All schools & programs > College of Liberal Arts and Sciences > Global and International Studies Program >

Master of Arts in Global and International Studies

Visit their website » Print...

M.A. Degree Requirements

KU Edwards Campus

The Master of Arts in Global and International Studies is a 33-credit-hour degree. All students complete 2 core courses, GIST 701 and GIST 702, and 7 graduate-level elective courses (21 credit hours). These electives must form 2 coherent clusters, 1 around a world region and the other on a topic specialization approved by the student’s adviser.

Thesis Option

Students electing to write a thesis must enroll in 6 thesis hours, complete a significant original research project approved by a faculty committee, and pass a comprehensive examination.

For all students, the M.A. degree also requires evidence of current competence (equivalent to 2 years of successful college-level study) in a modern spoken and written language other than English; courses taken to complete this requirement do not count toward the degree. Students must meet all general requirements as well as program requirements.

Nonthesis Option

Students pursuing the nonthesis option complete an additional 6 hours of electives and complete a written examination over the core course content and the student’s regional and topic concentrations as well as an oral examination.

For all students, the M.A. degree also requires evidence of current competence (equivalent to 2 years of successful college-level study) in a modern spoken and written language other than English; courses taken to complete this requirement generally do not count toward the degree. Students must meet all general requirements as well as program requirements.

Regional Specializations

These courses give students substantial knowledge about a selected region of the world. Up to 3 language courses (9 hours) at or above the 500 level may count toward this requirement. Regional specializations usually correspond to one of KU’s area studies programs:

  • African and African-American studies
  • East Asian studies
  • European studies
  • Latin American area studies
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies

A student may petition to focus on a region that does not correspond to the boundaries of the KU area studies programs. For instance, a student might choose to focus on the region of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada, Mexico, and the United States), the Middle East, South Asia, the Pacific Rim, or the Islamic world. The petition is granted only if the program committee and director are assured that the student has a qualified academic adviser with expert knowledge of that area.

Topic Specialization

Topic specialization courses allow the student to develop an understanding of a particular issue of interest that reaches across national and regional borders. Topics might include gender and development, international conflict, intercultural communication, international politics, globalization, international business, global urbanization, peace studies, or another topic approved by the director. The courses below are examples of electives that might be used in some of these areas; each student works with an adviser to identify appropriate courses.

International Culture and Communications focuses on issues of culture, ethnicity, diversity, and cross-cultural communications and examines how various cultures around the world deal with outside influences and define themselves as distinctive societies. Sample courses:

  • AAAS 560 Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses
  • ANTH 674 Political Anthropology
  • COMS 647 Issues in Intercultural Communication
  • ENGL 774 Topics in Literatures of Africa and the African Diaspora: _____
  • FMS 813 Development of the International Sound Film
  • HWC 500 Studies in Comparative Literature
  • SOC 626 Religion and Society

International Politics and Policies addresses foreign policy, comparative public policy, general theories of international relations and comparative politics, and current global issues. Sample courses:

  • AAAS 554 Contemporary Health Issues in Africa
  • ANTH 571 Violence, Aggression, and Terrorism in the Modern World
  • ANTH 674 Political Anthropology
  • C&T 864 International Issues in the K-12 Classroom
  • POLS 670 United States Foreign Policy
  • POLS 673 International Organization
  • POLS 774 International Law
  • SOC 672 Sociology of War and Peace

International Business and Economics offers a foundation in global business and economics, economic history, and political economy. Sample courses:

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.