International Studies MAIS Handbook
Letter from the Graduate Program Coordinator
We are delighted you have joined the University of Washington Master of Arts in International Studies: Global Studies Program (MAIS). The MAIS Program is one of the ten Master’s programs housed at the Jackson School. It is the largest program within the school and associated with one of eight federally designated centers of excellence in the United States. This designation recognizes the UW’s world-renowned faculty, innovative curriculum, and significant outreach to local, national, and global communities. This designation also provides resources for creating new, innovative programs, sponsoring of conferences, and hosting visitors from around the world. As a member of our community, you are welcome to join these events and meet with our visitors. Similar resources and opportunities are available through each of the regional centers and programs within the Jackson School.
All of us associated with the International Studies program believe that your education will be significantly enhanced by your dedication to learning inside and outside the classroom. Our program gives students the opportunity to take an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary and historical problems of global affairs. We encourage you to seek out and take full advantage of the opportunities all over the UW campus. Please visit the Jackson School’s website for our calendar of events and for links around the UW campuses.
Our faculty are dedicated to your education and intellectual development. As you learn, we learn from you. Please do not hesitate to share your vision for the MAIS Program. We want to know because your discoveries and ideas keep our program one of the best!
Associate Professor, International Studies
MAIS Graduate Program Chair
|Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) Deborah Porter, THO 220, firstname.lastname@example.org
The GPC is the faculty adviser for the first year of the program and will help students determine a suitable faculty mentor for the second year. Students should meet with their faculty adviser at least once a quarter. By the fourth quarter in the program, students should establish a Supervisory Committee to advise completing the final requirements of the program.
|Graduate Program Adviser (GPA) Sonja Renner, THO 116, email@example.com
The GPA guides students and provides advice on procedures and requirements for graduating from the Jackson School. For quick questions, students may come during drop-in hours on Wednesdays from 2-4 pm. Appointments are made here.
|Global Studies Program Coordinator Lauren Dobrovolny, THO 111, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Managing Director, Center for Global Studies Tamara Leonard, THO 502, email@example.com
The Center for Global Studies arranges for speakers, colloquia, and other on campus events for graduate students. Additionally, it is an excellent resource for information on language programs and fellowship opportunities. Contact Tamara via email to be added to the graduate student email lists.
|FLAS/Fellowship Coordinator Robyn Davis, THO 126, firstname.lastname@example.org
Every autumn the FLAS Coordinator organizes FLAS information sessions for students ahead of the winter application deadline, which usually falls in mid-January. She is also available to meet with students in person and will answer questions via email about applying for and receiving FLAS fellowships.
|Global Studies Librarian Emily Keller, Suzzallo 161, email@example.com
The University of Washington has one of the best collections of International Studies related materials in the country. Materials are housed in many different buildings across campus. Emily specializes in the Political Science, Policy and other International Studies related collections housed at the university, including the vast digital resources. Emily is willing to meet with students to provide introductions to International Studies collections and resources, customize and tailor research inquiries, and provide general guidance on graduate student research.
|JSIS Career Services & Alumni Relations John Charlton, Thomson 124, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Career Services Office organizes events on campus with employers, as well as provides support for students seeking internships and preparing to enter the job market upon completion of their degree. Appointments can be made here.
|JSIS Computer Specialist, Mark Haslam, Thomson Hall 408C, email@example.com
For technical or software problems with the computers in the Jackson School, contact Mark.
An International Studies degree consists of three core courses, a two-year (six quarter) colloquium, one economics course, one advanced methods course, language courses, focus courses in two of three areas, two research papers, or one thesis, and a final oral examination.
Students can pursue either a stand-alone MAIS degree, or pursue the degree concurrently while obtaining a second degree in one of six professional schools. A concurrent-degree student may transfer after completing one year of a professional degree program, or may be admitted simultaneously. Course requirements and schedule completion are slightly different for concurrent-MAIS and stand-alone MAIS degrees.
There are six professional schools with which the Global Studies program has official concurrent degree programs:
Approximately half the students in the International Studies Program are enrolled concurrently in one of these degree programs. Typically, these concurrent students are admitted to both programs in the same year. Some students, however, transfer into the Jackson School after the first year of coursework in their professional degree program. Students from other professional schools not listed above are welcome to work with the GPC to coordinate an informal concurrent degree arrangement with the MAIS.
