kimika hinoshita at the world cup in brazil for her international studies field research for the school of politics public affairs and international studies



Overview of the Program

The International Studies Master of Arts (MA) Program is a highly interdisciplinary program that allows you to create a program that fits your interests. It is a small program with highly experienced faculty who are more than excited to work with you. Students in our program go on to do work with government organizations, global environmental stewardship organizations, the Peace Corps, and nongovernmental organizations as well as move into PhD programs elsewhere. In short, should you choose to enter this program you will leave with a vast amount of knowledge and the ability to work in a wide variety of organizations


Graduate Objectives

Because Masters of International Studies graduates have a broad understanding of international affairs, national and cultural diversity, social structures, global political and economic systems, and major global trends, they are adept at effectively developing alternative explanations, theories, and concepts to solve world-reaching problems.

Students who graduate with a Master's degree in International Studies will be able to present their work intelligently, with both written and oral capability at a level of professional expectations. IS Masters think critically and reason logically about a problem and the ways it can be answered, employing the best recognized methods appropriate to their research. They engage in independent empirical inquiry that makes an original contribution to the field of study in such a way that progressive disproof is possible.

a temple for the international studies masters of arts program at the school of politics, public affairs, and international studies


Required Courses

International Studies M.A. students are required to complete a minimum of 26 hours of graded, non-thesis coursework (including INST 5400 + INST 5200) and 4 hours of thesis research.

Language Competency

A student must exhibit an ability to read/write/speak a degree of fluency (exceeding conversational) in a language other than their native language.

Travel & Research

As a Masters student, you are required to go abroad for research. If you are a domestic student, this means going to a different country; if you are an international student you will do research in the United States or another country that is not your home country. The University of Wyoming has the largest single endowment of any public university in the United States for students to study abroad, which means it is significantly cheaper to fund field research for your thesis.

Final Examination

Students must pass an oral examination at the completion of their program. Normally the oral examination (thesis defense) will center on the thesis, but may also encompass coursework of the candidate. When setting up a thesis defense students will need to pick a date and time, students should know their defense is public and will also need to prepare an announcement that can be electronically distributed to all of the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences.


  • Each student completes the required Graduate Pro-seminar (INST 5200) and International Social Science Methods (INST 5400) with room for an additional course of your choosing.

  • Each student has the opportunity to attend scheduled orientation sessions. These sessions focus on tips for graduate student success, preliminary thesis work, and research funding sources.

  • Students circulate and present a brief thesis proposal to the graduate faculty and other graduate students; this is known as the Spring Graduate Thesis Seminar. This seminar familiarizes the faculty with student work and helps students identify faculty with whom they will work with.

  • This is also the time when students pick the members for their thesis committees. The standard MA committee is composed of at least three members. As a rule, the committee head should be a Professor with direct ties to the International Studies program. The committee members must be tenure track Professors that hold their doctorate.

  • By the end of the 2nd semester each MA student should submit a prospectus write up to their thesis committee prior to doing their summer fieldwork.

  • Students start preparing and begin working on their thesis.

  • Student will have completed their thesis.

  • Students will make a public presentation, called a thesis defense, before their thesis committee. This is followed by an oral examination of the material and course of study by the students thesis committee.


Application Deadlines

We accept applications year-round, but usually cut off admitting about 2 weeks before the beginning of the semester or when the program fills. This usually turns out to be:

  • August 15th for Fall 2023/Spring 2024

If you are close to this deadline for admitting, please contact the department (


Graduate Assistantship Deadline

All applicants for Graduate Assistantships in International Studies are required to submit their requests through the Salesforce application portal when they apply. We do not take GA applications through email. If you are interested in being considered for the first round, please have your MA application with required GA application uploaded before:

  • February 1st for Fall 2023/Spring 2024

Applications received after February 1st will be considered for the "alternate pool" if spots open up, or as funding allows.


Application Decisions

Once all materials have been received, your application is complete. After an evaluation of all credentials by the SPPAIS graduate committee, the director will send a recommendation to the Graduate School to admit or deny.


Interdisciplinary Focused

A graduate minor in international studies provides students in graduate programs other than international studies with the opportunity to acquire a basic graduate-level familiarity with international relations, global processes and cultural diversity around the world.

Students acquire a foundation in inter-governmental relations and research methodology. Beyond this, students work closely with an international studies advisor to fashion a program of study appropriate for their interests and post-graduate plans. The minor complements several other graduate degree programs.

For more information contact:

Requirements for Admission

All prerequisites for entering the graduate program in international studies as a major apply to the minor with the exception of proficiency in a second language. Declaration of an international studies graduate minor is contingent on these additional pre-requisites:

  1. Applicants must be admitted to a master's or doctoral degree program
  2. Applicants must submit a letter of interest to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Zoe Pearson (, including the background, anticipated course of study, and reason for seeking the minor.
  3. An interview with the director is also required.
  4. Students must be prepared for coursework in international studies at the graduate level and be willing to take prerequisite courses if necessary.

For more information contact:

Course and Committee Requirements

Graduate students minoring in international studies must satisfy the requirements of their graduate major and take 12 credits of guided graduate coursework in international studies. With the approval of the department of the graduate major, these 12 hours may also count toward the major. Students are required to take at least 1 advanced theory course and 1 advanced research methods course. All courses will be determined in consultation with the Graduate Studies Director.

The committee makeup for the thesis or dissertation committee of the student's primary major will include at least one faculty member from international studies or the director of international studies. This committee member may serve as the outside member of the committee.

For more information contact: