Public Engagement

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Research Portfolio Option

  • The Research Portfolio Option is one of the three options (along with the Practicum Option and the Thesis Option) for fulfilling the capstone requirement for the MA degree in the Graduate Program in International Affairs. The Research Portfolio consists of two papers based on independent research in specially designated Research Seminars, as well as a short overview that describes the theme of the portfolio.

    The two seminars are ordinarily taken in a student’s final two semesters, but can be taken earlier when appropriate. Each semester, a number of concentration electives are designated as Research Portfolio Seminars. These courses are readily identifiable by their 6000-level NINT course numbers. Research Seminars are announced prior to course registration each semester. During registration, students submit a form to the program to indicate that they have chosen the Research Portfolio Option. Students must also register for a no-fee, zero-credit co-requisite (Research Portfolio Status I and II) when registering for Research Portfolio seminars.

    Students receive guidance from Research Portfolio Seminar instructors on topic development and on literature and research strategies. Students also receive guidance from concentration chairs, advisors, and other relevant faculty before, during, and after taking the research seminars.

    The Research Portfolio submission consists of the two papers (at least 8,000 words each, excluding references), a short (1,000-1,500 word) overview that describes the overall theme of the portfolio, and a cover sheet. The overview statement must be read and signed by the chair of the student’s concentration or another member of the faculty with relevant expertise.

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