Agenda Item FA 14-08

Submitted by the Academic Programs Committee

College of Arts and Sciences (Graduate)

(Political Science and Public Administration): New Degree Program Proposal of Master of Arts – International Affairs Major

04/03/14: Passed

04/15/14: Approved

06/10/14: UBOT

Agenda Item Links

Log Number: 201401-35


New Degree Program Request:

Proposal for Masters of Arts – International Affairs Major


Summary of the Changes:
We propose an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) offered jointly by seven departments across two colleges. The Departments of Political Science, Economics & Geography, History, and Sociology & Anthropology will cooperatively offer the common core courses; the Departments of Economics & Geography; English; History; Languages, Literatures, & Cultures; Philosophy; Political Science; and Sociology & Anthropology will contribute elective courses.
The proposed MAIA program consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours, 18 of which are earned through an interdisciplinary common core of required courses: International Relations Theory, Foreign and Security Policy, Research Methods, Globalization and Development, International Economics, and US in World Affairs. Fifteen (15) credit hours are major electives, earned through one of two major concentrations: Global Studies and International Institutions. The final 3 credit hours are earned through a thesis or non-thesis option, the latter of which would involve an international-oriented internship or study abroad component. As a contextual requirement, students will have to demonstrate intermediate-level foreign language proficiency either upon admission or graduation.
This proposed degree is international and interdisciplinary. Despite globalization and an increasing need for international education to prepare students for careers in today’s world, the UNF College of Arts and Science currently offers no international-oriented graduate degree in the social sciences/humanities. This degree would fill that gap and build upon the strengths of departments in two colleges by offering an interdisciplinary curriculum that provides students with a broad yet strong base of knowledge and the skills to comprehend our world today and to assess issues and solve problems from a multifaceted perspective.
The overall purpose of the proposed MAIA is to educate students about our world today, our countries’ interactions with other countries, and individual awareness of the many ways we interact with other countries, cultures, and peoples at home or abroad. More specific goals include educating students about: the global context for US domestic and foreign policy making; contemporary global issues; the US role in the world and other countries’ reactions to that role; globalization and the global economy; and the cultures and societies of other countries. Each of these goals fits with expectations of potential employers. A 2010 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities noted the following knowledge and skills were desired by employers: the ability to understand the global context of situations and decisions, knowledge of global issues and development and their implications for the future, understanding of the role of the United States in the world, understandings of cultural diversity in America and other countries, and proficiency in a foreign language (Hart Research Associates, 2010, p. 9.)
With this purpose and these goals, the proposed MAIA will prepare students for careers available with a wide variety of employers: the US government (Foreign Service, other State Dept. jobs, Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs, etc.), international governmental organizations such as the UN and international nongovernmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch or International Crisis Group, international and development consulting, international business (especially government liaison offices), and education (including Ph.D. programs, which is why there is the thesis option). Locally, employment opportunities exist with Jacksonville Port Authority, import-export companies, international moving and logistics companies, and other international businesses in the Northeast Florida region.
The proposed MAIA requires no additional faculty lines, office space, special equipment, etc. As an interdisciplinary program drawing on numerous departments, we can field the program based upon existing resources.   

(Masters of Arts International Affairs Major Proposal Attachment)