Masters of Arts in Public Policy and International Affairs

American University of Beirut - AUB

Program Description

Masters of Arts in Public Policy and International Affairs

American University of Beirut - AUB

The Master of Arts in Public Policy and International Affairs (MPPIA) program is open to recent college graduates from various backgrounds who wish to pursue professional or academic careers in public affairs; as well as to mid-career professionals in Lebanon and the region who wish to deepen their knowledge of the field or acquire new ways of thinking and policy tools.

The MPPIA program has two main objectives.

It will (1) offer students the opportunity to deepen their conceptual, critical and practical knowledge of public policy and international affairs, with particular focus on the challenges facing the Arab region; and (2) provide them with the necessary professional skills, tools, and networks to lead careers in public affairs. The MPPIA program also aims to develop and catalyze new experimental research through the interaction of current and new faculty members, graduate students, and organizations outside of AUB. In the courses offered, and with the people and organizations involved, existing theories can be critiqued and new ones based on regional and local specificities advanced.

The MPIAA program seeks to fill an important need in the region, namely to build capacity in public policy and international affairs while also linking this capacity building with the production and translation of knowledge in these fields. It can also build on a growing international and local demand to study the Arab world, as well as to influence and lead the policy agenda in the region and beyond through articulating policy visions and positions that are based on properly understood contexts and specificities. It will further strive to increase interaction and knowledge production within a South-South context, a dimension largely deficient in the Arab region.

The program was approved by the BOT in March 2014 and is registered with the Education Department of the State of New York. The program is awaiting registration at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (Lebanon) and will start accepting students for Fall 2015.

Educational Goals and Program Learning Outcomes

Students who earn a masters degree in public policy and international affairs will be able to participate in and analyze the policy process in the Arab region within the global context. Students will also be able to raise awareness about public policy and international problems; assess the quantity and quality of policy relevant data and theories; advance the capacity, accountability, and responsiveness of public actors; and promote sound public policies that are informed by evidence.

On successful completion of this interdisciplinary course of study, students will be able to:

  • Explain fundamental theories and processes of public policy and international affairs
  • Apply techniques and methodologies in public and international policy research
  • Critically analyze key policy and international affairs issues
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills in public and international policy arenas
  • Formulate domestic and international public policy alternatives and arguments
  • Critically appraise the validity and limitations of domestic and international public policy theories and arguments

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements to the program will follow AUB Graduate Studies Policies. Bachelor degree holders from relevant fields study are eligible to apply for admission into the Public Policy and International Affairs Master’s program. Remedial courses may be needed for students as would be recommended by the Program.

Native English speakers and graduates of universities in which the language of instruction is English may be exempt from TOEFL.

It is necessary for students to have intermediate knowledge of the Arabic language. The ability to converse, read, and write in Arabic is crucial in gaining understanding of the Arab region. Students will be tested on their Arabic level upon admission, and, if not native speakers or fluent, they will be required to take Arabic classes available at the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages.

Students should have a GPA of at least 80 or 3.0 and good recommendations to be considered for regular admission into the Public Policy and International Affairs Master’s program. Students with GPA above 75 and below 80 are considered for admission on probation. A minimum of one-year work experience is strongly recommended, and more is encouraged.

Degree Requirements

The program permits full-time or part-time enrollments. To obtain a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and International Affairs, the student must complete a minimum of 36 credits of graduate course work and 6 credits of interdisciplinary thesis work, or internship and final year year project in the non-thesis track. There is also the option of providing a 3-week intensive course (0 credits) on Economics methods prior to the start of the Fall semester for those applicants lacking this background. The course work is distributed as follows:

  • 18 credits of required core courses
  • 12 credits of elective courses
  • 6 credits of mini-courses/seminars on policy-making and international affairs related to the Arab World.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 4, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2017
Part time
Full time
Start date Oct. 2017
Lebanon Beirut
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