CHSS Launches Two New Graduate Programs3 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is pleased to announce the launch of its two new graduate degree programs: Master of International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) and Master of Public Affairs (MPA) in the College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS). The two degree programs are set to begin in Fall 2023, pending final authorization by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports of the Republic of Armenia.
MIRD is a two-year graduate program designed to prepare students with the necessary knowledge and tools required for careers in public service, local and international non-governmental organizations, and global public affairs agencies. Using an interdisciplinary approach to critically assess and examine the changing dimensions of international relations, governance and diplomacy, the MIRD curriculum is designed to prepare a cadre of professionals trained in relevant conceptual frameworks, methodologies, and innovative problem-solving skills to address the most pressing challenges of regional and global politics. More details about the program can be found here.
The MIRD program was created to address the need for young professionals to examine and understand the global challenges facing Armenia and be able 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. Asbed Kotchikian, associate professor in CHSS.
Graduates of the MIRD program are expected to assume positions in the public and private sectors, in international organizations in Armenia and beyond. The program also embraces a rigorous research component aimed at equipping students with the advanced theoretical and practical skills in problem-solving and communication.
MPA is a two-year graduate program designed to prepare students with the analytical, policy, administrative, and leadership skills needed to make an impact on Armenian society and beyond. MPA students are taught how to ask and answer political questions, design optimal policy solutions to public problems, and administer those solutions with skilled leadership and management akin to public, private, and nonprofit organizations. The program provides a substantive focus on development policy, strategy, and leadership — essential components in the construction of prosperity and stability in Armenia. More details about the program can be found here.
The MPA program is created and designed to find pioneering solutions to public problems as they apply to the construction and maintenance of the administrative state. The construction of a viable public sector is perhaps the most critical issue to the political, economic, and social development of Armenia. Dr. Uroš Prokić, assistant professor in CHSS, elaborates, “In our increasingly diverse and complex world, the need for conscientious and ethical public servants is all the more necessary. Graduates of the MPA will not only become effective public affairs professionals, but also upstanding global citizens who are able to discern between genuine public needs and public wants.”
MPA students will learn how to grapple with a myriad of ethical dilemmas real-world practitioners face on a daily basis. Graduates of the program will also master professional communication skills and be eager to engage with a diverse audience. Above all, they will be able to embody and demonstrate the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion critical to the foundation of modern public sector agencies in Armenia.