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Master of Arts in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development

Course Description

Our dual-language, dual-degree Master of Arts in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development is a dynamic graduate program drawing on the rich resources of two prestigious educational institutions.

The joint program between AUP and the Sorbonne-Paris I provides several unique features:
-An accredited American master’s degree plus an accredited French master’s certificate.
-A professional level of competence in written and spoken French.
-An interdisciplinary course of study across languages, cultures, and educational systems.
-A global network to launch a career in the NGO sector or with an international institution, national government, or multinational corporation.

Challenging course work, compelling experiences

The MA in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development is a 62 credit Research Masters taken over the course of four semesters. The program requirements include 62 credits as follows:
-Five courses at AUP (20 credits) exploring international relations, conflict management, and issues of civil society development, among other subjects. A mix of core and elective courses ensures a solid foundation in the discipline plus the chance to investigate your own special interests.
-Four courses at Sorbonne-Paris I (16 credits) exploring international affairs at our French partner institution. The exposure to different perspectives in a different educational system is invaluable and fosters a truly international environment.
-Six modules (12 credits) taught by visiting professionals in the fields of international affairs, conflict resolution, and civil society development. These short, workshop style seminars offer practical, hands-on training—anything from a simulation of responding to a real-life conflict situation to creating plans for a virtual NGO to practice financial NGO management.
-One thesis writing seminar (2 credits) which will prepare you for…
-A thesis (12 credits), a 15,000 word in-depth examination of a topic related to your experience and interests.

Research Masters

The MA in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development is a 62 credit Research Masters taken over the course of four semesters. Research Masters at AUP develop perspective and depth in your thinking by adding a twin discipline or language – in this case study at the Sorbonne in French. A Research Masters enables a student to build a solid profile as an expert problem-solver or researcher.

Student-centered learning

AUP emphasizes a student-oriented, discussion-based education featuring small classes in a European setting, programs tailored to the individual, a high international profile, and a seasoned research faculty. Our French partner institute embodies a similar interest in interdisciplinary education, ethical reflection, and internationalism.

It is our hope to create in Paris a community of scholars working across languages, cultures, and different educational systems to develop conflict resolution and humanitarian skills, global solidarity networks, and future civil society alliances.

Practical information

Students in the MA come from educational institutions from across the world, having earned the equivalent of a BA degree in International Affairs or a closely related field—and from the working worlds of international institutions, NGOs, and policymaking.
We strongly recommend that students applying for this dual degree have a solid grounding in the French language. During the first semester all students must enroll in the Sorbonne’s Tutorat Méthodologie which provides training in French academic writing.

Visit the Master of Arts in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development page on the The American University of Paris website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Kai Larsen

I provide strategic support for Human Rights Watch’s Development offices in 11 cities covering 10 different countries. This includes data extraction and clean-up, troubleshooting, and general and module-specific training in the use of HRW’s database. I also work closely with the Finance division to ensure that the monthly donation reports from these cities are accurate, assuring the clean flow of information between our development database and Finance’s accounting software.

AUP definitely contributed to making me a competitive candidate for this job. Beyond my coursework and field of study (both relevant for this position), thanks to AUP’s network I also completed a 6-month internship with HRW’s Development division in Paris during my second year. This experience was invaluable, and my familiarity with HRW’s structure, practices and software was a key factor in their decision to hire me as a full-time employee one year later.

(Student Profile)

Sophien Ben-Achour

I work for an international NGO called ‘Search for Common Ground’ (SFCG). SFCG is an organization that works to transform the way the world deals with conflict. I am currently based in Niamey, Niger and manage SFCG’s programs in the Sahel region of Africa. I manage SFCG’s work within a consortium of NGOs in a USAID funded program called ‘Peace through Development II’ or (PDevII), aimed at reducing the risk of violent extremism in the Sahel. Our role in PDev II is to engage and support youth throughout 45 communes in 23 regions of Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso. Specifically, we provide training and other opportunities to support these youth in strengthening their communities and taking an active role in reducing conflict and other risks related to violent extremism. The MAIA program I completed at AUP played a big role in preparing me for this work. Specifically, it laid a solid theoretical foundation and then coupled it with practical modules. The availability, quality, and experience of the faculty and the vast diversity of the students also provided a context for rich discussion and personal growth.

(Student Profile)

Samuel Solvit

I was born in Paris and have lived in Italy, too, and I continue to travel a lot for business. I am trilingual: French, English and Italian. I was attracted to AUP because a Master’s in International Affairs and/or conflict management/resolution are very rare in France. For me, the first asset of AUP was this qualitative joint program with the Sorbonne University. It was very enticing to be able to follow this distinctive and first-rate dual Master’s with courses both at AUP and the Sorbonne, two very good universities.

To study at AUP is to study with people from all over the world, with very rich and diverse backgrounds. American, Colombian, Swedish, Libanese, Qatari, Koweiti, Italian, British, German, Russian… I met friends from everywhere and developed a strong, high-quality network. Two of the things that I most valued are the multicultural environment and the quality of the MAIA program. I am not objective because I am Parisian. However, I have to say that Paris is one of the most exciting cities in terms of culture and intellectual life. Being one of the main European hubs, academics, politicians, businessmen meet there.

My studies at AUP influenced my career path in two main ways: on the one hand, they gave me a strong technical/academic background in international affairs, and on the other hand they gave me very useful and concrete analytical/practical skills. Upon graduating from AUP, I worked for the French Foreign Ministry and then for the French Defense Ministry. I have since joined a company as Development Manager where I am mainly in charge of the international development of the company.


Entry Requirements

Undergraduate Degree (min 3.0 GPA) Fluency in both English and French. This can be subject to change, see the website for the latest admission requirements: View Website

Last Updated

13 March 2017

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