MAIA Religion and International Affairs Specialization

The two-year MA in International Affairs (MAIA) with Specialization in Religion and International Affairs explores the ever-evolving nexus of religion and international affairs. This specialization  prepares students to work in policy analysis, conflict resolution, and other roles at NGOs, IGOs, and national governments.

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. Specialization coursework includes three required courses in addition to four courses on a specific Religious Tradition, enabling students to develop detailed knowledge in the fields that matter most to them. In addition to coursework within the Pardee School, students can select Religious Tradition courses from the offerings of BU’s Graduate Program of Religion.

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 Religion and International Affairs requires a total of 16 courses (64 credits) divided among core classes (20 credits), specialization (28 credits) and electives (16 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/RN 561 Religion and International Relations
  • CAS IR/AN 563 Public Religion and Politics Across Cultures
  • GRS RN 795 Humanities Approaches to Religion or GRS RN 796 Social Science Approaches to Religion

Students take four courses (16 credits) in a specific religious tradition track from among the four options listed below (students can also take other courses as part of their specialization with pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies):

Asian Religions
  • GRS RN 612 Buddhism in America
  • GRS RN 663 Zen Buddhism
  • GRS RN 664 Buddhist Literature
  • GRS RN 724 Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: East
  • GRS RN 725 Topics in South Asian Religion
  • GRS RN 730 Topics in East Asian Religion
  • GRS RN 660 Daoist Religion
  • GRS RN 724 Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: East
  • GRS RN 730 Topics in East Asian Religion
  • GRS AN 775 Culture, Society and Religion in South Asia
Christianity
  • GRS HI 704 Science and Christianity
  • GRS RN 601 Varieties of Early Christianity
  • GRS RN 608 The Open Heaven: Apocalyptic Literature in Early Judaism and Christianity
  • GRS RN 668 American Evangelicalism
  • GRS RN 690 Archaeology in the Holy Land
  • GRS RN 712 Theology of Christian Mysticism
  • GRS TH 826 The Reformations
  • GRS TH 827 American Church History
  • GRS TH 847 Global Christianity
  • GRS TM 910 History of Christian Mission
  • GRS TM 863 African Christianity
  • GRS TN 721 New Testament Introduction
  • GRS TN 805 Pauline Studies
Islam
  • CAS AN 532 Literacy and Islam in Africa
  • CAS AN 548 Muslim Societies: An Interdisciplinary History
  • CAS AN 755 Religious Fundamentalism in Anthropology
  • CAS IR 507 Islam and Politics
  • CAS IR 515 Muslim Societies: An Interdisciplinary History
  • CAS IR 586 Islam in South Asian Politics
  • GRS AN 707 Turkey and Middle East Perspective
  • GRS AN 720 Women in the Muslim World
  • GRS RN 616 Modern Islam
  • GRS RN 638 Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
  • GRS RN 640 The Quran
  • GRS RN 641 Islamic Mysticism: Sufism
  • GRS RN 644 Islam and the West
  • GRS RN 645 Islamic Law
  • GRS RN 648 Rumi and Persian Sufi Poetry
  • GRS RN 690 Archaeology in the Holy Land
  • GRS RN 725 Topics in South Asian Religion
  • GRS RN 735 Women, Gender and Islam
Judaism
  • GRS RN 608 The Open Heaven: Apocalyptic Literature in Early Judaism and Christianity
  • GRS RN 622 History of Judaism
  • GRS RN 623 Classical Jewish Thought
  • GRS RN 624 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
  • GRS RN 625 Early Jewish Mysticism
  • GRS RN 626 Jewish Mystical Movements and Modernization
  • GRS RN 629 Modern Jewish Thought
  • GRS RN 630 American Jewish Experiences
  • GRS RN 634 Dead Sea Scrolls
  • GRS RN 637 Gender and Judaism
  • GRS RN 638 Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
  • GRS RN 684 The Holocaust
  • GRS RN 685 Representations of the Holocaust in Literature and Film
  • GRS RN 690 Archaeology in the Holy Land
  • GRS RN 739 Jewish Bioethics
  • GRS RN 760 Seminar on the Holocaust
  • GRS TO 823 Jeremiah

Students select up to four elective courses (16 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.