The curriculum of the Master of PSIA is comprised of courses in the following subfields of the discipline: political theory, methodology, international relations, comparative politics, public administration, public policy, development policy, and economics. Courses are offered in each of these fields throughout the students’ two years of study. Most courses represent approximately three hours of class attendance per week by the student.

The curriculum is divided into first and second year courses. In the first year all courses are required, with students taking five courses each semester. In the second year, students choose eight elective courses (four each semester) from a range of options and in their final semester a capstone requirement.

If a student wishes to take a different number of courses each semester than this (as long as the total number of courses remains same), he/she needs the permission of the Program Chair. Students may also, with the permission of the PSIA Program Chair, take courses from other programs in AUA (to substitute for PSIA courses). Some second-year courses have prerequisites. Please check with the instructor or consult the AUA Catalog for details.

Learning outcomes are assessed in coursework through tests and examinations, group projects, term papers, oral presentations, simulations, and class assignments. These outcomes are specified in course syllabi.

 Full-time students will carry either 12 or 15 credit units per semester. Part-time students must develop an approved program of study with the Chair during the student’s first semester of study at AUA. While the majority of students complete all school requirements in two years, the maximum period for completion is three academic years for full-time. Degree candidacy will automatically lapse after this period and students will not be awarded a diploma. A course load of more than 15 credit units or less than 12 credit units requires prior approval from the Chair of the Program.

Two-Track System

In the second year of studies, students may choose one of two tracks to follow: International Relations or Public Policy. Elective courses are allocated to one of the two tracks and students should take at least five elective courses in the track that they wish to specialize in.

Environmental Studies Requirement

Students must also complete one credit in environmental studies in satisfaction of the university-wide environmental studies requirement. PSIA347 Environmental Policy counts for this requirement, but students may if they wish choose a course from the AUA’s Acopian Center for the Environment.

Masters Capstone Requirement

Each student must complete a capstone project. More information can be found here: