Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

New students (including deferals) for spring 2023 may register for classes for spring beginning November 16. New students will receive detailed registration information (also linked below) via email from our office beginning the week of October 31.

In order to best balance the needs of current students with those of new students, we will be holding weekly virtual registration workshops November 9 and 14 (see below). New students will be able to meet one-on-one with their academic advisor beginning November 7 by scheduling individual appointments.

NOTE: In order to access resources on this page, you may be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU credentials (email address and password). Please use username@american.edu.

Spring 2023 Registration Steps 

  1. Review New Student Registration Instructions
  2. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  3. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  4. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  5. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  6. (Optional) Sign up for a Spring 2023 New Student Registration workshop (November 9 or 14). Workshops will review general registration information and allow for open Q&A. Workshop information is available via the SIS Grad Advising welcome email and the New Student Registration Instructions (see #1 above).  

Spring 2023 Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for new graduate students on Friday, January 13.

More information, including how to RSVP, will be shared later this fall. Stay tuned!

Explore Opportunities

As you wait for first semester to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses.

Part-time graduate students (including those working full-time) usually take 6 credit hours per semester.

First semester students are not recommended to register for more than 9 credit hours.

Please note that international students holding F-1 or J-1 visas must be registered full-time at 9 credit hours.  

All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements of their individual award. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal loan aid, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer). 

For examples of full-time and part-time degree sequencing, you may review the Sample Degree Timelines

First-semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-673 Comparative Political Economy 
  2. One regional concentration course from the list of approved regional courses for Spring 2023
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    2. One thematic concentration course (if thematic concentration is known; the overall list of suggested thematic concentration courses can be found here)
    3. One course on a second region

Dani Hix is the academic advisor for CRS. 

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). DM students who begin in the spring semester are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-726 Professional Development Management (this course is mandatory for DM students entering in a spring semester)
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-637 International Development
    • SIS-636 Power and Practice in Development
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course (see below)

*There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory*, AND
  2. SIS-731 Economic Development

ECON-603 is waived for DM students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take SIS-731 Economic Development. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Dani Hix is the academic advisor for DM

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Human Rights program are encouraged to register three of the following (if full-time) or two of the following (if part-time) :

  1. PHIL-631 Topics in Modern Moral Problems
  2. SIS-622 Human Rights
  3. An approved course from the 'Choose One' requirement:
    1. PHIL-616 Feminist Philosophy
    2. PHIL-613 Studies in Asian Philosophy: Gender, Nation Building, & East-West Encounter
    3. PHIL-617 Philosophy of Race
    4. PHIL-685 Postcolonialism and Philosophy
    5. PHIL-685 Environment and Philosophy
  4. For students that are clear on their plans for the focus of their concentration, a concentration course. In selecting a concentration course, students are encouraged to review the Spring 2023 Suggested Concentration Course List and discuss their selection with their academic advisor.
  5. An approved methods course. Students should consult the approved methods courses when selecting a methods course.

Heidi Holland is the academic advisor for EPHR.

First semester students in the Global Environmental Politics program are encouraged to register three of the following (if full-time) or two of the following (if part-time):

  1. An approved research methods course*
  2. An approved natural science course*
  3. ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-652: Intro to Env Economics (students who have a background in micro- and macroeconomics maybe choose to take the SIS Economics Placement Exam to determine whether they are eligible to take SIS-652 without first taking ECON-603)
  4. An approved “Choose One” course or, after a discussion with your academic advisor, a concentration course

*Students should consult the Spring 2023 GEP Courses of Interest list for approved methods, natural science, and “choose one” courses. 

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GEP program.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take: 

  1. The foundations course associated with their chosen concentration: either SIS-708: Foundations of Global Security or SIS-709: Foundations of Global Governance
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course 

When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

3. An approved course in your chosen concentration

Students can find the list of approved concentration courses here: GGPS Approved Concentration Courses.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GGPS program. 

