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Useful information for MAIS students.


  • TheCollege of International Studies

    Graduate Student Handbook

    Fall 2012

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  • ContactsGraduate College Advisor Lindsey Johnston Lindsey is the main contact in the Graduate College for MAIS students. She responds to inquiries about graduate educa-tion and advises graduate students regarding administrative degree

    Academic Advisor Your academic advisor is an IAS staffperson who is responsible for helping you track your progress throughout the pro-gram, keeping you update on available and appropriate courses, granting course permissions and providing initial degree checks and

    Graduate Liaison (Director of Graduate Studies)Eric Heinze, Associate Professor*The Graduate Director is the liaison between the MAIS program and the OU Graduate College, as well as the person in charge of administering the MAIS program. The Graduate Director oversees the progress of each MAIS student and is in charge of approving course substitutions, committee membership, and changes to students program of study. Most of the paperwork you must submit to the Graduate College will require the signature of the Graduate Director. 325-5802*Dr. Heinze will be on sabbatical for Fall 2012 and these duties will be assumed by the Chair of IAS, Mitchell Smith. 325-5802 Faculty Mentor Each new incoming MAIS student is assigned a faculty mentor based on their stated interests. The faculty mentor is sim-ply an informal contact person on the faculty whom you should feel comfortable approaching with any questions about your graduate studies. Your faculty mentor can be a very helpful resource and can provide you advice about graduate school in general, research/thesis topics, other professors (both in IAS and across campus), courses, careers, and so on. Your faculty member is not the same as your Committee Chair, who chairs your Research and Practicum committee and advises your research, though you may eventually ask this person to chair your committee. You should be sure to reach out to your assigned faculty mentor at the beginning of the semester.

  • Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment- CRPDE can provide information sessions, work-shops, seminar presentations, and one on one or small group consultation regarding Grants & Grant Writing.

    Masters Degree Deadlines Fall2012

    Spring 2013


    Final day to file Admission to Candidacy form in the Graduate College April 2 Oct 1 March 5Final day to file Application for Graduation card in the Office of Records* Oct 1 March 1 July 2Final day to file Request for Authority for Thesis Defense in the Graduate College Nov 30 April 26 July 20Final day to complete Comprehensive (Non-Thesis) Examination Dec 7 May 3 July 27Final day to hold Thesis Defense Dec 7 May 3 July 27Final day to deposit Thesis in Library Dec 14 May 10 Aug 3

    Helpful Information & Links:

    Graduate Student Senate The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) is the official voice of the graduate student body at OU. Together with the Undergraduate Student Congress (USC), the GSS helps allocate student fees to all student organizations and awards Research and Conference grants to graduate students. GSS, along with the USC comprises the legislative branch of the student government. There should be at least one MAIS graduate student on the GSS committee every year.

    Graduate College DeadlinesIt is the students responsibility to be aware of all upcoming Graduate College deadlines.

    Graduate College BulletinThe Graduate College Bulletin contains current policies and procedures related to graduate studies. It is the responsibility of all graduate students to familiarize themselves with this information in addition to specific requirements of the particular discipline in which they are seeking a degree.

    Masters Degree FormsAll required forms (including Masters Thesis Topic & Committee Form, Candidacy Forms and Request for Authority Forms) and Thesis or non-thesis checklists can be found at this link.

    ScholarshipsCurrent OU graduate students have access to four major resources of travel and research funding, including the Robberson Travel and Research Grant (offered through the Graduate College), Graduate Student Senate (GSS) Research and Confer-ence Grants, and scholarships and grants offered by specific colleges and departments.

    Internship FundingThe College of International Studies provides limited funds to encourage and support IAS graduate internship opportuni-ties. Students may apply for one of five $2500 internship grants per academic year for travel and housing support related to international internship activities. Three $2500 awards will be granted for the summer term; one $2500 award will be granted for the fall semester; and one $2500 award will be offered for the spring semester. Students receiving an Internship Support Grant must enroll in IAS 5913 for International Internship credit.

  • ThesisThe MA thesis is a document that is the product of either primary or secondary research that speaks to some aspect of a prominent topic or debate as it has been addressed in the scholarly literature. In terms of format, the thesis shall contain an abstract (summary), introduction, several chapters (2-3) a conclusion, and a bibliography (depending on which citation style is used). The general purpose of the thesis is to advance an argument, test a hypothesis, or answer a research question by marshaling empirical evidence in a sys-tematic way using appropriate research techniques or methods. The ultimate goal is to produce enduring knowledge about a specific topic, concern or debate and to make a meaningful contribution to the extant scholarly literature on this topic.

    Policy ExerciseThe policy exercise is a research project resulting in a major written document that examines, critiques or otherwise analyzes a specific policy of a government or international agency and ultimately proposes specific policy recommendations that are intended to be an improvement upon the current policy. The format of the policy paper shall include an executive summary, an overview/background, a body, and a conclusion. It must also be organized as a sequence of numbered, single-spaced paragraphs. The policy exercise must be on a contemporary, clearly discernible policy of relevance to international affairs, and must communicate what the policy is, what it is intended to achieve, why it is deficient or should otherwise be replaced or changed. The policy exercise is distinguished from the thesis in that it is more explicitly focused on policy shortcomings and recommendations, as opposed to addressing more theoretically-informed academic questions. Nonetheless, it is expected that a thorough discussion of the policy being studied will entail engagement with relevant scholarly literature as appropriate.

    International InternshipThe international internship must result in a document that either resembles the MA thesis or a policy paper, wherein the re-search will be undertaken and evidence gathered while the student is working in an internship for an organization, company, or government agency. The project must use evidence or insight gained from the actual internship experience, in conjunction with additional outside research using primary and secondary sources. The internship must either be with an entity located outside the United States, or with an entity whose work is international in scope. Students are responsible for locating and applying for internships on their own, with the help of their faculty mentor or adviser. The internship is expected to take place either during the summer months (ideally) or during the actual semester and must entail roughly 150 hours of internship work. Enrollment requirements and other information on internships can be found here.

    More information on different organizations and agencies that offer internships can be found here.

    Students interested in doing the internship option are eligible for a $2500 fellowship to help defray expenses associated with the internship, and may also apply for a Presidential International Travel Fellowship.

    General Guidelines for Research & Practicum There are three options available to fulfill the R&P Requirement: MA Thesis, Policy Exercise, or International

    Internship. Students should discuss with their faculty mentor and/or faculty adviser which option would be most appropriate for them in light of their career aspirations and substantive interest areas.

    Each option requires that the student assemble a committee of three faculty members, one of whom is designated as their adviser or chairperson, who will be the primary person from whom they will receive guidance on their project.

    Each option also requires that a student produce a substantial written document on the basis of research they have conducted in the context of their individual project, and that the student orally defend their project to their com-mittee (defenses are also open to the public).

    Students are required to have chosen which option they will take, chosen a general topic for their project, and as-sembled a committee one calendar year prior to their expected date of degree completion. (For example, if you are planning to defend and graduate in the spring term, you must have this done by the end of the spring semester of the previous academic year).