George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
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International Transactions


Barry, Bloch, Dinan, Francis, Fukuyama (Program Director), Fuller, Finkelstein, Gulledge, Haynes, Hill, Johnson, Kash, Lipset, Malawer, Perry, Ratchford, Rodrigo, Stough, Warfield

Associated and Adjunct Faculty

Adams, Archey, Bensimon, Blanpied, Brown, Cioffi, Fontana, Gaske, Gianturco, Haendel, Hayes, High, Hirsch, Joseph, Kelley, Lockwood, Maksoud, Negrin, Novins, Nuechterlein, Paden, Reston, Shaikh, Thompson, Van Schaik, Volpe, Wallace, Watson, Weadon, Weinig, White, Yoshida

Graduate Program in International Transactions

International Transactions, M.A.I.T.

The Master of Arts in International Transactions (M.A.I.T.) is offered by The Institute of Public Policy (TIPP). It is an innovative graduate program for current and aspiring private- and public-sector professionals who seek the knowledge and skills to be effective in an increasingly complex global economy. The interdisciplinary course of study integrates international trade with politics, finance, technology, business, law, culture, communications, ethics, and the environment to provide the practical tools to compete in the world marketplace.

The organizing concept of the program is that of "International Transactions," the cross-border flow of people, goods, services, information, finance, and technology. M.A.I.T. students learn to understand and anticipate broad trends in such flows, to appreciate the growing connections among regions and institutions, and to apply this knowledge on both the policy and operational levels. The program places special emphasis on integrating insights from a variety of disciplines with practical tools that can be applied directly to the workplace. Thus, M.A.I.T. students acquire the ability to compete in an increasingly complex, interconnected global environment by applying their knowledge and skills to real-world issues and challenges.

Central to the program is the participation of more than 50 adjunct faculty members, who are senior executives and leaders in the private and public sectors of the national capital area. These individuals join a core of George Mason University faculty to bring their expertise and intimate knowledge of international transactions to more than 40 specifically designed courses.

Courses are offered in the evenings and on Saturdays to fit the schedules of busy professionals. In addition to classroom study at George Mason, the M.A.I.T. program emphasizes experiential learning. It encourages and supports student internships, cooperative planning and research activities with private- and public-sector employers, and a variety of study-abroad experiences. In one such study-abroad opportunity, the M.A.I.T. program has a special arrangement with Saint Peter's College, Oxford University, which permits qualified students to study at Oxford during the summer session.

Admission Requirements

Individuals from many academic disciplines and personal backgrounds provide a lively and varied student body for the M.A.I.T. program. Students come from the social sciences, humanities, and professions; students with science and engineering backgrounds are particularly sought for the science, trade, and technology policy concentration, described later.

To enter the program as a degree candidate, a student must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  2. A GPA of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate work or the last 60 hours
  3. A completed graduate study application along with official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  4. A resume
  5. An expanded goals statement
  6. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from academic institutions
Students whose first language is other than English, or who have not received a degree from an English-speaking institution, must achieve a score of 575 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). While students from any major may apply, applicants are encouraged to prepare for the study of international transactions by taking some courses in the social sciences, particularly in economics.

Degree Requirements

The M.A.I.T. program requires 36 credits of course work and a final project for graduation. All degree candidates must take 18 credits of work in required foundation and core courses, described below. The remaining course work encompasses electives, chosen in consultation with an adviser, and related to the student's career objectives. Most electives are grouped generally into three thematic areas: international trade and finance; international business operations; and science, trade, and technology policy. Many students also opt to focus their studies on a particular region, policy issue, or business sector.

Foundation and Core Courses

All M.A.I.T. students take two foundation courses that introduce them to the field of international transactions. INTL 500, Approaches to International Transactions, uses a case method of instruction to help students understand the interaction of business, finance, technology, and government in the world economy. INTL 500 is a prerequisite for all other INTL courses, except INTL 600. INTL 501, International Transactions and Culture, examines differing cultural perspectives in a course that combines readings, research, and lectures with small-group discussions led by a multicultural team of faculty.

Students must also take four core courses that provide critical research, analytical, and communications skills, as well as an introduction to the complex environment of international transactions. All students take two courses in analysis techniques: INTL 600, Economic Analysis for International Transactions, and INTL 601, Research and Analysis Methods for International Transactions. These provide conceptual grounding in economic analysis, as well as practical skills in identifying, acquiring, and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data related to international trade, finance, and business operations. (Students with significant prior study or experience in economics and analysis may be exempted from INTL 600.)

