Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

  1. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.
  2. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  3. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  4. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  5. (Optional) Review registration FAQs.
  6. (Optional) Schedule an advising appointment

Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for newly admitted graduate students for spring 2018 on Thursday, January 11. More information will be sent to students in late fall.

Any questions regarding orientation should be sent to sisgradorientation@american.edu.

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than 3 classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

First semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies program are encouraged to take:

  1. One regional concentration course (for a list of approved regional courses, please see your CRS Program Blackboard course*)
  2. One thematic concentration course (for a list of approved thematic courses, please see your CRS Program Blackboard course*)
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-600: International Affairs Stats and Methods
    2. an economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all CRS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). DM students who begin in the spring semester usually enroll in:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-635 Professional Development Management (students register in the section reserved for MSDM students)
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-600: International Affairs Stats and Methods
    2. an economics course (see below)
    3. SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    4. a concentration course

There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory*
  2. Either ECON-661 Survey of Economic Development or SIS-731 Economic Development

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take either ECON-661 Survey of Economic Development or SIS-731 Economic Development.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-622 Human Rights
  2. PHIL-625 Seminar in Modern Moral Problems*
  3. One of the following:
    1. A “choose-one” course in either Philosophy or SIS, see the EPGA advising worksheet for a list of possible courses (any course number or name changes will be announced as published in the Schedule of Classes)
    2. An approved methodology course
    3. A course in your concentration if you have a clear focus for your concentration. We recommend that you discuss registration decisions regarding your concentration with your academic advisor. Students will be asked to declare their concentration at the end of their second semester of enrollment.

*If PHIL-625 is full, you should add yourself to the waitlist and register for two courses under option three above.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPGA.

Students in Global Environmental Policy are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester. Full-time students should choose three of the following:

  • An approved theory course - The theory option for Spring 2018 is LAW-618 International Environmental Law. Please contact your advisor if you wish to register for this course.
  • An economics course - ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory. Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam may substitute a higher-level economics course in place of ECON-603. All GEP students must take SIS-620 Environmental Economics.
  • A natural science course - Available options to satisfy the natural science requirement are ENVS-500 Ecohydrology and ENVS-675 Environmental Toxicology
  • A research methodology course - Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS- 600 Int'l Affairs Statistics and Methods as one of their methodology courses.
  • A Concentration course - if you have a clear focus for your concentration and there is a relevant course being offered in spring only.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. The foundations course associated with your chosen concentration: either SIS-619: Foundations of Global Security or SIS-619: Foundations of Global Governance
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Stats and Methods or an economics course.
    When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam
  3. An approved course in your chosen concentration.
    Approved Global Security and Global Governance courses can be found on the GGPS blackboard site. You can access blackboard by logging in at https://blackboard.american.edu/. You should have already been enrolled in a course called “Global Governance, Politics, and Security Program.” Under “Concentration Courses” you will find the lists of approved courses

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for GGPS.

First semester students in the Global Media program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a concentration course, please refer to the suggested course list for each concentration area, and consult with your academic advisor and faculty advisors.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for GM.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  2. One of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Stats and Methods
    • An economics course.
      When selecting an economics course, students may choose either ECON- 603 Introduction to Economics Theory or SIS-616 International Economics. (Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 and register for SIS-616 Int’l Econ.)
  3. One concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a concentration course, please refer to the suggested course list for each concentration area, and consult with your academic advisor and faculty advisors.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for GM.

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and capstone requirements after completing the core. First semester students usually enroll in:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One of the following:
    1. An economics course (see below)
    2. SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    3. A course for the concentration or elective

These courses help lay the theoretical and methodological framework for the program.

There are two required economics courses:

  1. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory*
  2. Either ECON-661 Survey of Economic Development or SIS-731 Economic Development

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take either ECON-661 Survey of Economic Development or SIS-731 Economic Development.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics program are recommended to take:

  1. ECON-605: Introduction to Mathematical Economics (must have previously taken Calculus).
  2. ECON-601: Macroeconomics (may be taken concurrently with ECON-605)
  3. SIS-616: International Economics (for students who have not previously taken International Economics; if taken this course will be used as elective credit) or one research method course.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for IE.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-616: International Economics (students who have not taken both micro- and macroeconomics must take ECON-603: Into to Economics Theory before taking SIS-616: International Economics)
  2. One of the Choose Two IER-related courses for the Spring 2018 semester. Please contact the IER academic advisor for an approved list.
  3. One research and professional methods course. Students with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623: Applied Econometrics I. (Please note, SIS students must have permission from the IER program director before they will be allowed to enroll.) Please see the IER program worksheet for a list of approved research and professional methods courses.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for IER.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations Certificate program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory (Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam are allowed to waive ECON-603 and register for SIS-616: International Economics.
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One SIS elective course. *Note: SIS-665: International Trade Relations is only offered during the fall semester and SIS-666: International Financial Relations is only offered during the spring semester. Both courses have a prerequisite of SIS-616.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for the IER Certificate program.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-734 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar II
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course. Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON- 603 Introduction to Economics Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics. (Please note that students must pass the economics placement exam in order to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616 International Economics)
    • A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest. (Please note that the Gateway courses for the concentrations in International Negotiation and Culture, Identity & Peace are not offered in the spring semester).
      • Reconciliation & Justice: SIS-613-001 Reconciliation & Justice
      • Peacebuilding: SIS-619-016 Peacebuilding Theory & Organization
    • If you are certain of your core concentration focus, a course from the approved list associated with your chosen core concentration, which may be found on the IPCR EdSpace

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the spring semester are required to register for at least one of the following:

  1. An Economics course (Chosen from one of the following approved economics courses.)
    • SISG-774 Understanding Global Economics and Markets (online only) (introductory level graduate course)
    • ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory (introductory level graduate course)
    • SIS-616 International Economics(advanced course which requires introductory economics as a pre-requisite. Studyents must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to register for SIS-616)
  2. A Professional Research Methodology course
  3. A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student's individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet.)

Students registering for two or more courses should plan to take either option one or two above plus a concentration course. The two MIS core courses: Proseminar in International Affairs I (SIS-686-001, offered in the fall only), and Executive Leadership (SIS-696, offered in the fall and summer) must be taken in a later semester.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course or economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. 2-3 concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)

Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student's individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration. *Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

This program cannot be started in the spring. Stay tuned for fall information when available.

The Master of Arts in Social Enterprise (SE) is a "cohort" program, meaning that students sequence through the required core courses together as each group of new students enters in the fall semester. Students entering SE in Spring 2018 should take:

  1. An introductory level economics course*
  2. A concentration of elective course, planned in consultation with the Program Director
  3. A methods course

There are two required economics courses for SE students:

  1. Econ-603 Introdcution to Economic Theory
  2. A second approved upper-level economics course (found on the back page of the SE advising worksheet)

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for SE.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making
  2. SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes
  3. One of the following:
    • USFP “Choose Two” Course (The approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for Spring 2018 are: SIS-653 Issues in Intelligence; SIS-653 National Security Resources; SIS-653 Diplomatic Practice; SIS-653 Grand Strategy; SIS-653 National Security in Cyberspace; SIS-653 Nuclear Weapons: Politics and Proliferation; SIS-619 Comparative International Defense Policy and/or one of the following approved courses on USFP toward a region: SIS-653 Transatlantic Security; SIS-676 SE Asia, US & Regional Powers; SIS-676 Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
    • History course (SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP)
    • SIS-600 Int’l Affairs Statistics & Methods
    • A concentration course (if have a clear focus for your concentration)
    • An economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.