The Center’s goal is to maintain and strengthen national benchmarks of excellence in area studies and studies of development policy and practice, while promoting the synergy that results from our unique combination of the two. Programs are centered on an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines the traditional foundations of the social sciences and the humanities with strategic linkages to the natural sciences and all of Ohio University’s professional colleges. In support of the curriculum, programs emphasize utilization of new information technologies, the acquisition of professional skills, the development of language competency, and the cultivation of abilities that lead to good professional practice. Upon graduation students receive a Master of Arts degree awarded by the Center for International Studies
The Center for International Studies (CIS) is the nexus for global and area studies and activities at Ohio University. The center’s interdisciplinary teaching, research, publications, service, and outreach programs bring together faculty and students from all parts of the University—the social sciences, humanities, sciences and professional schools—in Athens and on the regional campuses. Ohio University established the Center for International Studies in 1964; it was founded on the broad belief that an appreciation of others’ values and institutions increases mutual understanding, enriches individual lives, and prepares citizens and students for work in a global environment.
The Center for International Studies embodies Ohio University’s commitment to international understanding and to the development of knowledge and skills necessary for competition in a global marketplace of ideas and jobs. The Center seeks to advance its mission through interdisciplinary academic programs and activities; faculty development; the encouragement and promotion of research; the development of library resources; outreach to the community; the cultivation of meaningful relationships with other peoples and cultures, particularly with the developing regions of the world; and the maintenance and strengthening of faculty area studies and international expertise in collaboration with other academic units.
CIS programs enjoy qualities that make each one special and that contribute to Ohio University’s national and international prominence. Both African Studies and Southeast Asian Studies are recognized as National Resource Centers, ranking it among the top universities in their fields. Latin American Studies has a growing focus on Ecuadorian studies and is the only master’s program of its kind in the state of Ohio. Both thematic programs-International Development Studies and Communication and Development Studies-have curricula based upon applied skills and fieldwork. The Communication and Development program was a pioneer in this rapidly growing field, and it has served as a prototype for similar academic programs in other parts of the world. The International Development Studies program presents unique options in the study of gender and health issues in global development.
Students must complete a minimum of 70 credit hours. At least 40 credit hours must be devoted to core courses. The remainder is used to build an individualized, professional skills minor.
All programs have a capstone requirement to complete the degree. The capstone can be met by completing a comprehensive written exam, a professional project, or a thesis. This ordinarily takes place in the last quarter of study excluding summer. Guidelines are available from individual programs.
Thesis: The number of credits granted for the thesis (up to a maximum of 10) is determined by the student’s advisory committee. The Center follows Ohio University’s Electronic Theses and Dissertation Guidelines found on the Office of Graduate Studies Web site. All thesis at Ohio University are submitted electronically under the guidance and direction of Thesis and Dissertation Services. An orientation session for prospective thesis writers is held in Winter quarter.
All students in the M.A. program must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. If the GPA falls below this level, students will be placed on academic probation. If the GPA is not raised by the end of the following term, the student will not be permitted to continue in the program. University policy prohibits awarding any type of financial assistance to students on academic probation. Should a student receive more than two grades below a “B,” the director reserves the right to drop the student from the program. A grade below “C” will not count toward any degree requirement.
Each student is required to demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement in a foreign language appropriate to the area of concentration. For non-European languages, this may be accomplished either by a) satisfactorily completing a minimum of one academic year in one of the following languages: Indonesian/Malay, Khmer, Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Thai, Akan, Tigrinya, Wolof, or Vietnamese, or b) taking an examination in a language not taught at Ohio University or demonstrating an acceptable level of achievement on an examination administered by other recognized testing agencies. For students in concentrations offering a European language, an intermediate level of proficiency is required. Language skills courses, particularly those for less commonly taught languages, taken for undergraduate credit may be submitted for graduate transfer credit, provided they meet all transfer requirements other than designation as graduate credit and level of the instructor. Transfer of language skills credit taken for undergraduate credit is limited to the number of credits that apply to the degree program.
Note: Latin American Studies offers Portuguese through the enhanced language skills option. Southeast Asian Studies requires two years of coursework or its equivalent in a Southeast Asian language.
Graduate Application Guidelines
Admission Requirements: Persons interested in applying for admission must have a bachelor’s degree, equivalent to a U.S. 4-year degree, from an accredited university with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent.
The following materials should be mailed to:
Office of Graduate Studies
44 University Terrace
Athens, OH 45701
- Two completed paper applications or submit an application online
- Two official college transcripts from an accredited college
- $50 (US Citizen/Permanent Resident) or $55 (International Student) non-refundable application fee (applications will not be processed without fee)
- Affidavit of Support with supporting documentation (international applicants only)
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only)
Mail the following items to:
Center for International Studies
(Indicate the specific program)
Yamada International House
56 E. Union Street
Athens, OH 45701
- 3 letters of recommendation (at least 2 from people who can judge academic abilities)
- Autobiographical Sketch (a one-page personal statement)
- Statement of Purpose (a two-page statement indicating career goals and how the program of study chosen will help meet those goals. Be specific in discussing the aspects of your personal and academic background that may lead to success in the area of study chosen.)
- A resume or curriculum vita
*Students submitting applications from abroad may mail the two separate packets of information together to Graduate Studies as a cost-saving measure.
Things to keep in mind:
- Each program has its own admission committee. Be sure to specify on your application the program to which you are applying.
- Individual files will not be reviewed until all relevant documents have been received.
- We request applicants submit their completed application and supporting documents to be received by January 1. Admissions and funding decisions will begin shortly thereafter. Later applications will be considered but decisions will be contingent upon availability.
- Communication & Development Studies, African Studies, International Development Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies admit only in the fall quarter (September) with an application deadline of January 1.
- International Students: All students will be required to take the TOEFL when they arrive on campus, except: students that hold a degree from a US university; or students that have submitted TOEFL or IELTS scores at or above the university’s required proficiency level (for TOEFL: 550, 213 or 79-80; for IELTS: 6.5). All students who did not submit TOEFL scores or scored below a 5.0 on the TWE portion of the TOEFL will be required to take the composition test. If your level of proficiency is below the university’s required proficiency level, be prepared to enroll in the Ohio Program of Intensive English until you reach the required level. Financial aid cannot be used to pay for English language courses. You will have to cover the cost.
The five programs under the Center for International Studies annually offer a limitied number of tuition scholarships and graduate assistantships to students. Aid is awarded competitively on the basis of merit including previous academic performance or post-graduation professional or other work experience. Programs also look for geographical, cultural, linguistic and other forms of diversity so that the group of students collectively strengthens the program. The deadline is January 1. The criteria used to award aid are:
- A good undergraduate record
- Strong letters of recommendation
- Appropriateness of background to program of study
- Work experience
- Special skills
Curricula and Courses
Degree programs are interdisciplinary and designed to give students freedom to choose courses from a number of fields that best fulfill their academic and professional objectives. View brief descriptions of the individual program requirements and a list of core courses appropriate to each area of concentration.*
*By clicking the Programs of Study by Academic Unit Link to the left.