The PSIA program at the American University of Armenia equips students with advanced analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through the study of political science and international affairs.
The two-year Master’s degree in PSIA offers a curriculum that includes political theory, methodology, international relations, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, development policy, and political economy. Throughout the program, students are encouraged to think critically about issues from both a local and global perspective as they engage in analysis, research, writing, and leadership training. Courses place a strong emphasis on research and comparative methodology, analysis, and on bringing practical applications of theory into the classroom.
Graduates from the program pursue careers in politics, government, and international relations within the Armenian government, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.
Admission and Graduation Requirements
To be considered for admission to PSIA, an applicant must meet AUA’s general admission requirements and the PSIA-program-specific requirements, which include:
- An undergraduate degree from a four or five-year program
- Demonstrated English proficiency with a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 79 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. Test scores cannot be more than 2 years old at the time of application.
- A minimum 25th percentile score on the GRE quantitative examination.
- A high undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA).
- Two letters of recommendation.
- A concise and informative personal statement.
In addition to these requirements, work and volunteer experience are also taken into consideration. The program may also require interviews with applicants.
To graduate with a Master of Political Science and International Affairs, students must complete 54 credit hours of coursework, including a capstone Master’s Essay, Policy Internship Project, or Policy Paper, and at least one credit in environmental studies in satisfaction of the university-wide environmental studies requirement. A cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher is required for the granting of the degree.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to
GOAL 1 – Internalize and contextualize concepts and theories (abstract and empirical)
- Recognize and explain concepts and theories
- Question and discuss theories and interpretations
- Draw conclusions from evidence
GOAL 2 – Learn how to conduct analysis
- Organize, filter and synthesize a large body of information
- Dissect a problem into its component parts
- Compare, contrast and differentiate among various events
GOAL 3 – Master subject matter (course topics and materials)
- Recall and tell others of course materials
- Recognize subjects’ studied and the relationship among courses
GOAL 4 – Develop (a) Research, (b) Problem-Solving, (c) Writing, (d) Communication, and (e) Argumentation Skills
- Apply library acuity
- Construct and use appropriate research techniques
- Recognize and formulate political problems
- Choose appropriate tools for analysis of political problems
- Clearly organize and prepare papers, reports, and research findings
- Work in groups
- Properly cite sources
- Tailor writing to specific assignments
- Present to groups
- Develop and use presentation tools
- Distinguish different supporting arguments
- Make reasoned arguments with logical conclusions
The curriculum of the Master of PSIA is comprised of courses in the following subfields of the discipline: political theory, methodology, international relations, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, development policy, and economics. Courses are offered in each of these fields throughout the students’ two years of study. Most courses represent approximately three hours of class attendance per week by the student.
The curriculum is divided into first and second-year courses. In the first year, all courses are required, with students taking five courses each semester. In the second year, students choose eight elective courses (four each semester) from a range of options and in their final semester a capstone requirement.
Full-time students will carry either 12 or 15 credit units per semester. Part-time students must develop an approved program of study with the Chair during the student’s first semester of study at AUA. While the majority of students complete all school requirements in two years, the maximum period for completion is three academic years for full-time. Degree candidacy will automatically lapse after this period and students will not be awarded a diploma. A course load of more than 15 credit units or less than 12 credit units requires prior approval from the Chair of the Program.
In the second year of studies, students may choose one of two tracks to follow: International Relations or Public Policy. Elective courses are allocated to one of the two tracks and students should take at least five elective courses in the track that they wish to specialize in.
Environmental Studies Requirement
Students must also complete one credit in environmental studies in satisfaction of the university-wide environmental studies requirement. PSIA347 Environmental Policy counts for this requirement, but students may if they wish to choose a course from the AUA’s Acopian Center for the Environment.