MASTER OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF
SCHOOL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL
Academic Mission and Program
The Graduate School of Political Science and
International Affairs offers students a variety of courses dealing with the
political environment of the 21st Century. The School's primary focus is to
provide analytical, reasoning and problem solving skills through the study of
international, comparative, and domestic governmental institutions and
processes. The Master of Political Science and International Affairs aims to
provide students with the knowledge and perspectives needed to function
effectively in public service, the private sector and as responsible citizens.
The breadth and flexibility of the curriculum enables students to better
understand the interplay between international and regional politics as well as
the socioeconomic issues that influence the transformations taking place in
Armenia and its government. The School's approach is multi-disciplinary with
strong emphasis placed upon providing students with a comprehensive
understanding of democratic governance at the local, national, regional and
In addition to the General University admission
requirements explained in the Admission Section of this catalog, students
wishing to enroll in the Master of Political Science program must have a
four/five-year undergraduate degree with competitive grades, a competitive score
on the GRE examination, and strong letters of recommendation. The School
reserves the right to conduct interviews with applicants.
To graduate with a Master of Political Science,
students must complete 80 credit hours of coursework, including either a
Master's Essay or a Policy Internship Project in the final quarter of study.
Both the Essay and Internship Project carry 8 units of academic credit. All
course units in the School, unless otherwise indicated, represent either four or
two hours of class attendance per week by the student.
Full-time students must carry at least 12 credit
units per quarter. While the majority of students complete all school
requirements in two years, the maximum period for completion is three academic
years. Degree candidacy will automatically lapse after this period. A course
load of more than 16 credit units or less than 10 credit units requires prior
approval from the Dean of the School. All required courses, except the Master's
Essay and Policy Internship Project, must be taken on a letter grade basis. A
cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher is required for the granting of
The MA Curriculum
Students are provided with "total immersion" in
western political science methods and theory. The curriculum is comprised of
courses in the following subfields of the discipline: Political Theory and
Methods, International Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Administration and
Policy Analysis. Multiple courses are offered in each of these fields throughout
the students' two years of study.
The goal of the Masters Essay is to provide students
with the opportunity to reflect on the learning through their course work and
present a comprehensive study on a particular topic or policy area. The Policy
Internship Project offers students the opportunity to participate in the
functions of a government or non-governmental agency and to write a policy
paper. All submissions must follow the guidelines provided in the "Guidelines
for Master's Essays and Policy Internship Projects" and the "Political Science
Stylebook for Term Papers, Master's Essays, and Internship Policy Papers."
Students must present their papers in an open forum at the end of the
Douglas Shumavon, Ph.D., is the Dean of
the Graduate School of Political Science and International Affairs and the
Director of the Center for Policy Analysis at AUA. He holds a Doctorate in
Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr.
Shumavon is a Professor of Political Science at Miami University, Ohio. His
research interests and publications focus on decision making, administrative
discretion and ethics, and the evolution of post-Soviet administrative
structures and policies. He is responsible for the implementation of an
exchange grant (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural
Affairs) between Miami University and the American University of
PS500. Western Political Thought (4)
survey of Western Schools of political and socioeconomic thought from the early
times to the present based on the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine,
Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Smith, Burke, Hegel,
Mill, Marx and contemporary theorists of nationalism, liberalism, socialism,
conservatism, pragmatism, puritanism, constitutionalism, authoritarianism and
PS505. Political Science Methodology (4)
Introduction to research methods in political science covering the
overall logic and theory of empirical research and the major quantitative and
qualitative data collection methodologies and policy evaluation.
PS510. Comparative Political Systems (4)
analysis of political elites, governmental institutions, and political processes
in selected industrial, developing and socialist countries. A representative
sampling of countries would include the United States, Britain, France, Germany,
India, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, Russia, Syria and Israel.
PS520. International Political Relations (4)
and issues in contemporary world politics and diplomacy, foreign policy
formulation, strategic problems, techniques of conflict management and conflict
PS530. Theories of Democracy (4)
Central concepts in
contemporary democratic theory including the core problems of macro democracies
and the normative functions and basic requirements of the theories for
contemporary practice in modern nation-states.
PS537. Sustainable Development (2)
required for sustainable development applied to political, economic, and
environmental conditions in Armenia.
PS538. Ethnicity, Geopolitics, and International Law in
Analysis of the complex relationships among current
regional conflicts and ethnicity, geopolitics, and international law and factors
and participants in the development and potential for conflict resolution.
PS540. International Economic Systems (4)
comparative analysis of economic theories and practices in different modern
states focusing on the United States, Japan, Canada, and West European
countries. Examination of the processes of privatization and marketization in
both ex-communist and Western economic systems.
PS550. Introduction to Public Administration (4)
role and scope of bureaucracy in the modern state; examination of issues in the
formulation and implementation of public policy; planning, programming, and
decision making in the bureaucratic policy making process.
PS600. Comparative Public Policy (4)
The analysis of
diverse administrative cultures and processes in different political systems
with emphasis on bureaucratic roles and functions, bureaucratic ethics,
problem-solving, and social responsibility.
PS607. Conflict Resolution Strategies (2)
The role of
international organizations in the management and resolution of ethnic conflicts
and theories of ethnic identity and conflict.
PS610. Public Finance and Budgeting (4)
A survey of
public finance and budgeting systems in selected Western states with emphasis on
the processes of planning, programming, appropriation, taxation and
PS615. Comparative Policy Making and Public Opinion
Bringing the public into successful policy formation and
implementation processes and the functions of public opinion in democratic
states focusing on political participation in public policy formation in
PS620. Public Personnel Administration (4)
examination of the basic concepts and techniques of management of government
employees with special emphasis on problems of recruitment, selection, position
classification, promotion, training, motivation, performance evaluation, career
development, leadership, and patronage.
PS626. Politics and Public Administration of Eastern Europe
Survey of management in the former USSR, Eastern and Central Europe
and institutional transitions to market economies and pluralistic political
PS630. Organizational Behavior (4)
general theories and concepts of organization and bureaucratic behavior,
strategies for control, stability and change in modern state systems.
PS640. World Political Economy (4)
The interaction of
political, social and economic forces in the global arena and their impact on
international trade, foreign aid, and economic dependency focusing on decision
making in multinational corporations and key transitional institutions.
PS645. Politics of Russia and the CIS (4)
analytical and historical survey of politics in the post-Soviet period with
emphasis on the interplay of ideological, national and geopolitical factors in
problems of political change and development, independent state-building,
political organization, and interstate conflict resolution.
PS650. Leadership and Decision making (4)
examination of management skills by government functionaries with emphasis on
understanding and using power and influence effectively, utilizing appropriate
leadership and decision styles and techniques, and managing ethical dilemmas,
cultural differences and political pressures on decision making.
PS655. Politics of the Islamic World (4)
interdisciplinary survey of politics in the Arab East, Turkey, and Iran with
emphasis on Middle Eastern factors, institutions, and processes since World War
II. Examination of problems of sociopolitical change, role of Islam,
international influences and inter-state relations in the region.
PS660. Comparative Legal Systems and Human Rights
Analysis of major legal systems and their impact on public policy and
human rights, administration of justice and socio-economic well-being. Emphasis
on the social roots and historical development of modern democratic legal
PS670. International Law and Organizations (2)
survey of the origins and principles of international law, its historical
development and utilization in inter-state relations. Examination of major
regional and international organizations and their role in the settlement of
disputes. The changing role of the United Nations in peacemaking, and economic
PS688. Armenian National Assembly (2)
legislative processes in the Armenian government and the roles and
responsibilities of the Armenian National Assembly in relationship to other
branches of government.
PS691. Special Topic Seminar: International Policy
PS692. Special Topic Seminar: Domestic Policy Issues
PS693. Special Topic Seminar: Political Theory and
PS694. Special Topic Seminar: Public Administration
PS700. Policy Internship Project (8)
PS702. Master's Essay (8)