The School of International Service will be expanding the course “Introduction to International Relations Research” from one required semester to two semesters. The class is required for undergraduates to earn with a bachelor’s degree in SIS.
SIS faculty approved a change in the curriculum in a Nov. 7 vote to increase the requirement as part of a major reform for the SIS program. The change will only affect students entering AU in Fall 2013 or later, said Patrick Jackson, the associate dean for undergraduate education in SIS.
Currently, the course covers how to write a literature review and producing original research.
The new form of the course will teach research design in the first semester while the second semester will cover writing a research paper as well as collecting and analyzing original data, according to Jackson.
“Students will have the ability to select a section of the second-semester course that most closely corresponds with their topical or methodological interests,” Jackson said. “We’ll have second-semester methodology courses like ‘using GIS’ [geographic information systems] and ‘interviewing public officials,’ but also courses like ‘research on seemingly intractable conflicts’ and ‘research on regional integration.”
By choosing topics, students will be preparing for later SIS courses, Jackson said.