The Master of Arts in Public Affairs combines studies in sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, literature, and history in an interdisciplinary emphasis. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the social and cultural environment in the public and private sphere through a common core of courses taken by all students in political theory, social theory and historical thought, human culture, and economic theory.
Students, prior to admission to the program, select one of the following concentrations: political and governmental processes (see political science in the Department of History), or applied sociology. Students interested in sociology will follow the curriculum described below.
This program will prepare students for doctoral studies and provide enrichment for professionals in public careers such as law, politics, or government service. The program also provides advanced preparation for teachers. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is well suited to such purposes, by combining theoretical knowledge and practical methodology in historical and cross-cultural analysis; archival research; personal and participant observation, interview, and survey techniques; and statistical analysis, model-building, and simulation applied to analysis of social and cultural trends; political and economic policy at local, regional, national, and international levels; and organizational and institutional processes.
The program’s geographic location in a multiethnic region of the Southwest brings unique perspectives. Field and practicum experiences are available to capitalize on the region’s rich social, cultural, and institutional resources.