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Degree Requirements

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To be conferred the Master of Arts in International Affairs in International Development Studies, each student must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 48 hours of approved course work successfully
  • Preparation of a Capstone Project: Comprehensive Exam, Grant Proposal, or Thesis Option
  • Demonstrated Proficiency in a Second Language

Course Requirements

IDS students must complete a sequence of required and elective core courses, as well as a series of courses in one of the five disciplinary concentrations. Core courses and disciplinary concentration courses are to be combined so as to provide the most appropriate set of intellectual and professional reference points for the student's examination of the development process. Each program/course of study must be approved in advance by your program advisor, normally the Program Director.

Course work is broken down as follows:

  • 8 Hours Foundation Courses
  • 12 Hours Development Core
  • 8 Hours Methods Core
  • 20 Hours Concentrations Elective
    • International Development and the Environment
    • International Development and Gender
    • International Development and Health
    • International Development and Social Sciences
    • International Development and Conflict

Information on the courses

Information on the concentrations

Capstone Project: Grant Proposal, Comprehensive Exam or Thesis Option

Each student is required to complete either a grant proposal, comprehensive exam or thesis and to declare their choice in the Spring Semester of the first year. Candidates choosing the proposal option will develop a grant proposal addressing a need in a particular developing region of the world. Candidates who choose the thesis option are expected to complete a course of study that culminates in a scholarly work of publishable quality.

Capstone Project Guidelines

Second Language Proficiency

Each candidate must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. Completion of the language requirement is approved by the International Development Studies program Director.

The requirement may be met through:

  1. Two years of university study of a modern language
  2. One year of university study of a Less Commonly Taught language
  3. Native speaking ability
  4. Testing through another agency, such as the Peace Corps

Six Hours of language coursework may be counted toward the MAIA degree as an elective.


Internships are strongly encouraged. Such an experience with a domestic or international development organization allows the student to put into practice what has been learned from the program. Modest funds are available, on a competitive basis, to support local internships and research travel.

Internship Guidelines

Grades and Standards

  1. All students in the M.A. program must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. Students who fall below a 3.0 GPA will be placed on probation and required to raise their GPA above 3.0 by the end of the following term – or at least meet agreed upon progress in that direction. Failure to do so will automatically result in the student being dropped from the program. Until the GPA is raised above 3.0, the student will remain on probation. University regulations prohibit awarding any type of financial assistance to students who are on probation.
  2. Students with a GPA below 3.0 cannot be awarded a degree and will not be allowed to take the final comprehensive examination. All courses used to meet degree requirements must be completed before the comprehensive examination can be administered. An exception is made for those courses in which a student is enrolled in their final quarter of study.
  3. Students receiving more than two grades below a B will be dismissed from the program.
  4. The lowest grade that can be accepted for a course included as part of a program of study is a C. Grades below C will be considered as the functional equivalent of failing, and a student who receives a grade below C becomes subject to immediate dismissal from the program. Other types of grades requiring students' attention appear below:
    • PR Option (Progress) - A PR may be assigned in any course if for reasons acceptable to the instructor all of the requirements cannot be completed by the time final grades are submitted. The PR can remain on course records indefinitely, but is not counted toward computation of the GPA. The accumulation of more than one PR and/or I (Incomplete) is not considered acceptable, and financial aid may be subject to immediate suspension.
    • I Option (Incomplete) - Like the PR, an I may be assigned in any course if for reasons acceptable to the instructor all of the requirements cannot be completed by the time final grades are submitted. Unlike the PR, the I grade can remain on records only until the sixth week of the next quarter in which the student is enrolled, after which the grade is automatically changed to an F unless the work is completed. The consequent F will count toward the students cumulative GPA. Accumulation of more than one PR and/or I (Incomplete) is considered unacceptable; financial aid may be subject to immediate suspension.
    • CR Option (Credit Reported) - Under certain circumstances, a student in the M.A. program may opt to receive a CR/F grade in a course rather than a letter grade. This may be done in two circumstances:
      • The standard grade for completion of the course is CR;
      • The course is not being used to meet any of the major or minor distribution of requirements of the M.A. degree and the student and the instructor have agreed on a CR/F option since no later than the end of the first week of classes. Not all courses are eligible to receive a CR grade.
    • NR (No Report) - A grade of No Report is assigned when 1) no grade is reported by the instructor; 2) the instructor reports the grade too late for processing; or 3) the instructor reports an ineligible grade for the grade eligibility of the course. Check with the instructor; if a grade was submitted, contact the Office of the University Registrar so as to learn what you must do to clear up the problem.
    • Withdrawn Passing/Withdrawn Failing (WP/WF) - This report is given when a course is dropped after the 15th day of the quarter. It does not count toward the GPA.
    • Failure, Never Attended (FN) - This report is given when a student does not drop a course for which s/he is officially registered, but never attended. It counts as an F in your GPA.
    • Failure, Stopped Attending (FS) - This grade is given when a student attends initially then stops attending a class for which s/he is officially registered. The last date of class attended is noted on the student's grade report. It counts as an F in the calculation of the GPA.
    • Note: Removal of a grade of FN or FS from a student's official grade transcript requires action by the late course withdrawal review panel.
    • Note: Graduate level courses may not be taken with a Pass/Fail grading option.
  5. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty (e.g. cheating on exams, falsifying information, and so on) will result in severe penalties. When a faculty member judges that plagiarism or academic dishonesty has taken place, action will be taken against the offender. Such cases will be referred to University Judiciaries. Penalties may include failure of work undertaken, course failure and/or suspension or dismissal from the university.

Grievance Procedures

When a student is found guilty of plagiarism or another form of academic dishonesty, he/she may follow the usual appeal route through the chair of the department of the concerned faculty member, the program director, or the Associate Provost. In addition, if a graduate student has a grievance concerning course work, he or she should first discuss the complaint directly with the instructor or supervisor involved. If this action does not resolve the problem, the student should then consult the Director of CIS, and then the Student Grievance Committee. For further details, please see the Ohio University Student Handbook.