Master’s degree in international affairs begins th...

Master’s degree in international affairs begins this fall

MTSU is taking applications now for admission to its Master of Arts Program in International Affairs, a new graduate degree that promises to open a new world of career opportunities to students trying to navigate a fragile economy.

Aaron Shew, who graduated from MTSU in 2011 with dual bachelor’€™s degrees in global studies and international relations, enjoys lunch with colleagues in Mazar, Afghanistan. Shew now works for SALT, a nonprofit organization, teaching the Kurdish people how to grow soybeans. (photo submitted)

“This M.A. is meant to be practical so that the skills students get here are skills they can really apply,” said Dr. Moses Tesi, a professor of political science at MTSU and director of the University’s African Studies Program.

Slated to begin in fall 2012, the international affairs master’s degree offers two tracks: a concentration in security and peace studies and a concentration in development and globalization.

Tesi said the security and peace studies track will prepare students for work at such agencies as the United Nations and the Department of State, nongovernmental organizations like the International Red Cross and Doctors without Borders and think tanks that research international conflicts.

“For example,” Tesi said, “there are centers in Washington, D.C., and various parts of the world that try to focus on wars, terrorism and insurgencies. By the same token, they examine the way past negotiations have taken place.”

Dr. Moses Tesi

Dr. Moses Tesi

Students who choose the development and globalization track might pursue jobs at nongovernmental organizations, multinational corporations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, consulting firms and philanthropies.

“We have those that work with local people in villages, trying to help with sanitation issues, clean water, being able to finance agricultural activities, and, therefore, create a better mechanism for increasing incomes,” said Tesi.

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with at least 18 hours of courses in political science, international relations or related disciplines with no grade lower than a “C.” Students are required to have or obtain a degree of fluency in a foreign language, although foreign-language courses do not count toward the master’s degree.

“We’re going to strongly encourage students to study abroad, and so, hopefully, that will help them develop their foreign-language skills,” said Dr. Stephen Morris, chair of the MTSU Department of Political Science.

Program requirements include 12 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours in one’s chosen concentration and six hours of electives.

For more information, contact the Department of Political Science at 615-898-2708. Morris can be contacted at Tesi may be reached at

— Gina K. Logue (

Dr. Karen Petersen, assistant dean of the Department of Political Science, enjoys the view on her June 2011 research trip to Turkey, funded with a grant from the Society for Universal Dialogue. (photo submitted)