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University Catalog


College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies


The International Affairs (IA) Graduate Program is one of two graduate programs offered by the Department of Government at Sacramento State. It is a professional two-year interdisciplinary program of graduate studies leading to a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs (MIA). Our students come from diverse backgrounds and undergraduate majors, including the natural, social and engineering sciences, as well as business and the humanities.

The program has undergone a major restructuring designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in public and private organizations engaged in international interactions, including governmental agencies, the foreign service, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, international business and trade, multinational corporations, as well as the academy. The newly revised curriculum offers a broad range of options and opportunities for students to concentrate on issues and areas of their interests while obtaining a solid foundational knowledge of international relations and international political economy.


This Master of Arts program is particularly suitable for students seeking a curriculum with an applied thrust emphasizing practical training through a combination of flexible electives and internship options that permits tailoring the program to each student's career needs.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in International Affairs requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university;
  • a minimum of 3.0 GPA;
  • scores in the 50th percentile range or higher on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (verbal, quantitative, and a minimum 4.0 analytical writing);
  • competence in the English language, as demonstrated by academic achievement as well as the verbal score of the GRE. Applicants from non-English speaking countries must have a score of 570 (230 computer-based, 89 IBT) or higher in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL);
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals (preferably academics), who can best evaluate the applicant's potential for success in the program. The letters must be prepared on forms accompanying the IA application packet;
  • a written statement by the applicant explaining his or her purpose and goals in pursuing the master's degree in International Affairs;
  • introductory courses in micro and macro economics with grades of "B-" or better within seven years of program entry; students who do not meet this admission requirement may be admitted to the program, however, they will be required to complete equivalent coursework (ECON 1A and ECON 1B, or ECON 204) with a grade of "B-" or better prior to taking IA 216; these courses cannot be applied to electives; and
  • an introductory course in statistics (similar to STAT 1) with a grade of "B-" or better within seven years of program entry; students who do not meet this admission requirement may be admitted to the program, however, they will be required to take STAT 1 (or SOC 101) and receive a grade of "B-" or better prior to taking IA 214; this course cannot be applied to electives.

Students who have deficiencies in admission requirements whose qualifications are otherwise acceptable may be granted either conditional or unclassified admission while they complete coursework to remove those deficiencies. All such courses are treated as prerequisites and cannot be counted towards degree requirements. No more than six units of coursework completed under unclassified status can be applied towards degree requirements.

Admission Deadlines

Applicants are urged to contact the IA Graduate Coordinator by e-mail, telephone, or in person to discuss admission and the program.

Approximately six weeks after receipt of all items listed above, a decision regarding admission will be mailed to the applicant.

Admission Procedures

All applicants, including international students, must submit an International Affairs (IA) Application. The IA application material includes:

  • an IA Application form;
  • three letters of recommendation;
  • applicant's written statement of purpose and goals; and
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (General test: verbal, analytical, and quantitative parts).

The forms for the IA application, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose are available at:

All of the above must be directly mailed to the IA Coordinator, NOT to the Office of Graduate Studies.

All applicants (including Sacramento State graduates), EXCEPT international students, must also submit:

  • an online Application for Graduate Admission; and
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit

These must be mailed to the Office of Graduate Studies at: Sacramento State, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6112; e-mail:

Note: International Students must submit an International Student Application, available from the Office of Global Education. This application must be filed with the Coordinator of International Admissions, Office of Global Education, Sacramento State, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6012; e-mail, NOT with the Office of Graduate Studies.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each classified student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, including a proposed program of graduate studies specifying elective courses, tracks, and choice of culminating experience. The student should initiate the advancement to candidacy upon satisfying the following requirements:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements or incomplete grades;
  • completion of 18 units of IA core courses and 9 units of electives (track) with a minimum 3.0 GPA overall; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Students electing the thesis option for culminating experience must submit an approved thesis prospectus; students choosing the internship option must submit an approved internship project proposal.

Advancement to Candidacy form must be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies. The student must complete the form after planning the degree program in consultation with the IA Coordinator. The completed form is then returned by the program office to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Arts Degree

Total units required for MA: 39
Minimum required GPA: 3.0 with no grade below "C" (not "C-") for graduate courses or "B-" for undergraduate upper division elective courses.

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

Note: The academic units consist of 18 units of mandatory core courses, 18 units of elective courses (tracks), and 3 units of culminating experience.

