Global Studies (MA)

The interdisciplinary MA degree in global studies is offered for students who contemplate careers in international affairs, international development, diplomacy, international organizations, or domestic organizations with an international focus. A minimum of 65 credits must be completed for the degree.

The degree program can be tailored to meet the unique professional needs of each student. In close consultation with a faculty advisor, the student develops a program that combines expertise in a specific professional area with interdisciplinary training in global studies.


In consultation with their faculty advisor, students identify a professional concentration. Suggested areas include the following:

  • comparative development
  • cross-cultural training
  • cultural arts
  • environment
  • food and food systems
  • gender and development
  • health
  • international community development
  • international education
  • international tourism
  • journalism
  • migration
  • nonprofit management
  • public policy and planning

Concentrations in other professional areas can be arranged.

Graduates of the Department of Global Studies serve as international technical advisors, career diplomats, community development professionals, international business and trade experts, analysts in developing countries, international educators, administrators of international programs, and cross-cultural communication consultants.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of subject content knowledge in the field of Global Studies
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Conduct independent research and analysis and contribute substantively in their field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a professional concentration and/or a geographic focus, dependent on coursework and degree.
  • Demonstrate a proficiency in a second language relevant to their professional or geographic focus.
  • Understand ethical issues and responsibilities especially in matters related to professionalism, data collection and in writing and publishing theses and academic/policy papers.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Interdisciplinary Core
GLBL 655International Studies Graduate Core Seminar4
Proseminar Series
GLBL 656Research and Writing in International Studies1
GLBL 657Proseminar: Proposal Writing2
Professional Concentration Area 1
Concentration area courses from relevant departments or professional schools 224
Geographic Focus
Courses in geographic focus area 312
Supervised Field Internship or Field Research
Internship or research experience related to student's career plans12
Master of Arts Project
Thesis or capstone project9
Total Credits64

Additional Requirements

Students must take a minimum of 24 graded credits in the professional concentration area. A maximum of 24 credits may be taken in any department other than international studies in order to allow an appropriate degree of specialization.

Language Study and Competence

Students must demonstrate a third-year level of proficiency in a second language relevant to their professional or geographic focus before completing the program. The University of Oregon offers formal courses in a number of European and non-European languages. Students also may study languages through self-instruction at the Yamada Language Center. International students whose high school or university instruction was not in English demonstrate proficiency in English as a second language through completion of the master’s degree requirements. It is recommended that international students study a language from their geographic focus.

Supervised Field Internship or Field Research

The program assists students in locating internships or research opportunities and securing funding. International students may do their internship or research in the United States. Students are responsible for obtaining funding for the costs or for otherwise paying the costs in their entirety. Many graduate students in the program have competed successfully for funding to support internship and research experiences.

The international studies faculty expects students to gain the following from the internship or research experience:

  1. a reasonably in-depth experience in a culture other than the student’s own
  2. greater fluency in the language of the culture in which the internship or research takes place
  3. knowledge and experience useful to the career goals of the intern

Master of Arts Project

Each student must prepare an MA project, usually in the form of a thesis or capstone project. Students are required to present a thesis or capstone proposal defense, and at the conclusion of the project, present an oral defense before the student's final project committee. Other types of projects may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the student’s master’s advisor. Nine credits are awarded for a thesis or capstone project.