The basic requirements for concurrent and stand-alone students are the same, but most concurrent students will delay the start of most of their JSIS coursework for a year, and some of the credits they earn will be counted for both degrees. After their first year, concurrent students will incorporate JSIS courses into their remaining professional school courses until both degrees are completed.
Familiarize yourself with both the International Studies Program Requirements for a Master of Arts in International Studies Degree and the General Graduate School Master’s Degree Requirements. The International Studies Program requirements are designed to meet Graduate School requirements–but it is important to note that you must satisfy both sets of requirements to graduate.
At the beginning of your studies you will receive a Degree Requirements Worksheet from the GPA. On this sheet you will track the classes you are taking to fulfill your proficiency requirements, your focus requirements, and your final degree requirements.
The first three requirements listed below are proficiency requirements. Students who demonstrate sufficient background in these areas will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements. Those without sufficient prior course work in these areas must take these courses while completing the degree.
Language study is required for all Jackson School programs. For the IS program, three years of Chinese or Japanese, OR two years of any other modern foreign language at the college level is required. Note: This is a proficiency requirement, so languages learned prior to entry into the program may fulfill the requirement. You can document prior study through transcripts or by taking a proficiency test. Language study may be completed at other accredited institutions in the US or overseas. Such study must be documented, however, there is no need to transfer the credits to the UW.
If you select a regional field of study, you are not required to meet this requirement with a language from that region.
The economics requirement is fulfilled by a relevant economics or economics related course. The Jackson School encourages students to take an economics course with JSIS Professor Jeffrey Begun (see UW Time Schedule). The economics requirement is automatically satisfied for concurrent Business and Public Affairs students by course work in economics required for their professional degrees. If you are not a student in that professional program, it is also possible to take an economics course offered through a professional school. It is also possible to have the requirement waived based on course work taken at another institution. In such instances, you must obtain written approval from the GPC. If you are taking, or are planning to take, an economics or economics-related course at UW, then you should discuss with the GPC if the course meets this requirement.
Advanced Methods Requirement
It is imperative that students in International Studies develop sufficient competency in quantitative and qualitative methods in order to engage with current literature in their fields of study. An increasing number of excellent international data sets have appeared in recent years. There is an expanded use of quantitative and qualitative data in the social science literature. Where appropriate, students are expected to utilize these tools in research and writing their final papers or thesis.
The advanced methods requirement can be fulfilled by a number of courses offered across the UW. It is possible to have this requirement waived, if prior course work in this area has been taken at another institution. If a suitable course is taken as part of a student’s professional program, this will satisfy the requirement. Discuss these options with the GPC and obtain approval if necessary.
There are three required core courses: JSIS 501, JSIS 511, and JSIS 594. There is also a graduate colloquium series, JSIS 591, JSIS 592, and JSIS 593, which students are required to take for one credit each quarter for the first two years of the program. These courses total 18 credit hours. The completion of these courses provides a background and framework upon which to focus work done in the other required parts of your program. The graduate colloquium provides a weekly space for students presenting and discussing their work in progress and learning from each other.
Concurrent Students must usually complete certain requirements of the professional degree in their first year. JSIS 501, JSIS 511, JSIS 594 and the graduate colloquium are normally taken in the second year and the focus requirements in the third year, along with the final year of the pro-seminar. In some cases, Law/Global Studies concurrent students complete their first year in the Jackson School, then begin study in the Law School.
MAIS-Degree Only and concurrent transfer students are expected to complete JSIS 501, JSIS 511, and JSIS 594 in their first year and start to take courses in focus areas. During the second year students complete their focus requirements. The colloquium will be taken both years.
Focus Requirements (18 credits)
Students are required to complete two of the following three focus areas, with a minimum of 9 credits and 3 classes in each focus. The courses in these foci are selected from among those offered by the Jackson School, social science departments, or professional schools. All courses should be at the 400 level or above, and must be approved by the GPC or GPA. Students who choose the IS field focus are required to take one of the four Jackson School Foundational Field Seminars. Students who are pursuing a concurrent degree will automatically choose the Professional Focus as one of their specializations. A maximum of 3 courses from professional schools can be counted toward satisfying focus requirements.
