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Updates on AUA’s New M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy Program

The AUA Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy (MAIRD) is a newly launched program that is quickly making progress. Expected to welcome its first cohort in Fall 2023, the Program is poised to craft graduates with advanced knowledge and interdisciplinary perspective on the changing dimensions of international governance and diplomacy. The degree aspires to equip students with robust methodologies and innovative analytical and problem-solving skills needed to make better sense of pressing challenges in regional and global politics. 

The Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) Interim Program Chair  Dr. Asbed Kotchikian discusses the specific ways the new program will add to students’ knowledge in the field. “The MAIRD curriculum is tailored in ways that allows students to major in areas most relevant to their desired careers, including offering study-abroad opportunities in several European universities through Erasmus+ Student Credit Mobility programs,” he explains, adding that “Students will expand their horizons with the help of experienced faculty members who have both academic and hands-on experience in the fields of their expertise and will learn how states interact and how international conflicts are being mitigated in a variety of international and inter-state frameworks.” 

The Program’s courses, such as Country Risk Analysis or Foreign Policy Analysis, will help students understand how decisions are made by governments, and the most important factors affecting these decisions. MAIRD was created to address the need for young professionals to examine and understand the global challenges facing Armenia as well as to skillfully nurture influential cooperation through diplomacy. Recent regional developments, including the 2020 Artsakh War and post-war challenges, have made it clear that expertise in regional affairs and international relations, diplomatic leadership, and judicious discernment of complex situations are greatly needed for addressing national and international issues. “Thinking is as important as zooming in. More advanced knowledge in the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Russian politics will allow students to look beyond the generally accepted regional narratives and develop new ways of looking into the existing problems,” reflects Dr. Kotchikian.

Currently, the Program is in the process of hiring new faculty members and bringing on several former diplomats and policy makers who will be involved as guest and/or adjunct lecturers. Assistant to the President on Academic Affairs Dr. Vahram Ter-Matevosyan comments that various former high-ranking ambassadors and deputy ministers have expressed interest in collaborating with the Program. The Program will also partner with the Fletcher School at Tufts University  which will present a great way for its promotion. 

The graduates of the Program will be able to join the workforce within both government and non-governmental sectors as well as in international organizations in Armenia and beyond. The rigorous research component of the Program will also equip graduates with necessary theoretical and practical skills required to complete high quality problem-solving and writing tasks. AUA aspires to educate value-driven professionals who will lead and inspire on their jobs and be change-makers in their communities.