In order to waive SISG-773 Introduction to Economic Theory, students must take and pass the SIS Online Economics Placement Exam. Exams are normally held twice per semester. Student should plan to take the exam prior to the semester in which the waiver is required to register for any of the following courses:
- SISG-764 International Economics
- SISG-768 Foundations of Economic Development
- The Online Economics Placement Exam is offered live and is proctored, such that students must be on webcam during the length of the exam.
- The exam consists of 35 multiple-choice questions that cover both the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics.
- Students have up to 90 minutes to complete the exam.
- Students may only take the exam once as an SIS graduate student.
- The passing score is a minimum of 74% (26/35).
- For an overview of the topics covered in the exam, click here (log in with your firstname.lastname@example.org and password to view)
Note: For students admitted for Fall 2016 or earlier, some MA programs may allow students to waive SISG-773 based on other criteria. Students should check with their Academic Advisor if they have questions about whether they must take the Economics Placement Exam.
Every student completing an IROnline degree has a required Methods component. Options vary based on your program.
All students in the MAIR program are required to take 6 credit hours of Methods coursework.
- SISG-763 Quantitative Methods: Research Design & Analysis
- Students may choose one of the following second level methods course options:
- SISG-765 Planning, Forecasting and Decision-making
- SIS-750 Project Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation.
Note: Students pursuing the International Development or International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution concentration tracks are recommended to take SIS-750 Project Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DM&E), and students pursuing the Global Security or U.S. Foreign Policy concentration tracks are recommended to take SISG-765 Planning, Forecasting, and Decision-making.
It is also recommended that students complete SISG-763 before pursuing their second level methods requirement.
All students in the MIS Online program are required to complete 3 credit hours of Methods coursework, and can take any one of the following courses in order to fulfill this requirement:
- SISG-763 Quantitative Methods: Research Design & Analysis
- SISG-765 Planning, Forecasting, and Decision-making
- SIS-750 Project Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation (PDM&E)
To satisfy the tool of research requirement (also known by most SIS programs as the language requirement), students must be able to conduct research in a language other than English. "Research," for the purposes of this degree requirement, means reading comprehension. Students for whom English is not their native language may be certified on the basis of their native language and English (the language of instruction for their graduate degree). All English language speakers will be required to certify proficiency in a language other than English.
Only Master of Arts in International Relations students have a language requirement.
- Reading proficiency at the intermediate level
- Ability to read an article written in another language with good comprehension, using a dictionary only for specialized terminology
For students whose first language is English, proficiency in another language may be demonstrated by:
- Passing the free Tool of Research (TOR) examination in a language tested by the Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research (CLEAR) at American University. The TOR is offered in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, and Arabic. Register for the next TOR exam.
- Bachelor's degree in the language completed within 3 years of the date of matriculation.
- Degree from a foreign university, in which the language of instruction is not English, completed within 3 years of the date of matriculation.
Alternatively, a student can be certified based on the following:
- Presenting evidence of completion of a continuing education or graduate-level course in another language at the intermediate level with a grade of B or better.
- If AU's Center for Language Learning does not offer a TOR exam in a language, we will accept certification by an accredited instructor/tutor of the language (please consult with your academic advisor prior to pursuing this option).
Either of these means can be certified up to a year before the student matriculates.
Note: If you have a learning disability that may adversely impact your ability to acquire foreign language competency, you must register with and provide documentation from American University's Academic Support Center. In such cases, the school will determine an alternative tool of research for you.
Substantial Research Papers and independent studies require additional registration processes and are not registered through Eagle Service.
Complete all steps of the registration process described below no later than the last day of the Add/Drop period for the semester of registration. For specific dates, please consult the Academic Calendar.
Once all steps are completed, and your faculty and academic advisors have electronically approved your registration request, the registration will be processed within 3-5 business days and the credits added to your schedule.
- Prepare the required project proposal for your faculty advisor(s). The required proposals for each type of project are:
- Independent Study (SIS-690): A syllabus (1-2 pages) for the proposed independent study that identifies: 1) the learning objectives for the study, 2) the reading, research, or other projects to be completed during the semester, and 3) how the independent study will be evaluated, including any relevant deadlines.
