Master of Arts in International Relations Mission Statement
The MAIR program at USD is structured around a 30 unit curriculum of academic seminars and professional workshops including a variety of short courses abroad. Its faculty is highly accomplished, both in scholarship and in teaching, with expertise in nearly every region in comparative politics and functional area in international relations. Coursework is intellectually rigorous and emphasizes analytical writing and research skills as well as general international sophistication. Nine of thirty units are in required courses--Research Design, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Capstone; the remaining twenty one units are selected according to student interest. The professional dimension of the program is nurtured both within the Department and in collaboration with other USD graduate programs in law, business, and peace studies. The international dimension of the program is enhanced by regular one to two week travel courses that enjoy significant tuition discounts. Full time students can comfortably complete the degree in sixteen months; and working students are accommodated by a schedule that convenes nearly all seminars in the evening, typically once per week (although travel courses necessarily run on a compressed timetable.) Scholarships from the Department are available on the basis of academic merit; scholarships are available from the University on the basis of financial need; and students who have served in the military receive tuition discounts including yellow ribbon benefits. The program concludes with student capstone papers and conference presentations. Graduates from the program have moved into careers in the military, in government (especially in intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomacy), in the nonprofit and private sectors, and in higher education, including PhD programs. USD is nationally ranked and recognized for its international excellence; the MAIR program is among its several successful and innovative programs.