First-Year Courses 

Fall semester – All required

PSIA300 Western Political Thought

PSIA302 Graduate Research and Scholarly Writing

PSIA360 Armenian Politics

PSIA320 International Relations


Spring semester

Required: PSIA310 Comparative Politics

Electives (choose 3)

Students should take both courses from their Area of Focus plus one other course (which can be from the other Area of Focus or a non-Focus course).

Policy & Development:

PSIA340 Public Administration

PSIA352 Economics for Political Science

International Affairs:

PSIA311 Caucasus Regional Politics

PSIA371 EU and the World

Other electives:

PSIA303 Research Methods in Political Science

PSIA383 Contemporary Political Philosophy



PSIA367 Topics in Political Science: Government, Politics, and the Media

Second-Year Courses

Fall semester


Policy & Development:

PSIA343 Public Finance and Budgeting

PSIA344 Public Policy Analysis

PSIA345 Development Policy and Strategy

PSIA355 Policy Debates in Medicine and Technology

International Affairs:

PSIA364 Middle East Politics

PSIA323 International Governance

PSIA326 Theories of Globalization

Spring semester

Policy & Development:

PSIA347 Environmental Policy

PSIA384 Civil Society and Social Capital

International Affairs:

PSIA324 Security Policy

PSIA335 International Conflicts in XXI Century

PSIA385 Global Justice

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 8 elective courses across the academic year.
  • Master’s Essay for three credits in Spring. Students who choose this option must take 9 elective courses across the academic year.