Regional or Area Studies Focus
Students may focus on:
|Africa||China||Comparative Religion||East Asia||Europe|
|Latin America||Near East||Russian, East European, and Central Asia Studies||South Asia||Southeast Asia|
International Studies Field Focus
Students may focus on one of the following four fields:
|States, Markets, and Society||Law, Rights, and Governance||Religions, Cultures, and Civilizations||Peace, Violence, and Security|
- JSIS 596 Seminar for Religions, Cultures, and Civilizations
- JSIS 597 Seminar for States, Markets, and Societies
- JSIS 598 Seminar for Peace, Violence, and Security
- JSIS 599 Seminar for Law, Rights, and Governance
Associated with each of these fields, in addition to the field seminars, are other JSIS courses and these can help fulfill the three courses in the field.
This focus consists of courses offered by a professional school that deal with the international and comparative dimensions of the profession. Students pursuing a concurrent professional degree can count 9-12 of these credits concurrently for both the MAIS degree and their professional degree.
In the final quarter of the first year in the MAIS Program, students need to establish their Supervisory Committee by completing the Supervisory Committee Form, which requires written approval by the GPC. One of the members will be designated the chair of the supervisory committee and one members must be from JSIS. The committee needs to include at least two members, but can include as many as four. The number of members depends on student need. Please consult with your GPC on what would make sense. The main purpose of the Supervisory Committee is to advise students in the final stages of their program. The members serve as the student’s consultants on their significant research product and as examiners during the oral exam.
In consultation with their Supervisory Committee, students are required to complete a significant written research product. This could be a Master’s thesis or two research papers, both demonstrating original research. If the two paper option is selected, then one of the papers must be an original empirical analysis that is either aimed towards a scholarly audience or a policy audience. The second paper for the degree is also an original research paper that makes an argument and substantiates it with evidence.
Concurrent degree students may submit the written paper required through their professional degree program as their second MAIS paper. These papers must have sufficient international content or substance to count toward the MAIS degree.
Many of our concurrent degree students will write a collaborative report with other students in their professional degree. In this case students submit an additional research paper to receive credit for the written product component of the degree. Students can register for JSIS 600 (Graduate Independent Study) credits to conduct literature reviews or preliminary research under the supervision and with the approval of one of their committee members (typically the chair of their Supervisory Committee).
If you choose the thesis option, you must register for at least 9 thesis credits (JSIS 700) over the course of your studies. These credits can betaken over several quarters, and you are not limited to 9 thesis credits. In order to register for thesis credits, you must complete an Application for Independent Study/Thesis Credits form each quarter and obtain a signature from the chair of your Supervisory Committee. Submit this form to JSIS Academic Services to get the instructor ID number you will need to register. If your Supervisory Committee Form is already on file, the GPA can sign the form on behalf of your chair.
The thesis can be an expanded version of a seminar paper or an Independent Study project. Theses normally range between 40 and 70 pages. While your primary thesis adviser should be the chair of your Supervisory Committee, you must also consult with the other members of your committee. Avoid surprises at the end by consulting with each committee member early and throughout the process. Committee members may refuse to schedule a final examination if the student has not met with them regularly to discuss progress.
To ensure timely submission and quality products, students are required to schedule at least three meetings with their committee members prior to the oral exam. These meetings will each take place in the three quarters prior to the student’s final oral exam.
- During the first of these meetings the students will present a proposed research plan, outlining each paper or the thesis; all members of the supervisory committee will evaluate the student’s plans.
- During the second meeting, the student will present a working draft of one of the two papers or the thesis.
- During the third meeting, the student will present working drafts of two papers or thesis.
During each meeting students should receive oral and written feedback on their work. Students should incorporate this feedback into their subsequent drafts. Three copies of the final versions of the paper(s) are due in the JSIS Academic Services Office by the end of the eighth week of the quarter in which the student graduates.
After the third meeting, the student should complete an Oral Exam Scheduling Form and hand it in to the GPA in Thomson 116.
