Program Overview

The Master of Arts in International Studies is a two-year, 34-unit program that begins each fall. The program consists of both elective and skills courses, a graduate writing seminar, a research methods course, and a final capstone project. You'll complete an internship and are required to show proficiency in a language other than English. Summer fieldwork and research opportunities are available.

Core Concentrations

Choose a core concentration to gain expertise in a subject area aligned with your passions and career goals, and develop a closer working relationships with faculty and fellow students.

Culture, Power, and Social Movements

Examine the role of culture, the meaning of identity and belonging in a globalized world, and theories of social change as a way to better understand how they shape contemporary global processes. The analysis of diverse social and political movements, constituted through race, class, gender, religion, and other forms of inequality will teach you how to effectively address the most critical issues facing our world today.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice

Evaluate government, agency, and practitioner programs aimed at economic growth, poverty reduction, and environmental protections. Topics include the relationship between development and environmentalism; how development impacts communities; and the ways in which local strategies, beliefs, and movements shape development.

Governance and Global Justice

Explore the meaning of justice and the best practices for enforcement, while considering the relationship between local efforts to promote and protect human rights and the global institutions, entities, and processes that make up international governing systems.

Sample Program Timeline

  Fall Spring
Year 1 Critical Social Theory in Global Perspective

Concentration required course

Graduate Writing Seminar
Research Methods and Project Design

Concentration elective I

Concentration elective II
Year 2 Concentration elective III

Skills courses (two 2 unit or one 4 unit)
Capstone (thesis or applied project, one-on-one with adviser)


You will participate in a 120-hour minimum internship experience. The program office, faculty, and the Career Services Center will assist you in securing an internship related to your areas of interest and expertise. You can intern at an organization anywhere in the world. Typically the internship is completed in the summer between the first and second year of study.
Learn more about internships

Language Proficiency

Language skill is critical for success in the field of international studies. By the completion of the MAIS Program, you will be required to show proficiency in a non-English language at intermediate level two (fourth-semester language course at USF), either through previous undergraduate coursework, by passing a language exam at USF, or by completing a fourth-semester language course.

Contact Info

International Studies MA

Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 213, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1084 (415) 422-5122