Master of Arts (M.A.) Major in International Studies

Major Program

The master of arts (M.A.) with a major in international studies is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for work and leadership in an interdependent world. Through training in area studies, technology information training, oral and written communication skills, and business acumen, the program aims to develop leaders for business, government, military, education, non-profit organizations, and international institutions that are collectively facing an increasingly interdependent world where cultural diversity is a reality and the need to appreciate and value such heterogeneity is a prerequisite to global peace and prosperity.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of fellowships and scholarships are available to qualified graduate students. Departmental fellowships and scholarships are listed on the Center for International Studies website: The Graduate College can provide further information about scholarships.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the 2017-2018 academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the 2017-2018 academic year can be found on the program’s web page. International students should review the International Admission Documents section of the catalog for additional requirements.

  • completed online ApplyTexas application
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • $50 nonrefundable international evaluation fee (if applicable)
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts required from each four-year institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)*
  • background course work: at least six hours in introductory economics courses (can be taken prior to starting the program or concurrently with first-year courses)
  • proficiency in the speaking, reading, and oral comprehension of a modern language other than English as demonstrated by the following:
    • grade of B or better in modern language course work beyond the second year that was taken within the last three years at an accredited college, university, or language institute.
    • examination for proficiency levels in reading, speaking, and listening that would place you beyond the second year of language courses*
    • recent foreign living experience of at least six continuous months in a single non-English-speaking culture outside the U.S.
  • official GRE scores not required*
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose
  • two letters of recommendation 


Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
  • If you do not meet the scores above, you may qualify for English-based conditional admission if you meet the minimum scores below:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 59 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 5.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 5.5

*Additional Information 
GPA and GRE Requirement
If your last-60-hours GPA falls between 2.8–2.99, please submit the following:

  • official GRE scores with a preferred minimum of 156 in the verbal section

Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement
If the last language course was taken more than three years before the date of admission, and there has been no significant involvement in the language in the interim, you may be asked to take a refresher course(s) in the language.

Degree Requirements

There are two options for earning the Master of Arts (M.A.) major in International Studies. The first option requires at least 30 hours of courses, including thesis. The second option, which does not include thesis, requires 36 hours of courses, including 3 hours of internship. It is expected that students entering the program have a passing grade in introductory (principles of) microeconomics and macroeconomics at an accredited college or university. The economics courses can be taken after admission. In addition, many courses have prerequisites for students who lack adequate preparation for advanced study in specific disciplines, such as business technology.

Course Requirements

Thesis Option

Choose 3 hours of history3
Twentieth-Century Russia
Military History
Modern Middle Eastern History
Interpretations of World History
Mahatma Gandhi in World History
European Colonialism
Choose 9 hours of international studies electives9
Problems in American Foreign Relations
The British Political Order Since 1900
Russian Politics and Josef Stalin
Civil-Military Relations in Comparative Perspective
Government and Politics of African States
Seminar in International Relations Theory
Problems in International Organizations
Problems in International Law
Problems in International Political Economy
Directed Reading and Research
Select 12 hours of electives from the table below 112
Choose a minimum of 6 hours 26
Total Hours30

Selected in consultation with the director of the Center for International Studies.


International studies students may choose thesis courses in: GEO, HIST, MC, POSI, SOCI, or SPAN.

Non-thesis Option

Choose 3 hours of required history3
Twentieth-Century Russia
Military History
Modern Middle Eastern History
Interpretations of World History
Mahatma Gandhi in World History
European Colonialism
Choose 9 hours of international studies9
Problems in American Foreign Relations
The British Political Order Since 1900
Russian Politics and Josef Stalin
Civil-Military Relations in Comparative Perspective
Government and Politics of African States
Seminar in International Relations Theory
Problems in International Organizations
Problems in International Law
Problems in International Political Economy
Directed Reading and Research
Choose 21 hours of electives from the table below 121
IS 5387International Studies Internship3
Total Hours36

Selected in consultation with the director of the Center for International Studies.