The final oral examination questions are based on the thesis or two research papers—but also can range broadly across the field of International Studies. At the start of the examination, students are expected to prepare a brief, 5-10 minutes, presentation about their course of study and research projects. After that presentation, the student is invited to step outside the examination room, while the Committee members deliberate briefly about the student’s candidacy and the line of questioning they will pursue. Following these deliberations, the chair of the committee will invite the student back to the examination room. The Committee members will take turns asking the student questions pertaining to their knowledge of their fields of study for about 45-60 minutes. The student will then be excused from the examining room for a brief period while the Committee deliberates on the results of the oral exam. Following their second deliberation, the Chair of the Committee invites the student back to the examination room to inform her/him of the results of their examination. The student’s presentation and Committee’s examination are open to the public. Audience members are asked to listen quietly.
MAIS Committee members may award distinction to students with outstanding performance in their written work (thesis or two papers) as well as in their oral examination. The following two categories of distinction will be awarded to students for their overall body of work and with unanimous consent of all Committee members.
A High Pass will be awarded to students who (1) showed overall mastery of material in their thesis or, alternatively, whose two papers exhibit a close to publishable quality; and (2) delivered an impressive performance during their oral examination that showed substantial theoretical as well as empirical knowledge of their respective fields of study.
Honors will be awarded to students who (1) showed excellent mastery of material in their thesis or, alternatively, whose two papers are of publishable quality; and (2) delivered an outstanding performance during their oral examination that showed excellent and broadly situated theoretical as well as empirical knowledge of their respective fields of study in the context of international affairs.
To graduate, you must apply through the Graduate School’s Degree Request website. The application period commences the first day of the quarter of graduation. The Graduate School gives you through the 9th week of the quarter to apply for the degree, however the Graduate Program of International Studies requires that you apply by the 7th Friday of the quarter.
The Graduate School will send you an email confirmation of your application for Master’s Degree and inform you of Graduate School requirements that must be met by the end of the quarter in which you graduate. The Graduate Program Adviser will be notified of your application for a Master’s Degree and will enter information detailing departmental requirements that must be met. Be sure to meet with the GPA during Autumn or Winter quarter of your final year to make sure you are meeting Graduate School and departmental requirements.
If you do not finish in the quarter you applied for your degree, you will have to apply again. You must be registered for at least two credits in the quarter you graduate.
Once your papers have been accepted by your Supervisory Committee members, you may schedule your final oral examination with them. Once the date and time are set, complete an Oral Exam Scheduling Form and obtain the GPC’s signature. The GPC requires that you bring an up-to-date course worksheet and your committee meeting schedule to her in order for you to obtain approval on your exam committee and schedule. The up-to-date worksheet is done in a meeting with the GPA. Once you have obtained the GPC’s signature on your Oral Exam Scheduling Form, you should give this form to the GPA, who will reserve a room for the exam and notify all involved.
The GPA will prepare your file for your oral exam. Be sure to make an appointment with the GPA one or two quarters before you plan to graduate, to avoid last-minute surprises, and to review the procedures for finishing.
Prior to your exam, your file will be given to one of your Supervisory Committee members. Aside from providing a record of the work you have done in the program, your file will contain your Oral Exam Completion Form and the Warrant for Master’s Degree. Both of these documents must be signed by your Supervisory Committee members following the successful completion of the oral exam and will remain in your file. The signed Warrant for Master’s Degree will serve to notify the GPA that your graduation is approved, and as soon as any course contingencies are satisfied, the GPA will notify the Graduate School that you may be graduated.
Your signed Exam Completion Form and Warrant for Master’s Degree must reach the GPA by 4:00 pm the last Thursday of the quarter.
From the Graduate School’s “Policy to Maintain Student Status” page:
“To maintain graduate status, a student must be enrolled on a full-time, part-time, or official On-Leave basis from the time of first enrollment in the Graduate School until completion of all requirements for the graduate degree. (Summer quarter On-Leave enrollment is automatic for all graduate students who were either registered or officially On-Leave during the prior Spring Quarter.) Failure to maintain either continuous enrollment or On-Leave status constitutes evidence that the student has resigned from the Graduate School…”
For more information consult the Graduate School’s Memorandum 9.
