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 or if the degree requires a thesis, 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. The thesis handbook may be accessed at

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Master's 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. The required thesis proposal form may be obtained from The Graduate College at After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, 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 the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A.

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. Enrollment for the thesis will be in course number 5399A for a student’s initial thesis enrollment and a thesis B course for each subsequent thesis enrollment in the field in which the subject matter of the thesis falls, e.g., PS 5399A and PS 5399B. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

A student will be required to enroll in and pay the fee for at least one hour of the thesis course during any term in which the student will receive thesis supervision or guidance and/or in which the student is using university resources. 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. 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 is filed in the Alkek Library and the librarian has electronically returned the thesis card to the office of The Graduate College.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during 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 at the following web page: The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee no later than 41 days before the date of the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred.

The following must be submitted to the office of The Graduate College no later than 24 days, not counting weekends or holidays, before the date of commencement at which the degree is to be conferred (see The Graduate College webpage for specific deadlines):

  1. The Thesis/Dissertation Committee Approval form bearing original signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) copy of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, on standard paper (Hard-copy Submission Option) or PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the on-line Vireo submission system (Vireo On-line Submission Option).

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, the process is as follows:

  1. For the Vireo On-line Submission Option:
    1. No copies are required to be submitted to the Alkek Library. However, Alkek 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 the 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 Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 1 Lab Contact Hour.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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

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