World politics has undergone a profound alteration over the past two decades. The collapse of the former Soviet Union, the evolution of the European Union, recent events in the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as the rise of non-state power centers, clearly demonstrate a significant paradigm shift in international affairs. The Cold War, which dominated global events for nearly five decades, is over. Yet, what replaces the institutions of that era is not altogether clear. What is clear is that the world community is increasingly interdependent, traditional identities and cultural norms are challenged, and new conflicts emerge.
The Master of Science in International Relations (MSIR) degree program is a 12-course, 36-credit-hour curriculum of study designed to provide students the foundation and knowledge needed for understanding the conduct of international relations. Students are encouraged to gain a wide-ranging appreciation for the political, historical, cultural, economic, and geographical factors that affect international relations. This appreciation is accomplished through an interdisciplinary course of instruction that draws upon a variety of resources. In addition, students develop methodological, analytical, and theoretical skills necessary for understanding and evaluating the impact of global and national issues on world events. The program offers courses covering an array of topical areas such as history, regional studies, comparative government, foreign policy studies, political economy, geography, conflict management, national security, international organization and law, intercultural relations, and developing states.
Candidates for admission must have a baccalaureate degree in any subject area from a regionally accredited college or university. There are no prerequisite course requirements. Students with undergraduate degrees in areas not included in the curriculum are encouraged to inquire about the program. Graduates of the Master of Science in International Relations program have included individuals with undergraduate degrees in the social sciences as well as in such areas as English, foreign language, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, education, and business administration.