MA in Global Affairs

Four students at a conference table in discussion class.

The MA in Global Affairs offers students advanced understanding of the processes, institutions, and challenges arising in the modern global system. Students will examine how international, regional, and domestic factors affect relations between and within countries, and with non-governmental and international actors. A major focus of the program is to provide students with the conceptual, analytical, and methodological tools needed to succeed in globally-focused careers in international organizations, governmental agencies, private enterprise, and academia.

Degree Requirements

To earn an MA in Global Affairs, students must complete 30 credits including two research methods courses, two core courses, and 18 credits of electives. Students must also complete a culminating experience. Full time students typically complete the MA within one and a half years.

Graduate Courses are typically 3 credits each. 

Required Courses include (12 credits) of the following courses:

  • PSC 500 Introduction to Political Inquiry
  • PSC 508 Basic Statistics for Social Science 
  • PSC 504 International Politics 
  • PSC 503 Comparative Politics

Elective Courses (12-18 credits):
At least 12 credits (4 courses) from the following list:

  • PSC 507 – Comparative Judicial Politics
  • PSC 520 – Major Political Systems
  • PSC 540 – International Law
  • PSC 544 – International Theory
  • PSC 645 – Conflict Processes
  • PSC 641 - International Economic Relations
  • PSC 640 – Civil War & Political Violence
  • PSC 647 – International Organization
  • PSC 650 - International Protection of Human Rights
  • PSC 721 - Comparative Politics Frontiers
  • PSC 741 - International Political Frontiers
  • PSC 670 - Independent Study, or any other elective approved by Director of Graduate Studies

Remaining elective credit hours may come from the following courses: PSC 531 – Intermediate Statistics for Social Science, PSC 533- Formal Political Theory, PSC 534- Text as Data, and PSC 535- Experimental Design and Analysis, PSC 631 – Advanced Statistics for Social Science, PSC 731 - Empirical Political Frontiers, PSC 721 - Comparative Politics Frontiers, PSC 741 - International Political Frontiers, PSC 670 - Independent Study, or any other elective approved by DGS.

Culminating Experience: Thesis, Project, or Exam (0-6 credits): PSC 700 MA Culminating Experience (Project/Thesis) (3/6 credits) OR Comprehensive Exam 0 credits

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of their studies in the MA program in Global Affairs, students are expected to demonstrate the following primary student learning outcomes:

  1. Develop an advanced understanding of key geographic and economic forces, institutions, actors and agencies that shape global affairs.
  2. Develop advanced analytic and methodological skills that will enable conducting of independent research on global affairs
  3. Critically assess the knowledge claims of others in this disciplinary domain through close reading and discussion of key texts and materials in seminars.
  4. Develop advanced written and oral presentation skills by preparing and presenting advanced research papers in seminars.

Graduates from the program will be equipped for careers that require an appreciation of the interdependence and interconnectedness of the global system, and that value the ability to conduct rigorous empirical analysis.

Time Limit

According to Graduate School regulations, a maximum of four years is permitted for completion of all MA requirements, unless an extension of time is requested and granted.

Residency Requirement

Master's students must complete 24 credits at the University at Buffalo. A maximum of six transfer credits may be allowed. 

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