have either become experts in a particular world region, like the Middle East or South Asia, or they have become experts in a particular disciplinary approach, such as comparative politics or developmental economics,” says program director T. Mills Kelly, associate professor in the Department of History and Art History and CHSS associate dean.

“The increasing complexity of globalization means that these older approaches aren’t really sufficient for some students. For this reason, we’ve built the global affairs master’s program on an interdisciplinary foundation that prepares our graduates for this complexity.”

Students in the program will study a wide range of topics, including business, economy, health, environment, culture, peaces studies and more, depending on personal interests and career plans. Eighteen credits are required, and 12 are elective, for a total of 30 credits.

A central course in the curriculum is a two-week study abroad seminar. The seminar will be taught in one or more locations, including Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

“Whether students want to work in the United States or abroad, the global affairs master’s program will position them to step into responsible and exciting careers at an advanced level,” says Kelly. “Rather than just teaching our graduate students about the world, we are taking them into the world.”

In the culminating capstone seminar, students will pursue original research on a topic of their choice.

Mason expects the new program to grow rapidly in the next several years. The undergraduate program in global affairs, launched just a few years ago, is one of the university’s most popular concentrations.

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