- Substantial Research Paper (SIS-795): A brief research proposal (2-3 pages). A typical proposal will: 1) identify a research question(s), 2) describe the method(s) that will be used to answer the question, and 3) explain the importance or relevance of the project to current policy or academic debates.
- Complete the electronic Independent Study Registration Form. You will need to log in with your AU credentials to access the form.
- In the online form, enter the following pieces of information:
- Term: Enter the semester and year in which you are going to be conducting your independent research.
- Subject: SIS
- Number: Enter the "number" associated with the project you are registering. The corresponding numbers for each type of project are:
- 690: Independent Study
- 795: Substantial Research Paper
- Type: Select "A-F" from the dropdown menu. All projects must be graded A-F
- Number of Credits: Select the number of credits associated with your project from the dropdown menu. Please consult your academic advisor if you are unsure about the number of credits you should register for.
- Substantial research papers are 3 credits
- Independent studies are 1-3 credits
- Title: Enter your project's title. For SRPs, this is the topic/title of your paper and should not be "SRP" or "Substantial Research Paper." There is a 30 character limit.
- Description: Brief project description
- Will this independent study be in COMM?: No
- Will this independent study fulfill the AU Core Capstone Requirement? (Undergraduates only): No
- Faculty Advisor: Enter the name of the faculty member who will serve as your primary project supervisor. This is not your second reader.
- Academic Advisor: Academic advisor in the IR Online Advising Office (not a faculty member or student success coach)
- Attach the approved project proposal addendums (from Step 1) to the Independent Study Registration Form..
- Sign the form and press "Submit."
- Please note: After submitting your Independent Study Registration Form, you will be redirected to a blank screen. You will receive a confirmation email from the Office of the Registrar.
- If your project will involve any international travel, complete the Graduate Global Program (GGP) Application and Trip Information form. Note: the Trip Information form must be reviewed by your academic advisor.
By submitting the registration material for an independent study or substantial research paper, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the following policies:
- Human Subject Research: If any portion of your research involves human subjects as defined by American University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects, you must receive prior approval by the IRB or its designee before conducting the research project. To determine whether your research requires IRB approval and to learn more about the approval process, please visit the IRB website or consult your faculty supervisor.
- Academic Integrity: Standards for academic conduct are established by the University's Academic Integrity Code. By registering for an independent study or substantial research paper, you acknowledge that you are aware of the Academic Integrity Code and a student's rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code. This includes understanding and recognizing plagiarism. Please see your faculty supervisor if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for your project.
Last updated 7 Oct 2021.
As an International Relations Online student, you have the opportunity enroll in online, graduate-level courses from schools affiliated with our technology partner, 2U, Inc.
Immersions are meant to provide students with a variety of learning experiences that build on the program's curriculum. Immersion is required for all IR Online students.
Suggested courses and scheduling tips for new students entering an IR Online program for their first year.
The best practice for new students is to begin with core course requirements. Ideally, pair a a qualitative course with a quantitative course (Econ/Quantitative methods) or take two qualitative core courses.
SISG-760: Global International Relations: History, Theory, Practice
SISG-761: Intercultural Communication
SISG-762: Global Governance
SISG-763: Quantitative Methods
SISG-773: Introduction to Economic Theory (may be waived via economics placement exam or prior economics coursework with advisor approval)
SISG-764: International Economics (Pre-req: SISG-773 Introduction to Economic Theory or equivalent)
Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the spring semester are strongly recommended to take:
The core course, SIS-686-001 Proseminar: International Affairs.
In addition, they may register for one or two of the following:
- An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet)
- SISG-774 – not offered Spring 2023 – will be offered in Summer 2023
- SISG-773 – Introductions to Economics
- SISG-764 – International Economics
A Professional Research Methodology course
- SISG-763 – Quantitative Methods
- SISG-765 – Planning, Forecasting, and Decision Making (Recommended for US Foreign Policy or Global Security concentration)
- SISG-750 – Project Design, Monitoring, & Evaluation (Recommended for International Development and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution concentrations)
A concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from one of the concentration options depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the second page of the MIS advising worksheet. If interested in self-designing a concentration, contact your academic advisor for the process and to get the program director approval.)