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International Studies: Themes, Theories, and Perspectives

This foundational seminar provides an interdisciplinary survey of major approaches, theories, issues, and debates in the field of International Studies.

History and Politics of Global Issues
This seminar examines the major events, actors, and global processes of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries with emphasis on political and diplomatic history.

Human Rights and International Law
This seminar examines the impact of governments, international institutions, and advocacy organizations on human rights and political, economic, and social development.

Research and Thesis Writing
In this seminar, students develop their core research and graduate writing skills.

Below are examples of prior MAIS electives. Course offerings are dependent
upon faculty schedules.

Comparative Law & Policy  
This seminar explores the relationship between different cultures and historical conceptions of law, the legal traditions which develop from these cultures and histories, and how these legal traditions shape both the domestic and international policies of states in the world today.

Development and the Environment

This seminar explores the phenomenon of globalization, its impact on economic development and environmental resources, and transnational resistance movements.

Politics of Peace and Conflict
This seminar explores the political, economic, social, and environmental factors associated with transnational conflicts and assesses different approaches to conflict resolution.

Social Change and Transnational Communication
This seminar examines of the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of global communications and equips students with practical media-related tools for organizational work.

Global Health and Food Security

This seminar investigates the intersection of public health, food politics, and international development with an emphasis on current debates about addressing socioeconomic inequality.

Refugee Forced Migration & Displacement

This seminar looks critically at root causes behind these large-scale movements using case studies from around the globe; the international legal, political, and organizational structures set up to deal with these crises; and the varied responses of the international humanitarian aid regime, including but not limited to emergency camp mobilizations.


International Studies Internship
Students complete an internship with an organization working in a field related to international studies, including human rights, economic development, conflict resolution, and international law. This internship is directed and evaluated by a faculty member in consultation with an on-site supervisor. Upon completion, students submit an analysis paper.

Language Proficiency
Successful completion of a second-semester non-English language course (equivalent to a second-semester language course at USF) is required for admission. 

By completion of the MAIS program, students are 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.

Master's Research Project or Thesis
Students choose, and confer with, a faculty advisor with whom they share a specific research or geographical interest to develop practical and relevant ideas for research. In addition, the advisor supervises the writing of the research paper or thesis in the final semester of studies.