The Master of Arts in International Relations and Conflict Resolution offers students the opportunity to develop broad, integrated knowledge in the core of the discipline, including a comparative study of complex international systems. This master’s degree helps to prepare you for a career as a diplomat, journalist, administrator, political analyst, or similar career fields within the government, military, and business environments. Additionally, this master’s program enables you to acquire transferable business skills including written and oral communication, working with a team, and problem solving.

This program offers

  • Inter-cultural understanding, cooperation, and cosmopolitanism reflected in the staff and student body.
  • An insight into the dynamics of international relations across a number of issue areas and the different ways of approaching them to prepare students for a number of career paths.
  • An insight into the nature of change as an endemic feature of politics on a national, regional, and global scale.
  • An understanding of the causes of change and mechanisms to manage change.
  • An insight into the role of various international actors - state and non-state - as participants on the international scene.
  • Training in research methods in the social sciences.
  • A solid foundation in the philosophical aspects of the study of international relations.
  • Insights into the complex relationship between the concerns of domestic and international politics.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, this degree also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. Graduates in this degree program will be able to:

  • Analyze classical and alternative theories of international relations, the heritage and development of the discipline, and the major debates concerning world order, diplomacy, and international law underlying its inherent nature as an interdisciplinary study within the field of political science.
  • Evaluate the changing role of the state in the context of globalization, regionalism, and security, including the impact of non-state actors, competing interests, and emerging norms within international systems.
  • Assess the nature and distribution of economic, political, and military resources in the context of interdependence and delimited by cultural, social, and historical issues.
  • Distinguish the interactions of state, non-state, and supra-national actors through a dynamic appreciation of contemporary issues and differing levels of analysis.
  • Examine the major theories of conflict and change within the context of globalization and the role of traditional and emerging norms and institutions in the pacific settlement of disputes, human rights, and environmental issues.

In addition to the program objectives, this Masters Degree in International Relations and Conflict Resolution will provide the student with transferable skills that include:

  • Communication: You will be encouraged to communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing; to organize information clearly and coherently; and to use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information.
  • Information technology: You will be required to produce written documents and undertake online research.
  • Working with others: You will be encouraged to define and review the work of others; to work cooperatively on group tasks; to understand how groups function; and to collaborate with others and contribute effectively to the achievement of common goals.
  • Improving own learning: You will develop autonomy in learning, be expected to work independently, and demonstrate initiative and self-organization. You will enhance your research skills toward presenting a clear statement of the purposes and expected results of the research and develop appropriate means of estimating and monitoring resources and use of time.
  • Problem Solving: The courses and classroom exercise will emphasize the need to identify and define problems and help you to explore alternative solutions.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements18
Select one of the following concentrations:12
Elective Requirements3
Final Program Requirements3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (18 semester hours)

SSGS500Research Design and Methods 13
IRLS611Conflict Analysis and Resolution: Theory and Practice3
IRLS500International Relations Theory3
IRLS502International Political Systems3
IRLS503International Organizations3
IRLS602Introduction to Global Security3
Total Semester Hours18
1

Required as the first course in this  program.

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Concentration in Comparative and Security Issues, Conflict Resolution, International and Transnational Security Issues, or the Peacekeeping Concentrations.

Concentration in Comparative and Security Issues (12 semester hours)

Explores regional issues and actors to determine the significant political, economic, security, diplomatic, and social challenges facing a selected region. Topics include peace through coercive power, nonviolence, world order, personal, and community transformation in a specific geographic region, as well as comparative analysis of different political regimes.

Objectives

Students in this concentration undertake an in-depth review of regional issues and actors which allows the student to determine the significant political, economic, security, diplomatic, and social challenges facing a selected region - individually as separate nations and collectively as a region.

Upon successful completion of this concentration the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the potential for conflict in a specific region based on existing theories of causation.
  • Apply the approaches to peace through coercive power, nonviolence, world order, personal and community transformation in a specific geographic region.
  • Understand the concepts and theories of comparative analysis of different political regimes.
  • Determine the significant political, economic, security, diplomatic, and social challenges facing a selected region - individually as separate nations and collectively as a region.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Comparative Political Systems
Strategic Geography and Geopolitics
Politics and War
Government and Security in Korea
Case Studies in Foreign Cyber Threats
Latin American Security Issues
Seminar in Middle East Politics and Security
Islam
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Conflict Resolution (12 semester hours)

Analyzes the principles and foundations of peace, conflict theory, conflict analysis and resolution, and negotiation strategies and concepts. Looks at the factors necessary to build a lasting peace. Topics include the complexity and limitations of negotiating across cultures and historical divides, and the value of multiparty mediation.

Objectives

Students in this concentration undertake an in-depth analysis of the principles and foundations of peace, conflict theory, conflict analysis and resolution, negotiation strategies and concepts, and the factors necessary to build a lasting peace.

Upon successful completion of this concentration the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the potential for conflict in a society/state/region based on theories of causation.
  • Assess the approaches to peace through coercive power, nonviolence, and world order constructs.
  • Reconstruct the phenomenon of peace through examples and case studies.
  • Synthesize the rationale for negotiation versus historical tendencies toward coercion.
  • Evaluate the development of multiparty mediation and assess the value of such an approach.
  • Analyze the complexity and limitations of negotiating across cultures and historical divides.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
International Negotiation
Peacekeeping: Structure and Process
International Law
History of Peacekeeping: 1988 - Present
National Security and Diplomacy
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in International and Transnational Security Issues (12 semester hours)

Objectives

Students in this concentration undertake an in-depth examination of international and transnational issues that affect the global community as a whole and nation-states as individual entities.

Upon successful completion of this concentration the student will be able to:

  • Construct a theory about the distinct nature of conflict in the post-Cold War era.
  • Assess the norms and purposes of international structures and regimes.
  • Critique the various manifestations of globalization and the impact on various political, economic and social systems.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
International Political Economy
Politics and War
Intelligence and Homeland Security
Latin American Security Issues
Transnational Crime and Narcotics
Case Studies in Foreign Cyber Threats
International Law
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Peacekeeping (12 semester hours)

Evaluates the principles and foundations of peace operations within the context of international and regional mechanisms. Addresses the evolving theory and practices of United Nations, along with specific peace-building, peacemaking, and peacekeeping operations in conflict areas.

Objectives

Students in this concentration undertake an in-depth study of the principles and foundations of peace operations within the context of international and regional mechanisms. The student gains valuable insight into the skills necessary to step into international incidents between countries and among peacemakers to assist in the resolution of difficult problems.

Upon successful completion of this concentration the student will be able to:

  • Assess the evolving theory and practices of United Nations Peacekeeping operations.
  • Evaluate the role of UN and regional peacekeeping initiatives in specific peace-building, peace-making, and peace-keeping operations in conflict areas.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

IRLS603Politics and War3
IRLS615Peacekeeping: Structure and Process3
LSTD507International Law3
MILH565History of Peacekeeping: 1988 - Present3
Total Semester Hours12

Elective Requirements (3 semester hours)

Select from other graduate courses not taken to meet core or concentration requirements.

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

Select 1 course from the following:3
International Relations Capstone 1
Master's Project Capstone Seminar 1
Total Semester Hours3
1

Taken once all other requirements have been met.