First semester students in the International Affairs Policy and Analysis (IAPA) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-761: Research Design, Analysis, and Communication
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. A course in their intended competency track or a concentration course

Students can find the list of approved competency courses here: IAPA competency courses. Students interested in beginning their concentrations are encouraged to schedule a brief meeting with their advisor to discuss their interests.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IAPA.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication program are encouraged to take three of the following (if full-time), or two of the following (if part-time):

  1. SIS-640 International Communication
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course. Students may choose either ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory or SIS-616: International Economics. (Please note that students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite and register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam). 
  3. A gateway and/or concentration course(s) within the selected field of study. Students should consult the Spring 2023 Suggested Concentration Course List when selecting classes or discuss their interesets with the IC academic advisor. 

Heidi Holland is the academic advisor for IC.

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their Professional Track and capstone requirements after completing the core. First semester students are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics/Methods
  3. One of the following:
    1. SIS-636 Power and Practice in Development
    2. A course for their Professional Track (see reverse of advising worksheet)
    3. An economics course (see below)

*There are two required economics courses:

  1. ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory* AND
  2. SIS-731 Economic Development

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Dani Hix is the academic advisor for ID

First semester students in the International Economic Relations program are encouraged to take:

  1. An economics course

When selecting an economics course, please note that all IER students must complete SIS-616 International Economics. SIS-616 requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory prior to taking SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

2. One research and professional methods course

Students with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623 Applied Econometrics I. Students with limited statistics experience should consider SIS-600 International Affairs Stats and Methods.

3. A concentration course

In selecting a concentration course, students are encouraged to review the back of the IER Advising Worksheet and discuss their selection with their academic advisor.

Please review the schedule of classes for course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to discuss the requirement.

Students pursuing the Quantitative Methods track should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for the IER program.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Two of the following (if full-time) or one of the following (if part-time):
    1. SIS-734 IPCR Seminar II
    2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    3. An economics course. Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics. (Please note that students must pass the SIS economics placement exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite and register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam).
    4. A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest. (Please note that the Gateway course for the Culture, Identity, & Peace and Reconciliation and Justice concentrations will be offered in the Fall semester).
      1. Peacebuilding: SIS-735 Peacebuilding Theory & Organization
      2. International Negotiation: SIS-611 International Negotiation
    5. For students that are certain of their core concentration focus, a course from the approved list associated with that core concentration theme. Students should consult the Spring 2023 Approved Concentration Course List. 

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Heidi Holland is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor, Jessica MacArthur, for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the spring semester are strongly recommended to take:

  1. The corse course, SIS-686-001 Proseminar: International Affairs
  2. In addition, they may register for one or two of the following:
    1. An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet) OR
    2. A Professional Research Methododology course (Choose from the approved methods courses section on the second page of the MIS advising worksheet)
  3. A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet. If interested in self-designing a concentration, contact your academic advisor)

Mary Curby is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course, if required (see admissions letter for more information). Chosen from the approved methods courses section on the second page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet OR

An Economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information). Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

2. Two - three concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above). Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration. *Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration. 

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

THE NRSD program does not admit students for the spring start.

Marley Crutcher is the academic advisor for NRSD.

First semester students in the Peacebuilding certificate program are encouraged to discuss course selections with the certificate academic advisor, Heidi Holland.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. One of either SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making or SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes (Students will take the course they do not take in spring in the fall 2023 semester).
  2. One of either a USFP “Choose One” course (SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP or HIST-661 U.S. Foreign Relations since 1918) or an approved "Choose Two" course: See Spring 2023 USFP Approved course list for the Choose Two options.
  3. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an approved economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616 International Economics, SIS-652 Intro to Environmental Economics, or SIS-731 Economic Development. Most students will also need to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory prior to taking SIS-616, SIS-652, or SIS-731. For students with strong backgrounds in economics, ECON-603 can be waived by passing the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.