Global Studies

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Graduate programs

Master of Global Studies

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

Program description

The program is designed to meet growing societal, occupational, and student needs and demands for persons educated and knowledgeable in international affairs.  It will help students to become professionally involved in an increasingly competitive and interdependent world in which the United States occupies a prominent position.  The Master of Global Studies (MGS) will produce graduates who will be well trained in international affairs and administration and can work in the public or private sector.  It is also designed to prepare its graduates to continue their graduate education at the doctoral level in political science, international relations, or other related fields.

Students with demonstrated academic competence who are interested in the field of global studies will be welcomed into the program regardless of undergraduate major.

Entrance requirements

  1. Normally, applicants with a 3.00 GPA or above in their undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and a combined GRE score of not less than 290 on the verbal and quantitative sections will be admitted to the MGS program in good standing.  A minimum score of 290 is required on the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE, with a minimum of 150 in the verbal or quantitative section and a score of not less than 140 on the other.  All students applying for admission must take the GRE before being admitted into the program.
  2. Three strong letters from professors at the undergraduate level and/or persons well acquainted with the applicant’s education and abilities will be admitted to the MGS program in good standing.  
  3. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 and/or a score of less than 290 on the GRE may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis.  A personal interview may be requested.
  4. Foreign students applying for admission to the MGS program who do not have an undergraduate degree from an American university must have completed the equivalent of an undergraduate degree at an accredited university. They must also demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in English by either having achieved a score of 550 on the paper-based, or a comparable score of 79 on the IBT or internet- based TOEFL, or by other equivalent means.

Prerequisite courses

The MGS program does not require any specific prerequisite courses.  However, an applicant may be advised or required to take undergraduate prerequisite courses in areas pertinent to the MGS program.  For example, an applicant with little or no statistical training will be required to take an undergraduate course in statistics, or a student who has little knowledge of global affairs may be advised to take an undergraduate course in international and/or comparative politics before enrolling in the respective graduate seminars in these two fields.

Graduate assistantships

All students applying for a graduate assistantship must have their GRE scores (verbal and quantitative) on file at the time of application.  All graduate assistants in Political Science are required to take 9 hours of course work per semester.

Degree requirements (minimum of 36 hours)

  1. Required Core:
    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 713 Seminar in Foreign Policy Decisionmaking 3 hrs
    PLS 721 International Political Economy 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 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 MGS 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.

Accelerated Master of Global Studies Option

Eligible Missouri State University majors in Global Studies, Political Science, and other relevant disciplines may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Global Studies (MGS) program after admission requirements for the accelerated master’s option have been satisfied. If accepted, approved graduate-level courses can be taken that will count for both undergraduate and graduate credit. This option gives exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ten semesters and a summer. Contact the Department of Political Science for further information and guidelines.

Before enrolling in a course to be counted as both undergraduate and graduate credit and to count the course toward the master’s degree, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program and receive prior approval from the graduate program advisor, department head of the undergraduate program, and the dean of the Graduate College. This is done with the completion of a Mixed Credit Form. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the course(s). See the Graduate College for further information.

Admission Process for the Accelerated MGS Option:

Immediately prior to or during the junior year, the prospective student should discuss the possibility of participating in the Accelerated Master’s Degree program with their undergraduate advisor, Director of the Global Studies program, and the Department Head of the Political Science Department. If the student’s academic record and potential are judged strong, the Director recommends the student to the proposed Accelerated program for approval by the Department Head. Undergraduate students who enter the Accelerated Master’s Degree program should have a sponsor, i.e., a PLS faculty member who will serve as a mentor to the student throughout the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Students admitted into the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program will not be fully admitted into the Graduate College until completion of their undergraduate degree and fulfillment of all other requirements for admission (such as the Graduate Record Examination). Students should be awarded the bachelor’s degree upon completion of a minimum of 125 hours of undergraduate course work and degree-specific requirements.

Admission Requirements for the Accelerated Global Studies Option:

  1. Global Studies, political science and other undergraduate majors must have at least junior standing and a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum 3.50 GPA in the major curriculum and a 3.00 overall GPA.
  3. Students in the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program must maintain a 3.50 GPA in their major and maintain a 3.00 overall GPA to remain in the program.
  4. Transfer students will be allowed into the Accelerated Masters Degree Program. Transfer students must have a minimum of 30 graded hours of course work at Missouri State University before they can be accepted into the program.
  5. A maximum of 12 credits of mixed credit courses may be applied toward completion of their undergraduate degree requirements. The following courses will be allowed as electives in the Global Studies program if they have been completed as graduate courses (only courses regularly offered are listed; when courses on demand are offered, a student may petition to count them as electives towards the accelerated program): the four courses counting towards the accelerated program must have four different course codes, including at least one PLS code:
Course Code Course Title  Credit Hours
ECO 665  International Economics 3 hrs
FIN 682  International Financial Management 3 hrs
GRY 607 Geography of Subsaharan Africa 3 hrs
GRY 635 Global Climate and Weather Cycles 3 hrs
HST 665 English Constitution, Courts and Common Law 3 hrs
PLS 635 American Foreign Policy 3 hrs
PLS 642 Contemporary Political Ideologies 3 hrs
PLS 644 Governments and Politics of the Middle East 3 hrs
PLS 645  Asian Politics 3 hrs
PLS 647 Politics of The European Union and Its Members 3 hrs
PLS 648 Latin America Politics 3 hrs
PLS 650 Modern African Politics 3 hrs
PLS 676 Quantitative Methods of Political Science and Public Policy 3 hrs
PLS 705 Seminar in Comparative Politics 3 hrs
PLS 713 Foreign Policy Decisionmaking 3 hrs
PLS 721 International Political Economy 3 hrs
PLS 732 International Relations in Theory and Practice 3 hrs
PLS 737 Seminar in International Organizations 3 hrs
PLS 782  Internship/Practicum in International Field 3 hrs