Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations

For more information on the International Relations program, please visit the International Relations Department page.

Program Description

The international relations curriculum is designed to enable the student to examine and understand the complexities and processes involved in the relationships among institutions of international governance. Course-work provides exposure to legal, historical, and context-sensitive socioeconomic and political factors that are key elements in a study of this nature. Examination of the dynamics, structural characteristics, and humanitarian issues operating within the global community is included.

Brochure (pdf)

Program Curriculum

The 36 credit hours required for the master of arts (M.A.) degree must include the following courses for a major in international relations:
INTL
5000
Introduction to International Relations
3 CR
INTL 5100 Research Methods and Perspectives 3 CR
INTL 6000 International Relations: Theory and Practice 3 CR
Or      
INTL 6250 Thesis 6 CR
Students must also take 2 courses from the following Comparative Politics Cluster:
INTL
5050
Comparative Politics
3 CR
INTL 5580 Politics of Development 3 CR
INTL 5625 Middle East Area Studies 3 CR
INTL 5645 Asian Area Studies 3 CR
Students must also take 4 courses from the following International Politics Cluster:
INTL
5400
International Political Economy
3 CR
INTL 5510 Theories of International Relations 3 CR
INTL 5530 International Law 3 CR
INTL 5540 International Organizations 3 CR
INTL 5550 War and Diplomacy 3 CR
INTL 5560 U.S. Foreign Policy 3 CR
INTL 5570 Comparative Foreign Policy 3 CR
INTL 5700 Humanitarian Issues in International Politics 3 CR
INTL 5800 Globalization 3 CR
INTL 5860 Issues in International Politics 3 CR
INTL 5890 Terrorism in World Politics 3 CR

Students who choose to take INTL 6000 must also take 3 elective courses, and students who choose to take INTL 6250 must take 2 elective courses, from any of the above international relations course options not used to satisfy the given requirements, or from any of the following business and management courses, or International Relations Elective Courses:

  • MRKT 5000 Marketing
  • MNGT 5590 Organizational Behavior
  • BUSN 5200 Basic Finance for Managers
  • HRMG 5000 Managing Human Resources
  • INTL 5300 Field Work
  • INTL 5500 Professional Seminars
  • INTL 5610 Non-Thesis Readings/Research
  • INTL 5900 Advanced Research Methods
  • INTL 6500 Internship

If the requisite course is waived, the student must choose an elective course from this major.
The required courses and electives listed in this core may be taken as directed studies, subject to the conditions stated in the Directed Studies section under Academic Policies and Procedures.

Webster University St. Louis Graduate Thesis Guidelines

Additional Department Guidelines

Course Descriptions

INTL 5000 Introduction to International Relations (Requisite Course)
Students examine the basics of structure and process as these relate to the ongoing operation of international affairs. Course content focuses on the complex dynamics at work within the world community.

INTL 5050 Comparative Politics (Requisite Course)
Students explore how we use comparison to theorize about politics and to identify both what holds across cultures and nations and what is idiosyncratic requiring area studies expertise. Topics may include democratization, state and nation building, stability and decay of institutions, systems of representation, parliamentary versus presidential governance, political development and ideology.

INTL 5100 Research Methods and Perspectives
Students are introduced to skills, methodological issues, and bibliographic resources, which enhance their ability to evaluate critically and to conduct research in the field of international relations.

INTL 5300 Field Work
Students are involved actively with operations of non-academic institutions and engage in various aspects of field research. Policies and procedures as in Directed Studies. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5400 International Political Economy
Students explore, historically and conceptually, the interplay of economics and politics at the global level. They examine such phenomena as: the clash of the market and state, the north-south conflict, and the worldwide impact of technological change, transnational corporations, and the competition for accumulation.

INTL 5500 Professional Seminars
Students participate in seminars designed to examine contemporary issues in international relations. The professional seminar supplements the core and elective courses in the area of international relations by focusing on issues of current and special interest. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs. This course may not be completed by directed study.

INTL 5510 Theories of International Relations
Students consider the growing literature on international relations theory, classical and modern, including realism, idealism, behavioralism, globalism, and Marxist and imperialist theories, and the people who have elaborated these ideas and the context in which they did so. Students methodologically critique and compare theories, as well as gain an appreciation for the relevance of theory for international relations.

INTL 5530 International Law
This course surveys trends and practices that are part of the process of adjudication across national boundaries. Some historical background is provided. Current cases and procedures are the major focuses of course content. May not be taken for degree credit if student has successfully completed INTL 2030. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5540 International Organizations
Various approaches to international organizations are explored, and the contribution of these organizations to peace and economic and social progress is examined. Current issues facing the United Nations and its associated agencies are discussed within this context. May not be taken for degree credit if student has successfully completed INTL 2600. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5550 War and Diplomacy
Students examine the evolution of diplomacy and warfare. The specific approach (conceptual or historical) and time period may vary from term to term. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5560 U.S. Foreign Policy
Students examine the issues, agents, and models surrounding the American foreign policy decision-making process and the issues facing the United States in contemporary international relations.

INTL 5570 Comparative Foreign Policy
The formulation and implementation of foreign policy by major world powers are studied. Attention is given to East-West relations in the period since World War II, including the roles of such nations as China and Japan. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5580 Politics of Development
The student examines problems of social, economic, and political development in Third World nations. Course content focuses on problems of nation building in the postcolonial era and the role of the developing nations in world politics. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5600 Area Studies
The student examines the history, culture, politics, and economic systems of regions and countries that play an important role in world politics. Specific content varies from term to term and includes regions such as Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and North America. The course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5700 Humanitarian Issues in International Politics
This course provides a forum for investigating such transnational issues as: regionalism, the environment, human rights, and refugees. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 5860 Issues in International Politics
The student examines in depth such issues and topics as: nuclear and conventional arms control, negotiation and conflict resolution, peace studies theory, and economic conversion from military to domestic production. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 6000 International Relations: Theory and Practice (Integrated Studies)
Various contemporary theories of international relations are examined. The relationship of theory to the practice of international relations is considered. This course presents an overview for students who are completing a major in international relations. Prerequisite: completion of all other required courses in this major.

INTL 6250 Thesis
The student completes a thesis project under the supervision of two faculty members. The thesis option is recommended for those considering graduate study at the doctoral level

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