MAIA International Communication Specialization

The two-year MA in International Affairs (MAIA) with a Specialization in International Communication trains students for careers in an international setting working in journalism, marketing, public relations, and other media fields.

Rigorous core classes train students in the fundamentals of international relations scholarship, quantitative research methods, the workings of the global economy, and the practice of diplomacy and negotiation. Classes at BU’s College of Communications furnish students with concrete career skills in the media field. IR coursework complements this by enabling students to develop regional or thematic expertise. Students have the opportunity to study and intern in either London or Washington, DC.

Most classes are taught once per year, but some, particularly those outside the Pardee School, may be taught less frequently.

The MA in International Affairs with a Specialization in International Communication requires a total of 16 courses (64 credits) divided among core classes (20 credits), specialization (24 credits) and electives (20 credits). Elective coursework can include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

CORE (20 CREDITS)

Students take four core classes (16 credits) that provide breadth of knowledge in the critical issues and research techniques of international affairs plus a directed study (4 credits) with their advisor in their final semester as part of writing an individual MA research or policy paper.

  • GRS IR 601 Fundamentals of International Relations
  • GRS IR 602 Quantitative Analysis for Global Affairs
  • GRS IR 603 Economics for Global Policy
  • GRS IR 604 Negotiation and Diplomacy
  • GRS IR 799 Master’s Paper (Directed Study with MA Paper Advisor)

Students take three required courses (12 credits):

  • CAS IR 531 Intercultural Communication
  • GRS IR 732 Public Diplomacy
  • COM CM 831 International Communication

Students take three courses (12 credits) from the set of approved courses below or other courses with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies:

International Journalism
  • COM JO 721 Journalism Principles and Techniques
  • COM JO 722 Advanced Journalism Seminar
  • COM CM 556 Strategies for Issue Development and Policy Change (DC Only)
  • COM CM 831 International Communication
  • COM JO 502 Journalism Special Topics
  • COM JO 503 Journalism Research
  • COM JO 510 Government and the Press (DC Only)
  • COM JO 516 Foreign Reporting
  • COM JO 519 Narrative Radio
  • COM JO 523 The Presidency and the Media
  • COM JO 525 Media Law and Ethics
  • COM JO 534 Broadcast News for Non-Majors
  • COM JO 535 Investigative and Project Reporting
  • COM JO 538 Feature Writing
  • COM JO 540 Online Journalism
  • COM JO 550 Advanced Online Journalism
  • COM JO 703 Magazine Writing
  • COM JO 707 TV/Internet Reporting
  • COM JO 807 Advanced Journalism Research
  • COM JO 954 (8 credits) Print Directed Study Newsroom (DC Only)
International Marketing
  • COM CM 708 Principles and Practices of Advertising
  • COM CM 518 Creating Video Campaigns
  • COM CM 519 Interactive Marketing
  • COM CM 555 Writing for Multimedia
  • COM CM 702 Advertising & Society
  • COM CM 712 Consumer Insight and Account Planning
  • COM CM 716 New and Traditional Media Strategies
  • COM CM 717 Fundamentals of Creative Development
  • COM CM 721 Advertising Management
  • COM CM 722 Communication Research
  • COM CM 730 Marketing Communication
  • COM CM 738 Global Marketing Communication (London Only)
  • COM CM 744 International Political and Media Systems (London Only)
  • COM CM 809 London Internship (London Only)
  • COM CM 909 Project Research (London Only)
  • COM JO 804 International Business and Economics Reporting
Public Relations
  • COM CM 510 Computers in Communication
  • COM CM 513 Investor Relations
  • COM CM 515 Community Relations
  • COM CM 522 Managing Corporate Crises and Issues
  • COM CM 525 Public Relations Ethics
  • COM CM 534 Communication Strategies in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • COM CM 535 Political Campaigning
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • COM CM 709 Corporate Public Affairs
  • COM CM 715 Public Relations in Nonprofit Settings
  • COM CM 738ELP Global Marketing Communication (London Only)
  • COM CM 742 Media Relations
  • COM CM 743 New Media and Public Relations
  • COM CM 744ELP International Political & Media Systems (London Only)
  • COM CM 809EB1 London Internship (London Only)
  • COM CM 831 International Communication
  • COM CM 909EB1 Project Research (London Only)
Communication Research
  • CM 722 Communication Research
  • CM 723 Advanced Communication Research
  • CM 724 Sampling Design & Measurement Techniques
  • CM 824 Technical Writing for Communication Research
Global Communications Technology Policy
  • COM CM 514 New Communication Technologies
  • COM CM 510 Computers in Communication
  • COM CM 519 Interactive Marketing
  • COM CM 523 Design and Interactive Experience
  • COM CM 529 Design and New Media II
  • COM CM 555 Writing for Multimedia
  • COM CM 704 Contemporary Mass Media
  • COM CM 743 New Media and Public Relations
  • COM JO 540 Multimedia Publishing
Other COM Electives
  • COM CM 518 Creating Video Campaigns (CM 708, CM 717)
  • COM CM 534 Communication Strategies in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • COM CM 701 Contemporary Public Relations
  • COM CM 704 Contemporary Mass Communication
  • COM CM 705 Writing for International Students
  • COM CM 707 Writing for Media Professionals
  • COM CM 723 Advanced Communication Research (CM 722) (spring only)
  • COM CM 729 Public Policy and Public Opinion
  • COM CM 734 Governmental Public Affairs (CM 701) (spring only)
  • COM CM 742 Media Relations (CM 701, CM 707)
  • COM CM 744 International Mass Media (Summer London Program only)
  • COM CM 745 Comparative Political Systems (Summer London Program only)
  • COM JO 516 Foreign Reporting
  • COM JO 526 Covering International Terrorism
  • COM JO 545 Reporting on Military Affairs
  • COM JO 577 Diplomatic Reporting

Students select five elective courses (20 credits), from the graduate-level course offerings of the Pardee School. Students may include up to two undergraduate or graduate language courses (8 credits).

Students are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Graduate-level proficiency is the ability to understand newspaper and professional journal articles in the field of foreign relations accurately, using standard reference materials. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination or successful completion of one of the non-credit graduate-level foreign language reading courses offered by Boston University.

In the case of non-native English speakers who were required to submit a TOEFL score report as part of their application for admission, knowledge of English fulfills this requirement.

Students write a Master’s Paper (commonly referred to as an MA Paper) as the capstone component of their degree. The paper may take one of two forms:  either a traditional research paper or a policy paper.  Students are given broad latitude in selecting topics and approaches, in consultation with their advisors. All MA Papers must be defended orally in front of a panel of three professors, chosen by the Pardee School (one of the three professors will be the student’s advisor).

As part of writing their MA paper, students take a directed study (4 credits) with their advisor in their final semester.