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Master of Social Sciences Program

International Studies Track


Director: MSS: Dr. Omar Swartz
Director: MH: Dr. Margaret Woodhull
Political Science: Dr. Jana Everett, Dr. Christoph Stefes
Geography: Dr. Casey Allen 


The International Studies Track is earned within the Master of Social Science degree.

International Studies is an interdisciplinary track that applies the social sciences to identifying patterns and trends in the multifaceted discipline of international relations. Areas of application include: diplomacy; issues in international and nongovernmental foreign policy; international gender, environmental and human rights issues; international law; cross-cultural-communications; globalization; and the organizational and social structures through which different international entities struggle to build and maintain clear and effective relations.

Total required credit hours for the track in conjunction with earning the MSS Degree: 36 credit hours to include 9 hours of Social Science (SSC) core courses, 15 credit hours of International Relations related courses and 3-6 credit hours dedicated to a culminating project or thesis. The remaining credit hours are to be divided between electives and (where possible) an internship. Students admitted for the track program will meet the same admissions standards as those admitted to the Master of Social Science Program, including a completed Bachelor’s Degree.

This program is relevant for students with an interest in future careers in international affairs and/or intercultural communications as public administrators, international education administrators, inter-organizational liaisons, diplomats, international business professionals, journalists, or social service providers. Students may go directly into the job market or can use the track/option as background and a stepping-stone toward a Ph.D. or other advanced degrees.

Degree and Track Requirements

Of the 36 credit hours of graduate course work required for the MSS degree, at least 30 hours must be distributed as follows:

MSS Core Seminars in the Social Sciences (9 credit hours):
SSC 5013 Philosophical Problems in the Social Sciences and Humanities
SSC 5020 Elements of Social Thought
SSC 5023 Research Perspectives in the Social Sciences

Track Requirements:

  • Methods course (offered in the Fall and Spring semesters)
    • P SC 5216 Seminar: International Relations

Suggested Electives for International Studies Track

CMMU 5270 Intercultural Communication
P SC 5266 International Law
P SC 5286 Seminar: International Relations: War or Peace
P SC 5545 Immigration Politics
P SC 5326 Advanced International Political Economy: Globalization
P SC 5236 Seminar: American Foreign Policy
P SC 5245 Gender in International Development
P SC 5555 International Women's Resistance
P SC 5840 Independent Study
ANTH 5070 Culture of Development and Globalization
ANTH 5130 Comparative Religious System
ANTH 5140 Principles of Economic Anthropology
ANTH 5160 Topics in Language, Society and Culture
ANTH 5170 Culture and the Environment
ANTH 5190 Ethnicity and Nationalism
ANTH 5200 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 5220 Community in Global Context
ANTH 5740 Ethnography of Mexico and Central America
HIST 5032 Globalization In World History Since 1945
HIST 5220 U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1912