Area of Focus:
At the end of the first semester students declare their Area of Focus: either Policy & Development or International Affairs. The purpose of Areas of Focus is to enable students to pursue a specialization in their interest and appropriate for their career plans. There are two Areas of Focus:
- Policy & Development (of use to those who wish to work for government agencies, NGOs, etc.)
- International Affairs (of use to those interested in diplomacy, international organizations, international business, etc.)
The presumption is that students in the program must choose one of the two Areas of Focus. However, in exceptional circumstances with the permission of the Program Chair, students may take a mixture of courses from both areas instead of choosing one.
During the last three semesters, students who take 10 electives must ensure that 7 are from their Area of Focus (if they write Master’s Thesis). Students who take 11 electives must ensure that 8 are from their Area of Focus (if they write Master’s Essay). Students may also, with the permission of the PSIA Program Chair, take courses from other programs at AUA (to substitute for MPSIA courses).
Environmental Studies Requirement:
Students must also complete at least 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 another AUA course in Environmental Studies.
Capstone: either PSIA392 (Master’s Essay – 3 credits) or PSIA395 (Master’s Thesis – 6 credits)
Second-year students must declare their capstone option in the summer prior to the beginning their second year:
- Master’s Thesis for six credits over Fall and Spring. Students who choose this option must take 7 elective courses across the academic year.
- Master’s Essay for three credits in Spring. Students who choose this option must take 8 elective courses across the academic year.