Course Offerings for the M.A. in Global and International Studies (see available GIST Courses

Core Course Descriptions

GIST 701: Approaches to International Studies

  • Description: This course examines approaches to the study of culture, politics, and society as applied in international studies research. Substantive and disciplinary content vary by instructor, but typically include such topics as economic development, ethnicity, religion, democratization, peace and conflict issues, and cultural studies. The study of these topics is accompanied by discussions of the principles of theory development, proper research design, choosing a research topic, construction of literature reviews, and the use of library resources in international studies research. This course is required for all students.

GIST 702:  Globalization

  • Description:  A central issue in international studies is globalization, the increasing interconnectedness of societies and economies. This course examines globalization from an historical and contemporary perspective. Major topics include (but are not necessarily limited to) the historical expansion of the West since 1500, the growth of international economic institutions, conflict among global cultures, the future of state sovereignty, and the challenges of economic integration. This course is required for all GIST MA students.

GIST 710: Interdisciplinary Research Methods for Global Contexts

  • Description: This course addresses the challenges for students engaged in research in an interdisciplinary and international context. The course will take issues for research and place them within the structure of a research design process, including formulation of a general question, the appropriation of theory, the grounding of a literature review, and the positing of a testable research question and/or hypothesis. Students will also be exposed to research methodologies and how these manifest themselves through the logic of the disciplines--such as anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, history and literature. With a final thesis project design in mind, students will be expected to be expected to be able to utilize the research tools of accessing secondary analytical data, archival research, SPSS, ArcView and methods such as survey construction, implementation, and analysis, interviews, content analysis, dicourse analysis, case study, and GIS. Prerequisite: GIST 701 or consent of instructor.

Additional International Studies Courses

GIST 703: The World Economy

  • Description: An introduction to international trade and finance, theories of economic development, and international economic structures; case studies in international business and economic policy.

GIST 704: Global Cultures and Societies

  • Description:  Examination of the components of culture; economic and political anthropology; major global cultural areas; and the impact of cultural differences as expressed through language, literature, religion, thought, and motivation in cross-cultural communications.

GIST 705: Globalization in History

  • Description:  A study of the increasing interaction among world societies since 1500 and an investigation of the long-term developments behind current world problems.  Major topics include Western expansion since 1500, the spread of state sovereignty, the formation of a world economy, and the spread of international institutions.  Current issues will vary but may include environmental crises, human rights, migration,  free trade and the spread of consumer culture, ethnicity and nationalism, and international intervention within states.  Same as HIST 705.

GIST 706:  Comparative Governments

  • Description:  Survey of different governmental structures in the contemporary world and the ways these countries have confronted issues such as modernization and development, economic security, ethnic pluralism and conflict, and globalization.

GIST 750: Topics in International Studies

  • Description:  A study of one or more selected topics in international studies; this course may be taken more than once.

GIST 898: Thesis Writing

  • This course guides MA students through the crafting of their academic or professional thesis. The students begin the course with a literature review and data/research completed, and they will be directed through in-class workshops and deadlines with the intention to produce a full draft of their thesis. Students may choose to draft a thesis that fits either academic conventions for a similar body of research, or they may develop a body of research whose target would be a business or professional audience. Course is designed to assist students in the development of theses with varying methodologies, methods, and audiences on global and international topics.

Relevant Courses from Other Departments

Programs/departments of interest may include African and African American Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, European Studies, Geography, History, Latin American Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Russian and East European Studies.

All electives from other departments must be approved by the program director. Only two 500- and 600-level courses can be counted toward the MA degree, and all courses must be taught by a faculty member or lecturer. (Courses taught by GTAs may not be counted toward a graduate degree.) Also, please note that topics courses must be approved by individual section.

Additionally, language classes offered at the graduate level (courses numbered 500 and above) may also count toward the degree requirements. Please consult the program advisor before enrolling to assure that courses will fulfill requirements in your customized program.

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