ANTH 5314Latin American Cultures3
ANTH 5322Peoples and Cultures of Africa3
COMM 5325Seminar in Human Communication Theory3
ECO 5310International Economics3
ECO 5320Emerging Market Economies3
ENG 5311Foundations in Technical Communication3
ENG 5313Studies in Principles of Technical Communication3
ENG 5314Specializations in Technical Communication3
ENG 5383Studies in Rhetorical Theory3
FIN 5337International Finance3
GEO 5349Population Geography3
GEO 5380Internship3
GEO 5390Independent Study3
HIST 5308ELatin Literature and Roman History and Society3
HIST 5308FRoman History and Civilization: The “Golden Age” of Rome3
HIST 5308GWarfare in the Ancient World3
HIST 5309AInterpreting the Eighteenth Century3
HIST 5309BThe French Revolution3
HIST 5309DEarly Modern Spain3
HIST 5310Modern European History3
HIST 5313Early American History3
HIST 5318AEighteenth Century England3
HIST 5318CThe Age of the Stuarts3
HIST 5318DEuropean Imperialism3
HIST 5323ASociety and Culture in Brazil3
HIST 5323BHistory of Race and Slavery in Brazil3
HIST 5324BClass and Society in Latin America3
HIST 5324CSlavery and Emancipation in the Americas3
HIST 5324DWriting the History of Latin America: The Colonial Era3
HIST 5324EModern Latin American Revolutions3
HIST 5325AHistory of Mexico to 18483
HIST 5325CRevolutionary Mexico3
HIST 5325DMexico Since the Revolution3
HIST 5335Twentieth-Century Russia3
HIST 5336East European History3
HIST 5345DOral History: Theory & Practice3
HIST 5345MHistory of Utopian Communities3
HIST 5345NTransformation of the South3
HIST 5345OImmigration and Ethnicity in American History3
HIST 5345PHistory of Mexican American Music in the Southwest3
HIST 5345QWomen and Citizenship3
HIST 5345RHistory of Country Music3
HIST 5345STheories and Methods in Popular Music History/Culture Studies3
HIST 5351BCold War America3
HIST 5351CRace, Gender, and Ethnicity in American Labor History3
HIST 5351DPolitics & Society of Postwar America, 1945-Present3
HIST 5351EFoundations of the U.S. Conservation Movement3
HIST 5351FWomen in Modern America3
HIST 5360American Historiography3
HIST 5361General Historiography3
HIST 5381Chinese Communism3
HIST 5385Topics in the History of the Modern Middle East3
HIST 5390Problems in Historical Research3
HIST 5395BModern Middle Eastern History3
HIST 5395DInterpretations of World History3
HIST 5395EMahatma Gandhi in World History3
HIST 5395HEuropean Colonialism3
IS 5387International Studies Internship3
MC 5301Mass Media and Society3
MC 5302Research Methods in Mass Communication3
MC 5303Theories of Mass Communication3
MC 5310International Communication Issues3
MKT 5322Marketing Research Methods3
MKT 5330International Marketing3
PHIL 5301Applied Philosophy3
PA 5352Comparative Public Administration3
PS 5310Studies in Ancient and Medieval Political Thought3
PS 5332Problems in American Foreign Relations3
PS 5356The British Political Order Since 19003
PS 5357Russian Politics and Josef Stalin3
PS 5358Civil-Military Relations in Comparative Perspective3
PS 5377Problems in International Organizations3
PS 5398Directed Reading and Research3
SOCI 5320Seminar in Demography3
SOCI 5371Directed Study3
TECH 5310Product Design and Development3
TECH 5315Engineering Economic Analysis3
TECH 5364Robust Product and Process Design3
TECH 5382Industrial Ecology and Sustainability Engineering3
TECH 5384Problems in Technology3
TECH 5385Readings in Technology3

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Thesis Proposal Form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, the graduate advisor’s signature if required by the program and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the Thesis Proposal Form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended that the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A. Failure to submit the thesis proposal in a timely fashion may result in delayed graduation.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. For a student's initial thesis course enrollment, the student will need to register for thesis course number 5399A.  After that, the student will enroll in thesis B courses in their field, e.g., ENG 5399AENG 5199BENG 5299BENG 5399BENG 5599B, and ENG 5999B, in each subsequent semester until the thesis is defended with the department and approved by The Graduate College. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

Students  must be enrolled in thesis credits if they are receiving supervision and/or are using university resources related to their thesis work.  The number of thesis credit hours students enroll in must reflect the amount of work being done on the thesis that semester.  It is the responsibility of the committee chair to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward their degree throughout the thesis process.  Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. Thesis projects are by definition original and individualized projects.  As such, depending on the topic, methodology, and other factors, some projects may take longer than others to complete.  If the thesis requires work beyond the minimum number of thesis credits needed for the degree, the student may enroll in additional thesis credits at the committee chair's discretion. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B.

The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis has been both approved by The Graduate College and released to Alkek Library.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during the summer, the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Fee Reduction

A master’s degree candidate for graduation may be eligible for a one-time fee reduction under V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 54.054. Please refer to the section titled Fee Reduction in the Additional Fees and Expenses chapter of this catalog for more information.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted on The Graduate College website under "Current Students." The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee on or before the deadlines listed on The Graduate College website.

The following must be submitted to The Graduate College by the thesis deadline listed on The Graduate College website:

  1. The Thesis Submission Approval Form bearing original (wet) and/or electronic signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the online Vireo submission system.  

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, Alkek Library will harvest the document from the Vireo submission system for publishing in the Digital Collections database (according to the student's embargo selection). NOTE: MFA theses will have a permanent embargo and will never be published to Digital Collections. 

While original (wet) signatures are preferred, there may be situations as determined by the chair of the committee in which obtaining original signatures is inefficient or has the potential to delay the student's progress. In those situations, the following methods of signing are acceptable:

  • signing and faxing the form
  • signing, scanning, and emailing the form
  • notifying the department in an email from their university's or institution's email account that the committee chair can sign the form on their behalf
  • electronically signing the form using the university's licensed signature platform.

If this process results in more than one document with signatures, all documents need to be submitted to The Graduate College together.

No copies are required to be submitted to Alkek Library. However, the library will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Master's level courses in International Studies: IS

Courses Offered

International Studies (IS)

IS 5387. International Studies Internship.

A work/research experience in a government agency or company related to the students’ career interests. The internship will consist of a minimum of 150 hours in the workplace and will require a research paper. This course may be repeated once for additional internship credit. Departmental approval required.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 1 Lab Contact Hour.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

IS 5398. General Research Methods.

The principal purpose of the General Research Methods seminar is to prepare students to successfully produce research papers and/or theses. Students in this course will produce a research paper using primary and secondary source materials.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter