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Master of Arts in International Affairs



California State University, Long Beach Policy Statement


Policy Statement


June 24, 2020



Master of Arts in International Affairs (33 units)


This new self-supported program was recommended by the Academic Senate on 11/7/19 and concurred by the President on 11/15/19. The California State University Chancellor granted approval on 6/1/20.


Program Description


The professional Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is designed to prepare leaders for a changing world. It combines interdisciplinary, policy-oriented, intercultural and global studies with career development. Through a cohort design, students focus on attaining both the general and specific skills employers demand for the global workforce of the 21st century. This 18-month program includes 12 months in residence followed by a carefully placed internship (3-units, on-line) and a budgeting course (3-units, on-line).

Graduates are prepared for local careers of an international nature, national careers, and global careers in areas such as International Business, Trade Policy, International Development & Relief, and Migration Advocacy.


Admission Requirements

A graduate GPA of 3.0 or better in the program course requirements as follows.


Program Admission Requirements


Admission decisions are based on consideration of the applicant’s previous academic record, statement of purpose, resume, and letters of recommendation:


  • A bachelor’s degree in a social science, language, or related field from a regionally accredited university
  • A minimum GPA of 2.7 in the last 60 semester units attempted, and good standing at the last college attended
  • A statement of purpose
  • A recent resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • International applicants must take TOEFL and score a minimum of (i) 80 on the online version or (ii) 550 on the paper version of this examination. A score of 4.0 or higher on the writing portion of the GMAT or GRE may be used to waive the TOEFL requirement for international applicants. IELTS will be accepted as a substitute to TOEFL if no individual section score is less than 6.


  • Although there is no prerequisite coursework, applicants are strongly encouraged to have completed Introduction to Macroeconomics and Introduction to Microeconomics.
  • Intermediate competency in a second language is recommended, but not required for admission; however, CEFL B1 proficiency level or equivalent is required by the time of graduation. Proficiency can be acquired through work experience, immersion, and/or coursework.


University Graduation Requirements


  • Applicants who are admitted to the program will be subject to the university’s Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). All entering students are required to take the GWAR Placement Exam (GPE), except students who have previously (1) received degrees from accredited colleges and universities in the United States; or (2) received degrees from an accredited non-US institution located in a country where English is a primary language of communication; or (3) achieved a score of 4.0 or higher on the writing portion of the GMAT or GRE.
  • Completion of 33 units of approved graduate courses with a 3.0 GPA or better
  • Successfully complete the culminating activity.
  • Satisfaction of all university graduation requirements.


Program Course Requirements (33 units)

Required Core Courses (18 units, 6 courses)


  1. MAIA 600-International Affairs Cornerstone (3 units)

This course is an introduction to major themes and core principals of international development, immigration and migration. It is a comprehensive introduction to cover central concepts of international relations theories and analytical approaches to main international issues and their stakeholders. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 610-International Economics (3 units)

This course engages key issues in international macroeconomics; international trade; and international finance. Topics include: growth, inflation, trade—surplus and deficits; monetary policy, interest and exchange rates; financial integration, crises and contagion; neoliberal globalization and anti-globalism; international and regional economic agreements; and prospects for policy coordination and reform in international trade and finance. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 620-International Politics (3 units)

This course introduces students to the seminal issues international politics as it relates to public policy. Students develop analytic tools, review analytic frameworks, and apply them to a series cases to better understand policy outcomes. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 630-Policy Making Process (3 units)

Course introduces core theories and models of policymaking process, and tools of policy analysis; and application of these concepts and analytical tools to specific policy areas including economic development and poverty, health, education, immigration, transportation, environment, and energy. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 640-Scope and Methods of International Affairs (3 units)

This course provides students with tools for designing research and policy papers


in international affairs. It includes principles of concepts and design, quantitative research methods, concrete research techniques with an emphasis on qualitative methods, and application of methods to professions. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 650-Project Management (3 units)

Examines the theoretical and practical elements of project management. Explores how and why to use tools of project management, the project cycle, and technical aspects of monitoring and evaluation. Letter grade only (A-F).


