International Affairs

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Graduate programs

Master of International Affairs

Gabriel Ondetti, Program Director
Strong Hall, Room 320; Phone 417-836-5733

Program description

The Master of International Affairs (MIA) program is designed to prepare students for internationally oriented careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as for doctoral studies in political science and related disciplines. It provides broad exposure to theories of international relations and comparative politics, along with the opportunity to develop expertise in specific world regions and topics. Students can potentially combine the degree with a graduate certificate in an area such as defense and strategic studies, homeland security or international business. Qualified students of all majors are welcome to apply and there are no prerequisite courses.

Admission requirements

Successful applicants will generally satisfy the following requirements:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 (or the equivalent for international students) from an accredited college or university.
  2. For international students, a TOEFL iBT score of at least 79, or the equivalent on another standard English language test. We may waive this requirement for students from undergraduate institutions where instruction is entirely in English.
  3. Three strong letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors and/or persons well acquainted with the applicant’s abilities.
  4. A personal statement that is solidly written and organized and suggests that the applicant’s background and/or professional plans fit the MIA program.

Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores but if they do the scores will be taken into consideration.

Accelerated Master of International Affairs Option

Missouri State undergraduate students of any major may apply for admission into the accelerated version of the MIA program, which allows them to begin taking graduate coursework as undergraduates. Courses taken as part of the program will count for both graduate and undergraduate credit and may allow students to finish their graduate degree in fewer semesters than usual. Students in the accelerated program may take a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours as undergraduates. They can be admitted into the program as early as the second semester of their sophomore year and begin taking graduate classes during their junior year. In addition to being accepted into the program, students in the accelerated MIA must submit a “mixed credit form” to the program director for each course they wish to take for graduate credit. Undergraduate students who have been admitted into the accelerated program will be expected to meet the Missouri State Graduate College’s academic standards in their graduate courses.

Admission Process for the Accelerated MIA Option:

Students who are interested in the accelerated MIA option should consult the program director, as well as their undergraduate advisor. Once they have decided to apply, they must do so through the GradCAS online application system accessed via the Missouri State Graduate College’s webpage. They will be asked to submit an undergraduate transcript and three letters of recommendation.

Successful applicants will generally satisfy the following requirements:

  1. At least 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework, including courses in progress.
  2. A GPA of at least 3.0 overall and 3.3 in the student’s major.
  3. Three strong letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from faculty members at Missouri State or another college or university (if they are transfer students).

Graduate assistantships

The Department of Political Science and Philosophy offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to students enrolled in the MIA program. Graduate assistants are chosen based on their academic credentials and ability to assist faculty members with their work. All graduate assistants are required to take 9 hours of course work per semester.

Degree requirements (minimum of 36 hours)

1. Required Courses:

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PLS 676 Quantitative Methods of Political Science & Public Policy 3 hrs
PLS 705 Seminar in Comparative Politics 3 hrs
PLS 721 International Political Economy 3 hrs
PLS 725 International Security 3 hrs
PLS 732 International Relations in Theory and Practice 3 hrs
PLS 737 Seminar in International Organizations 3 hrs
  Total 18 hrs

2. Research Project (3-6 hours). Students must complete an extensive research project. There are two options for doing so: a 3 hour Independent Study in Political Science project (PLS 780) or a 6 hour masters thesis (PLS 799). The thesis option is only open to students with a GPA of 3.70 or above.

3. Elective Courses (12-15 hours). Depending on whether a student is pursuing the thesis or the non-thesis option, the student must complete either 12 or 15 additional hours that reflect his/her specific interests within the program. While the expectation is that most of those courses will be in the Political Science and Philosophy department, with permission from the Program Director, a student may take certain graduate-level courses in other departments, including Criminology, Economics, Geography, History and Management. Students may also use their electives to complete a graduate certificate program, such as Homeland Security and Defense. Finally, opportunities are available to earn MIA credit through student abroad programs.

4. Foreign Language Requirement. Students who have not already completed two semesters of a foreign language as an undergraduate or do not already speak a second language must complete at least two semester of training in a single language. These courses do not count toward the 36 hours required for the degree.

5. Comprehensive Examination. Those students with a GPA below 3.70 must pass a comprehensive examination covering their coursework in the program, especially in the core courses.