International Relations MSPA Program Student Handbook Department of Conflict Studies, Human Security, and Global Governance UMass Boston McCormack

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1 International Relations MSPA Program Student Handbook Department of Conflict Studies, Human Security, and Global Governance UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies Program Information & Guide to University Resources Fall 2011

2 MSPA Program in International Relations Department of Conflict Studies, Human Security and Global Governance John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies University of Massachusetts Boston A word of explanation as regards the MSPA International Relations program and the University, the College, and the Department of which it is a part: The Master s program in International Relations addresses the complex problems and challenges facing the world of the 21st century such as war, terrorism, genocide, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and climate change. The program builds on a strong foundation of core courses and allows students to take advantage of elective offerings in other graduate programs at UMass Boston. The University of Massachusetts Boston is one of the five campuses in the University of Massachusetts public university system. It is a research university with a teaching soul, and is nationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban universities. The college of which we are a part, the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, is a world class academic and research center. It offers a wide range of graduate degree programs in public policy, public affairs, international relations, conflict resolution, and gerontology. In addition to its academic programs, the McCormack Graduate School is comprised of several centers and institutes of focused research. Our department, the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance currently houses two graduate programs: the International Relations and Conflict Resolution. A third, the Global Governance and Human Security PhD program is presently under development and will create a new option for students who wish to continue for a PhD. This will be in addition to the existing option of the Ph.D. in Public Policy with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. As part of this development, our faculty continues to grow. Our full time faculty consists of respected researchers and practitioners who combine theory and practical experience in a variety of settings; and our part time faculty, drawn from the Boston area s rich academic and professional ranks, provide specialized focus courses.

3 This Student Handbook includes policies and procedures established by the MSPA International Relations Program in conjunction with University requirements. ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH THE REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES IN THE GRADUATE STUDIES BULLETIN AND THIS STUDENT HANDBOOK. ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH THE UMASS Boston ACADEMIC POLICIES AND THIS STUDENT HANDBOOK. For university policies, please refer to the umass Boston website, especially and the Graduate Admissions FAQs at In the event that University requirements conflict with those specified by the Program, University requirements must be followed. Note that rules and procedures pertaining to the code of student conduct, statement of confidentiality of academic records, resolution of problems, human subjects protection, faculty conduct, and student governance have not been reproduced here. Please bookmark the UMass Boston International Relations Master s Program web site, and the CRHSGG department page at These are the source of up to the minute information on department and program events, class schedules, room assignments, and the like, along with information on degree requirements and policies specific to our programs. Time sensitive information will be sent to you via our distribution lists. We will continue to revise and update this handbook and welcome any comments, criticisms, or suggested improvements.

4 Academic Program Information International Relations Curriculum Thirty six graduate credits over a two year period are required to complete the International Relations curriculum. The curriculum includes Seven core courses with a distinct focus, aimed at providing a solid foundation in major aspects of international relations Elective Courses: Electives are available in a variety of fields and are meant to encourage study in an area of special interest. Capstone in International Relations (PAF G 692) or Master's Thesis (PAF G 699) Course details are at International Relations Elective Courses Students are able to take graduate courses in other departments at UMass Boston to fulfill elective requirements. Prior approval of the department is required. Courses offered by other programs within the department do not need prior approval. You must show that the course in question is related to your specific area of interest or the topic of your Capstone Project. You must submit a copy of the course syllabus [including reading list and assignments] along with your request for approval. Keep in mind that other departments have their own requirements, and not all courses they offer will be open to students from outside their major. You will need to obtain any needed approvals from the instructor and department in question. In order to obtain this approval, students should contact the department or instructor offering the course and obtain a copy of the course syllabus. This should be forwarded to Roni Lipton, Associate Director along with an explanation as to how the course will fit into the student s program of study. Usually electives should be selected to fulfill a regional or functional subspecialization.

5 Undergraduate courses as electives Upper level undergraduate courses [numbered 300 or higher] may be used in fulfillment of elective requirements. Prior to enrolling in any undergraduate course whether or not on the list of pre approved electives, students must contact the instructor and secure their agreement to supervise additional work required to enable the student to receive graduate credit. The student and instructor must agree to a written study plan, which needs to be submitted to the Graduate Program Director prior to the start of term. This plan should include an outline of the topics to be explored in greater depth, a list of any additional readings, and additional written assignments [e.g. a longer paper than required of undergraduates or an additional paper]; it must also include information regarding the instructor s method of evaluation of the extra work. Courses taken at other Universities UMB will accept up to 6 transfer credits for graduate level courses taken at other colleges or Universities, if you obtained a grade a B or better in the course, and if the credits have not been used in fulfillment of requirements for another degree. An official transcript from the college or university offering the course, verifying successful competition and your grade, is required. You must obtain department approval in order for these credits to be accepted towards your degree. To obtain department approval, you must show that the course in question is related to your specific area of interest or the topic of your Capstone Project or Thesis. You must submit a copy of the course syllabus [including reading list and assignments] along with your request for approval. It is strongly recommended that you obtain prior approval before enrolling in any course at another college or university.