A. Required Core Courses (18 units)


IA 210/GOVT 230

Theories of International Relations


IA 214

Research Methods in International Studies (STAT 1 or a statistics background)


IA 216

Foundations of International Economic Affairs (ECON 1A, ECON 1B, or ECON 204)


IA 220

International Organizations


IA 221/GOVT 236

Seminar in International Political Economy (An upper division course in the field and/or instructor permission)


IA 230/GOVT 239

Globalization and International Relations (An upper division course in the field and/or instructor permission)

B. Elective Courses and Tracks (18 units)

Elective courses should be chosen in consultation with the IA Coordinator. Each student should choose a minimum of one track. A track consists of 9 or more units of related courses dealing with a particular regional area or functional issues. Every effort should be made to choose an interdisciplinary combination of courses to enhance the interdisciplinary quality of the program. Students may select up to a maximum of 9 units of approved upper-division undergraduate courses toward satisfying the elective/track requirements. The following is the list of elective courses and some possible tracks:

Elective Courses


GOVT 127

Elements of International Law (GOVT 1 or equivalent)


GOVT 138

U.N. Simulation (Junior status or above, a minimum 3.0 GPA in the major, GOVT 130 and/or GOVT 140, or instructor permission)


IA 212

United States Foreign Policy 1945-Present


IA 222/GOVT 240

Seminar in Comparative Politics


IA 295

Internship in International Affairs (Permission of Graduate Coordinator)


IA 299

Special Problems

Elective Tracks (9 or more units): Below are some examples of possible choices of elective tracks. Students may propose other track choices by combining 9 or more units of related courses, subject to the approval of the program coordinator.

American Foreign and Domestic Policy Track

This track provides an in-depth analysis of foreign and domestic policies of the United States after the post-WWII period. Students should expect to learn the complex interconnections between domestic and foreign policies and identify the domestic determinants of U.S. foreign policy.



Middle East Politics and the U.S. (Instructor permission)


GOVT 250

Basic Issues of American Government (An upper division course in the field and/or instructor permission) OR


GOVT 270

Political Behavior and Political Process: Californis and Beyond


HIST 159

History of U.S. Foreign Relations


IA 212

United States Foreign Policy 1945-Present

Middle East Studies Track

This track introduces students to the politics, history, and culture of the countries in the Middle East. Students choosing this track should expect to gain a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary issues and the causes of conflicts in the region.



Middle East Politics and the U.S. (Instructor permission)



The Modern Middle East OR

SOC 163

Conflict, Oil and Development in the Middle East


SOC 260

Contemporary Issues of the Middle East and North Africa

Asian Studies Track

This track introduces students to the history and culture of China, Japan, and other countries in Asia. Students choosing this track will gain an in-depth understanding of the issues that faced Asia during the twentieth century as Asia opened up to the West, as well as a sophisticated understanding of the issues facing Asian nations today.


ASIA 198

Asia in the World Today (Instructor permission)


GOVT 145

Government and Politics in Asia (GOVT 1 or equivalent) OR



China, 1600 to Present



Modern Japan, 1800-present

International Economics and Development Track

This track provides students with a solid foundation in international economic relations, focusing on development economics and international finance. Students should expect to become familiar with the economic challenges and obstacles confronting the less developed nations.


ECON 190

International Trade (ECON 1A, ECON 1B)


ECON 192

International Finance (ECON 1A, ECON 1B)


ECON 193

Development Economics (ECON 1A, ECON 1B)

International Affairs and Public Management Track

This track aims at incorporating expertise in public management into students' international affairs training. Many key foreign policy decisions are made within government agencies. For this reason, it is beneficial to understand how the policy process operates generally as well as how government agencies are organized and managed. Additionally, it is helpful to consider how organizational culture and other organizational features affect decisions.


PPA 200

Introduction to Public Policy and Administration


PPA 240A

Public Management and Administration I (Graduate standing and completion of PPA program requisites, or instructor permission)


PPA 240B

Public Management and Administration II (PPA 240A) OR


GOVT 270

Political Behavior and Political Process: Californis and Beyond

Students wishing to pursue this track in more depth may take all four of the above specified courses and should also consider taking PPA 230, although that course is largely focused on budgeting at the state and local levels of government.

International Environmental Problems Track

The aim of this track is to introduce students to international and global dimensions of environmental problems and issues. The track is designed to broaden students' understanding of contemporary international issues beyond the conventional political and economic problems, by intensively focusing on the environmental challenges that transcend national borders.


