The Graduate Program in International Affairs in the College of Social Sciences is an interdepartmental program leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS). Students may choose to concentrate on a wide variety of substantive interests, geographical areas, and disciplinary emphases. Courses are selected from the participating departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, History, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology, Urban and Regional Planning, and the School of Public Administration and Policy. Courses from outside the participating departments, from the College of Law and the College of Business for example, may be credited toward the degree as long as course hours do not exceed ten (10) semester hours. A dual degree program is also offered in cooperation with the College of Law. In addition, the program offers a number of thematic or area-studies concentrations including Political Economy, Human Rights, International Planning Development, Western Europe, and Latin America.
Most students in the program anticipate careers in government, business, international organizations, journalism, or teaching. The program can serve as a stepping stone into more specialized doctoral programs, usually within one of the disciplines represented by the nine participating departments and one school. The program is structured so that it can be individually tailored to a wide variety of career goals. Foreign policy oriented positions within the United States Government are only one important possibility. State governments, particularly Florida's government, are increasingly involved in activities with an international component, creating a demand for those trained to deal with the international environment. Similarly, business firms, even those that do not rely extensively on export markets, must deal knowledgeably with international competition and other international economic forces that affect their ability to survive in the marketplace. A large number of international organizations, whether intergovernmental and associated with the United Nations, for example, or nonprofit organizations, also rely on people who are trained in any one of several traditional disciplines, integrated with an international, interdisciplinary emphasis.
Students in the master's degree program have the opportunity to take courses from distinguished faculty members both within and outside the participating departments. Prior to graduation, each student selects a supervisory committee composed of faculty from the participating departments. These faculty members may share an interest in a particular geographic area or in a topical specialty, such as political and economic development or national security. Depending upon a student's degree track, this committee will supervise either the student's comprehensive exam or master's thesis.