Track Options (Choose One-Offered in Summer Term) (9 units, 3 courses)


International Development and Non-Profit Management

  1. MAIA 605-International Economic Development (3 units)

A critical examination of theories and approaches to the study of development. Topics include: ideologies of development; institutions; states, markets, and communities; foreign aid, debt, trade; food and nutrition; education and health; environment and climate change. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 615-Management of Nonprofit Organizations (3 units)

This course engages theories, methods, and practices affecting nonprofits. Topics include: history of philanthropy—international and domestic, volunteerism, and the role of non-profits as civil society; governance, strategy and planning; financial management, fundraising and budgeting; non-profit and business; emerging trends in nonprofit practice: venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship; public sector and non-profits. Letter grade only (A-F).




Migration and Immigration Advocacy

  1. MAIA 635-Global Trends in International Migration (3 units)

Examines major global migration trends since 1945 and surveys key literature in the field of migration studies. Emphasis is on applying theoretical perspectives and comparative methodology to pressing issues of immigration, emigration, and forced migration. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 645-Labor Migration (3 units)

The course will examine the impact of major international migration flows and current patterns in the spatial mobility of people on globe divisions of labor across the globe, querying how certain types of work become clustered in specific geo- political locations and populated by particular types of workers. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 655-Citizenship and Immigration Law (3 units)

This course focuses on four questions: Who is a citizen of the United States? Who can come to this country as an immigrant? When and why can non-citizens be forced to leave? How and why does citizenship matter? Letter grade only (A-F).


Additional Requirements (6 units, 2 courses)

  1. MAIA 698-Capstone Project

A project-oriented course designed to synthesize the skills and knowledge that students have acquired in their graduate study. Students will undertake a supervised international affairs-related internship. Professional work is


supplemented by writing, discussion, problem-solving, and efforts to connect program theories and concepts to real world experiences, culminating in a written Capstone Project. Letter grade only (A-F).

  1. MAIA 660-Budgets

This course is an introduction to core concepts and principals of budgeting in public and private nonprofit international organizations, which operate in international development, immigration and migration. It is a comprehensive course to explain and analyze central approaches to budgeting. Letter grade only (A-F).


Catalog Description of Culminating Experience


MAIA 698 is a project-oriented course designed to synthesize the skills and knowledge that students have acquired in their graduate study. Students will undertake a supervised international affairs-related internship. Professional work is supplemented by writing, discussion, problem-solving, and efforts to connect program theories and concepts to real world experiences, culminating in a written Capstone Project. Letter grade only (A-F).


The goal of the Capstone Project is to help students further develop and refine relevant skills such as research design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, data analysis, production of professional quality deliverables, and public speaking skills. In addition, completion of the capstone within a group setting will demonstrate the ability of group members to collaborate as a group and negotiate. Students will 1) undertake a supervised international affairs-related internship 2) create a Client-Serving Project,

3) write a Final Report where they will be expected to contextualize their learning experience in their internship through the literature and practical skills acquired throughout the program. While precise content will vary, it is expected that the final report will reflect on project management, policy, and budget considerations in the work at hand as well as the international placement of the organization, the potential challenges this creates, and sector specific (e.g. migration, development) issues. 4) Oral Presentation of findings from the Final Report.  Although capstones are conducted under the guidance of a faculty member, students have considerable agency throughout the process and are encouraged to be ambitious. At the end of the Capstone experience each student will have several deliverables: a written product for the client organization, a written report for the course instructor to assess for a grade and the MA International Affairs committee to assess for completion of the program, an oral presentation of the findings at a public event, and diverse methodological outputs

  • both quantitative and qualitative.


The course is necessarily designed to help students unpack the learning process during the internship, problem-solve with the faculty member and peers, and make connections between course theories/concepts and real-world experiences while ensuring that students complete and submit required reporting and e-portfolio elements. The internship component requires a minimum of 250 hours in an approved internship over the course of the fall semester.


Language Competency: Students will be required to demonstrate competency in a modern second language. This can be fulfilled in a number of ways:


  • presenting evidence of successful completion of 6th-semester level language
  • completion of a 300-level heritage language speakers course
  • completion a B1 certificate or equivalent from a language school
  • passing an intermediate level national exam (such as the Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera or Diplôme d'études en langue française)
  • online examination
  • submission of the Request for Confirmation of Completed Language Requirement completed by a professional in the language to the program director

See the program website for more information.



EFFECTIVE: Fall 2021

Campus Code: I/STMA01E1

College: 28 Career: GR

CIP Code: 44.0504

CSU Code: 21023

Department: International Studies Degree Program Delivery Type: Hybrid

Major Pathway, (STEM or non-STEM): Non-Stem