ENVS 110

Contemporary Environmental Issues OR


Environment and the Law (ENVS 110, ENVS 111 or instructor permission)


ENVS 112

International Environmental Problems (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)


ENVS 296

Experimental Offerings in Environmental Studies (Instructor permission)


SOC 238

Environmental Sociology

International Business Track

The primary aim of this track is to introduce students to the basic concepts of international business. Students should expect to learn about international trade, the role of multinational corporations in international business, and international investment and finance.


FIN 190

Multinational Business Finance (FIN 101 or instructor permission)


IBUS 190

International Business


MBA 270

Global Business Management

International Business and Management Track

This track may be dubbed as the "Mini MBA." It is appropriate for students who desire to obtain an intensive business background to complement their international studies. The courses in this track emphasize the key business concepts, including accounting, finance, management, and marketing, and applying these concepts to international/multinational business operations.


MBA 201



MBA 204

Management and Organization Concepts


MBA 207

Finance (ECON 204, MBA 201, MBA 206) OR

FIN 101

Business Finance


MBA 208

Marketing (ECON 204, MBA 201, MBA 203) OR

MBA 240

Marketing Management


MBA 270

Global Business Management


MKTG 190

Multinational Marketing (MKTG 101 or instructor permission) OR

FIN 190

Multinational Business Finance (FIN 101 or instructor permission)

  • No more than 9 units of upper division undergraduate courses can be applied to the elective requirements.
  • Up to 6 units of internship (IA 295) (excluding the culminating experience) can be applied to elective requirements.
  • Up to 6 units of approved Independent Study (IA 299) can apply to elective requirements.
  • No more than 9 units of combined internship and independent study (excluding the culminating experience) can apply to the program.
  • All internships and independent studies must be approved by the IA Coordinator.
  • Up to 6 units of credit may be earned based upon Peace Corps Service.
  • Lower division undergraduate courses and English composition courses may not be applied to elective requirements.
C. Culminating Requirement (3 units)


IA 500

Culminating Experience (Open only to students who have advanced to candidacy (see above) and have satisfied all program requirements except the culminating experience. Students have a choice of a thesis, internship project, or a comprehensive examination. A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required for the thesis option. All internship projects must be approved prior to the start of the project. Credit will be given upon successful defense of a thesis or the internship project, or the passing of the comprehensive examination.)

Note: Thesis and Internship may be repeated multiple times; may only be repeated twice for Comprehensive Exam.

Additional Information

  • Foreign Language: The MIA program does not have a foreign language requirement. However, we strongly recommend that students who plan to work abroad or seek admission to a Ph.D. program take foreign language courses.
  • Internships: All IA students are strongly urged to include an internship (IA 295) toward satisfying their elective requirements. The IA Coordinator will assist in identifying and placing students in public and private agencies offering internship programs to graduate students. While most internships will be in the Sacramento area, students may seek internship opportunities elsewhere, including San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., etc. Within Sacramento, some of the organizations where IA students have interned include: Northern California World Trade Center; California Trade and Commerce Agency, and the Center for International Trade and Development. Internship credits require 16 hours work per week, for a total of 240 hours per semester for 3 units of academic credit (or 80 hours per unit). Upon completion of the internship, students must submit an internship report (15 pages minimum, excluding appendices). The report must be analytical, not descriptive. The second 3 units of internship cannot be approved prior to the completion of the first 3 units. Approval of the second 3 units of internship is contingent on the analytical quality of the internship report for the first 3 units.
  • Overseas Study: Students interested in overseas experience may choose up to 9 units of elective courses (or one track) in an accredited university abroad. IA core courses cannot be completed abroad. To receive graduate credit for overseas coursework, both the university and the courses must be approved by the IA Coordinator prior to enrollment in the overseas university. Students interested in overseas study should contact the Office of Global Education at (916) 278-6686 for information and assistance regarding overseas opportunities.
  • Financial Aid: Students seeking assistance should contact the Financial Aid office. The International Affairs Graduate Program and the Department of Government are unable to offer financial assistance to their graduate students.


Faculty and other members in the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Arts and Letters and College of Business.

Smile Dube, Economics; David Andersen, Patrick Cannon, Buzz Fozouni, Nancy Lapp, James Rae; Government

Contact Information

Buzz Fozouni, Ph.D., Coordinator
(916) 278-6202 or
Tahoe Hall 3104