Department of Political Science
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Professors: E. Hill (Chair), I. Ivekovic, W. Kazziha (Graduate Coordinator), B. Korany, E. Sullivan (Provost), D. Tschirgi, N. Farah
Associate Professors: I. El Nur, T. Parfitt, E. Shahin (Undergraduate Coordinator).
Assistant Professors: J. Allain, H. Alvi, M. Kassem, M. El Shorbagy, A. Shalakani, V. Yadav, E. Akram
Master of Arts in Political Science
The graduate program in Political Science offers advanced study in four specializations: Comparative Politics, International Human Rights Law, International Relations, Professional Development, and courses in other areas of Political Science are offered from time to time as special topics electives when there is faculty and study interest. Graduate studies in Political Science at AUC is career oriented.
The strength of Comparative Politics at AUC is in the areas of Third World Politics and Development, with greatest faculty expertise being in the Middle East and Africa. Graduate studies in Comparative Politics seeks to increase students knowledge about the political dynamics of disparate systems within the larger contexts of state and society, political economy, interstate and regional relations. It seeks to develop skills of analysis and writing in order to enhance students' understanding of their region of interest and its relations with the world. Comparative Politics is particularly suitable for students who wish to pursue a career in academia, research, journalism, political consultancy, or similar positions in which a solid political background and analytical abilities are required.
International Relations includes examination of current world politics as well as the many dimensions of the international system. Regional relations, foreign policies of selected states, and international law are included, as well as Middle Eastern and African international and interstate relations, and international political economy. The International Relations option seeks to provide greater depth of understanding of the forces operating in the international arena and the constraints that face foreign policy makers. Practice in analyzing current world and regional events and in the skills of written and oral presentation is provided in the student-run Model United Nations and Model Arab League simulations, extra curricular activities that are designed to give students the opportunity to put their academic learning into practice. International Relations is valuable for students who are working or seek to work in foreign relations, either in their own government or in international organizations. The field also prepares students for employment in other kinds of positions that require the ability to analyze and write about national or international politics.
Professional Development is designed for those who have an interest in studying the developing world. The program includes (but is not limited to) courses with practical components, and it requires an internship usually done in the summer between the first and second years. Professional Development seeks to prepare students to assume positions of greater responsibility in development agencies and organizations by expanding their understanding of the development field, its aims, objectives, methods of operation, and the broad scope of development work in the world today. It seeks to develop students' critical and analytical capacities, and provide practice in linguistic and writing skills needed for development work. Creativity in finding solutions to development problems is encouraged so that graduates may have an impact in their chosen areas of work in development. Practice in preparing project documents is included in the program. Professional Development is designed for those who are either presently working in development organizations or who are seeking to enter a development career.
International Human Rights Law
International Human Rights Law considers protection of the individual as developed through organs of the United Nations, other international institutions, and at regional and domestic levels in the North and in the South. The program seeks to give students a thorough grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of human rights law and in the methods of solid multidisciplinary research that is required for investigating legal issues pertaining to human rights. It is intended for those presently working, or desiring to work, in humanitarian organizations, in government departments and agencies concerned with humanitarian issues, or in other public, private and international sectors where there is increasingly a need for persons who have an understanding of the law and legal consequences of human rights within an international framework.
Certain specified graduate courses in Political Science may count toward the graduate Diploma in Political Science, the graduate Diploma in Forced Migration and Refugees Studies, or the graduate Diploma in European Studies.
The requirements for the specializations are as follows
All specializations have gateway courses that situate each specialization within its theoretical context and provide students with analytic tools for other courses. These introductory courses also prepare students for research and analysis needed for writing original seminar papers and for the thesis. In all specializations there are courses that include substantial components of theory and these must be well grounded theoretically.
Comparative Politics requires POLS 501, either POLS 502 or 530, choice of two from POLS 525, 535, 540, 545 or 570 (if designated by the Department as relating to a comparative politics topic), two special topics or research seminars approved by the Department, POLS 558, and two other courses, for a total of 27 credit hours.
International Human Rights Law requires POLS 510, POLS 511, POLS 512, POLS 513, POLS 514, and POLS 515. The remaining three courses are electives, for a total of 27 credit hours.
International Relations requires POLS 503, International Relations Theory, in their first two semesters of graduate studies. This course is essential for further studies in international relations at the graduate level, for it introduces students to fundamental theoretical concepts and research skills. Students must also take 525, 551 or 571, and six additional courses chosen in consultation with the graduate adviser, for a total of 27 credit hours.
Professional Development requires POLS 502, POLS 584, POLS 585-586 and five additional courses, for a total of 27 credit hours. The additional courses are to be drawn from the following areas, in consultation with the adviser for the Professional Development program: International Aspects of Development (POLS 525, POLS 562); Comparative Politics (POLS 530, POLS 535, POLS 540, POLS 545, POLS 551); Public Policy and Development (POLS 556, POLS 561). Up to two courses in Public Administration may also be taken as electives (PADM 514, PADM 517, PADM 518).
With department approval, up to six hours in disciplines other than political science may be counted toward degree requirements.
A thesis, written in English and submitted in accordance with university regulations, is required of all specializations for the master's degree in Political Science. A detailed thesis prospectus must be submitted to the department for approval, at which time the student's thesis supervisor is formally designated. All Political Science graduate students must register for thesis supervision.
Students should familiarize themselves with procedures regarding committee selection, writing of the thesis, presentation to the supervisor and readers, and defense of the thesis. Complying with the procedural requirements within the specified time sequences is the responsibility of the student.
The thesis must be defended in an oral examination during which questions may be asked regarding any aspect of the thesis itself or of courses taken in the program, particularly as they may relate to the thesis.
The applicant for admission to the master's program should have an acceptable bachelor's degree in political science or in a closely related social science (preferably with a minor in political science), and an overall grade of gayyid giddan or a grade-point average of 3.0. Applicants with deficiencies in their preparation may be required to take appropriate courses at the undergraduate level.
LL.M. in International and Comparative Law
Graduate Diploma in Political Science
The Diploma in Political Science is designed as a one-year (two semesters) program for students from Egypt and abroad who wish to enhance their professional qualifications or pursue an academic interest in the field of politics. The Diploma Program requires the completion of any six courses chosen from the graduate offerings in Political Science, which include Middle East Politics, African Politics, International Relations, Development Studies, Political Economy, and Law.
Requirements for admission to the Diploma program are the same as those for admission to the graduate degree program of the department. Should a student in good standing decide during or after completion of the requirements for the Diploma that he/she wishes to work towards the MA degree he/she may apply to transfer to one of the degree specializations.
Political Science Courses (POLS)