6 MSPA International Relations Degree Requirements Worksheet Seven Core Seminars: [semester taken/grade] First year fall term: PAF G 631: Theories and Concepts of International Relations PAF G 632: Contemporary Issues in World Politics First year spring term: PAF G 633: Research Methods and Analysis in International Relations PAF G 634: International Political Economy Second year fall term: PAF G 635: Globalization and International Development PAF G 636: Political Economy of Regional Systems Second year spring term: PAF G 681: Advanced Studies in International Relations PAF G: 691: Capstone or PAF G 699: Master s Thesis Three Elective Courses: [(three credit courses chosen from the approved list] Master's Thesis or Capstone: (six credits) Advisor Presentation [Capstone] or Defense Date [Thesis] Completion

7 Additional Resources Browsing and Borrowing Past Capstone Projects and Theses in the library: An link to an index of the completed Projects and Theses authored by program alumni is at ources/. The projects are available in.pdf, as well as in bound paper copy, from the Library. Students may request a.pdf copy, or sign out the hard copy for two weeks at a time. Located in the Department office (W 4 128A) and in Room W4 109, the Browser s Library contains journals, books, and faculty publications as well as the collection of Capstone and Thesis projects completed by International Relations MSPA and Conflict Resolution MA alum. For more information, please contact the Program Coordinator, or call Sample Topics: The personalized capstone project or thesis maximizes each student's potential for expanded learning and effectiveness in international relations. Topics have included: Securing the Future: Gendering U.S. Foreign Policy Are Profits and Poverty Reduction Compatible Goals of MFIs? Reexamining the Impact of September 11th on Relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States Reforming U.S. Higher Education in Response to Globalization Turkey and the European Union: Expanding Europe's Power and Influence The Political Economy of HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa The Blossoming of the Islamist Feminist Movement Graduate Student Assembly The GSA sponsors Recognized Professional Associations (RPAs) to enrich the quality of graduate education and life at UMass Boston. RPAs receive a fixed amount of funding per year. Once approved and activated, organizations can submit proposals for additional funds to host special events. All RPAs are open to all graduate students Visit the Graduate Student Assembly on website (www.gsa.umb.edu) for information on the grant and professional development opportunities they offer. Funding is available through the GSA to further research and attend conferences.

8 Fellowships and Grants Graduate Students are eligible to apply for the Fulbright and Marshall Fellowships. Fulbright Fellowship: The Fulbright Program provides funds for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools abroad. Marshall Fellowship: The objectives of the Marshall Scholarships are outlined as follows: To enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the UK. To help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain. To contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centers of academic excellence. To motivate scholars to act as ambassadors from the USA to the UK and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding. To promote the personal and academic fulfillment of each scholar. Visit the websites: register, indicating your intention to apply; download guides and forms. The UMass Boston Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) sponsors grant programs for graduate students. The Spayne Masters Thesis/Project Grant (for work leading to a Master's thesis) is a competitive grant awarded to assist students in defraying research expenses. Up to two grants of $1000 (maximum) are awarded each fall and spring semester by a committee of UMass graduate students, faculty and staff. Professional Development Grants are available to reimburse matriculated graduate students who attend or present their research at conferences and professional meetings related to their field of study. For more information on these grant programs, please visit the GSA website at: Program details along with program guidelines and application requirements can be downloaded.

9 International Relations Program Communications For faculty office hours, please contact faculty directly. E mail is generally a good way to make contact with faculty. Bulletin Boards Program news, job opportunities, and conference and event information will also be posted on the program bulletin boards in the hallways adjacent to Roni Lipton s office (W 4 107) and the department office (W 4 128A). Events During the academic year, the department from time to time schedules Round Table discussions. Information about these and any additional events will be disseminated via the student e list and posted on the program website. We will also publish a monthly department newsletter. We have expanded the use of social networking tools. Presently the program itself has such as FACEBOOK fan page and there is an active student group. International Relations Website The program website (www.ir.umb.edu) is the primary location where program information is disseminated. There are pages that list class schedules, announcements, news and events, resources, department events. Please bookmark this site. Student E list Most program information is now disseminated via a student e mail list. We will automatically enroll you in the Student E list, using both your personal and UMB address as applicable. It is important that you check your frequently. Contact Information Please keep us up to date with your current e mail, mailing address, and phone number(s). Should any of your contact information change, contact us the department office or ) and the Registrar s office ( ) with the new information. You should do this in addition to using your WISER access to keep your personal contact information up to date in that database.

10 Registration for Courses All UMass Boston students will need to use WISER, UMass Boston s web based, self service system, for various tasks such as registering for courses, adding or dropping courses, and for checking on their grades. WISER can be used for many other activities as well such as updating and maintaining their personal, academic and financial information at the University. UMass Boston s WISER website is at Students may register for the upcoming semester during the last half of the previous semester. You will receive a mailing from the Registrar s office advising when and how to register. What information you will need in order to register Your early access period the time in which you register (contained on your "invitation to register" mailed from the Registrar) Your student ID number Your Password The term code and the schedule number of each course section for which you wish to register. You should also be aware of the number of credits for each course. The website contains log in information and links to additional resources and WISER Help for Students at Contact the Help Desk at , send an to or visit the IT Service Desk in the Healey Library on the 3 rd floor (Walk in Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm EST), for additional WISER assistance.

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