Registration for classes begins in the middle of the preceding quarter (middle of Spring Quarter for Autumn). Course lists and course descriptions for the upcoming quarter are available on the Academic Services webpage prior to each registration period. It is a good idea to also check the on-line Time Schedule for changes and additions. As a continuing student you will be eligible to register in the first Registration Period. Registering early will help you gain entry to the classes you want. Keep in mind that with the exception of some intensive language study, few classes useful for your International Studies programs are offered during Summer Quarter.
You may take courses that do not fulfill program requirements. Comparative study is encouraged, and classes that do not meet International Studies requirements may be useful. However, taking too many courses that do not apply to your degree could prevent you from completing the program within the time expected.
Number of Credits Per Quarter
An average load per quarter for Jackson School graduate students is 15-16 credits, usually 3-4 courses, depending on credits per course. In the last year some students take fewer courses as they begin to focus on their final papers or thesis. If you are receiving financial aid or hold a scholarship, fellowship, or RA position, you must carry at least 10 credits per quarter. International students must be registered for 10 credits in order to maintain their F-1 status.
You are not required to take a full course load every quarter, but taking a reduced load during your first Autumn Quarter may put you at a competitive disadvantage for fellowship consideration. It is difficult for the fellowship committee to assess your scholastic performance if you have only taken a course or two.
MAIS degree-only students are expected to finish the degree in two years. Concurrent students usually take one year longer than it would take to finish the professional degree. If you do not carry a full load in your first year, it could take longer to finish.
You can be considered through the International and Area Studies Fellowship application for most fellowships offered through the Jackson School. Application procedures will be announced in October; the application deadline is usually January 31, but it is a good idea to check the deadline well in advance. Awards are made in mid-April for the following summer and/or academic year. Specific questions concerning FLAS should be addressed to the Fellowships Coordinator, Robyn Davis.
Faculty evaluations and grades earned at the UW are of particular importance to fellowship committees, so it is helpful to carry a full load of relevant courses and do well in them. It is important to make good progress toward your degree before applying, and you must continue this progress if you receive a JSIS fellowship.
For information on need-based financial aid please click on the following link to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Applications will be available on the Jackson School website late in Autumn quarter, and will probably be due on February 15.
The University of Washington Libraries are a large library system housed in many different buildings across campus. There is a reference section on the ground level of the Suzzallo/Allen Library. The MAIS librarian is Emily Keller. She is more than happy to meet with you or converse over email or the library chat forum. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are other social science research support centers on campus for you to take advantage of; The Center for Social Science Computing and Research (CSSCR) offers short courses, computer lab space, data archive access, and software. Visit their site or their offices in the basement of Savery Hall. The Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) also offers workshops and consultations, as well as a lecture series. Their website offers a wealth of resources.
Scholarship funds for our JSIS graduate students are available. For those of you who will be presenting a research paper to an academic conference, the graduate school does provide some support for enrolled students.
The Jackson School Graduate Student Council (JSGSC) has been successful on several occasions in applying for funds for computers and equipment. Thanks to these efforts, there are 5 computers on the third floor in the Graduate Reading Room. You may use the printers after paying a quarterly fee to JSGC for paper and supplies. To pay this fee, visit Mark Haslam in Thomson 407.
To check these out, or if you have any technical or software problems with the computers in either of the Jackson School computer labs, contact the Jackson School’s computer specialist Mark Haslam, at email@example.com. The computer specialist’s office is in Thomson 407. The University’s Computing Resource Center is in Mary Gates Hall. Information about this and other computer labs can be found at UW ITConnect. These labs offer word processing, spreadsheet, database, and graphics applications, and access to the Internet.
The Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) in Savery 110-116 offers consultation on computer services and programs for social science students, which includes all JSIS students. The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology offers free access to virtual server space for any student at UW. This space allows you to login from anywhere and have a remote desktop and storage for your projects. CSDE also provides free access to Office for Windows, qualitative software, EndNotes, and many statistical software packages.
|First Quarter||Second Quarter||Third Quarter|
|Optional: Choose One of Two Foundational Field Seminars
|Choose an Advanced Methods Requirement
(minimum 3 Credits)
|Optional: Choose One of Two Foundational Field Seminars
**Students who need to fulfill their language requirement need to adjust the Field Seminar structure accordingly. Please visit the JSIS website for a list of our PhD Field courses.