All students must also take INTL 614, International Trade Relations, and at least one of the following core courses: INTL 610, International Trade and Technology; INTL 611, International Financial Institutions and Globalization; or INTL 612, International Business Operations and the Multinational Corporation. (The other courses in the 600 series may be taken as electives.)

Elective Courses

M.A.I.T. students take six elective courses that deepen their knowledge of international transactions and provide practical skills that they can employ in the workplace. Students select electives from the INTL 700 series, or from courses offered by other university departments, institutes, and centers, with the approval of an adviser. Several INTL courses are cross-listed in the Master of Public Administration or Master of Business Administration programs; selected courses offered in these programs are open to M.A.I.T. students. Internships and other practical experience are strongly recommended; in addition, students are strongly urged to include the study of ethics and the environment, and study-abroad programs, in their course selections.

Typical Course Selections

The following are examples of courses that students with a particular interest might take, after completing the required INTL 500, 501, 600, 601, and 614 courses.

International Finance

A student with an interest in international finance issues and operations would take INTL 611, International Financial Institutions and Globalization, and six other course offerings, such as the following:

INTL 610 International Trade and Technology
INTL 710 International Business Transactions: Finance and Investment
INTL 713 U.S.-Foreign and Economic Decision Making
FNAN 717 International Finance
INTL 756 National Security and the Global Economy
INTL 780 Internship

International Business Operations

A student with an interest in an international business career would take INTL 612, International Business Operations and the Multinational Corporation, and six other electives, such as the following:

PUAD 504 Managing in the International Arena: Theory and Practice
INTL 709 International Business Transactions: Marketing and Distribution
INTL 710 International Business Transactions: Finance and Investment
INTL 711 Regulation of International Transactions
INTL 758 Global Market Planning Practicum
INTL 759 Trade Licensing, Controls, and Documentation

Science, Trade, and Technology Policy

In cooperation with the Center for Science, Trade, and Technology Policy, the M.A.I.T. program offers a specialization in this field. Students in this specialization take INTL 610, International Trade and Technology, and six other electives, such as the following:

INTL 715 Global Environment and the World Economy
INTL 717 International Science and Technology
INTL 718 Japan's International Trade and Technology
INTL 754 International Commercialization of Space
INTL 772 International Telecommunications
INTL 780 Internship

Regional Perspectives on International Transactions

The M.A.I.T. program offers students the opportunity to concentrate their studies on one or more regions of the globe. In cooperation with the Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, the program offers a concentration in Asian-Pacific trade and investment. For this concentration, a student might take the following:

INTL 702 Special Topics in International Transactions: Study Abroad (summer study in China; 6 credits)
INTL 718 Japan's International Trade and Technology
INTL 764 Trade, Investment, and Politics in East Asia
INTL 771 Trade, Investment, and Politics in South and Southeast Asia
INTL 780 Internship

Opportunities are available for a student who wants to focus on the implications of European integration for international trade. Such a student might take INTL 610, Trade and Technology, reflecting the increasing importance of technology to the competitiveness of the European economies, and other electives, such as the following:

INTL 702 Special Topics in International Transactions: Study Abroad (Oxford University summer program; 6 credits)
INTL 716 European Union in the International System
INTL 752 International Business Lobbying in the United States, Europe,and Japan
INTL 761 European Political and Economic Union
INTL 780 Internship

Individualized Program of Study

An M.A.I.T. student, in consultation with an adviser, can design an individual program to reflect special interests or career goals. The following is an example for a student who might be interested in pursuing a career in an organization that seeks to influence environmental policy issues as they affect developing countries. Such a student might take INTL 610, International Trade and Technology, and six electives, such as the following:

INTL 715 Global Environment and the World Economy
INTL 751 Trade, Investment, and Politics in the Western Hemisphere
INTL 755 Ethics in International Affairs
INTL 760 International Environmental Politics
INTL 765 Trade, Investment, and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa
INTL 771 Trade, Investment, and Politics in South and Southeast Asia

Other Electives

In addition to a regular series of electives on policy issues, business skills, and regional perspectives, the M.A.I.T. program offers a continually changing series of courses on current topics under the rubric of INTL 701, Special Topics in International Transactions. Recent examples of such course offerings include International Human Resource Management, ABCs of Importing and Exporting, South Africa in Transition in the World Economy, North-South Transactions, and International Business Issues in Telecommunications. These courses are taught by visiting or adjunct faculty who are directly involved in the topics under study.

Final Project

All M.A.I.T. students must integrate the knowledge and skills from their program of study in a final project. The project includes an essay that draws together the key insights from the program; a resume that reflects the student's career goals and qualifications gained from the program; and samples of the student's best work that show the research, analytical, and communications skills learned in M.A.I.T. courses.

Certificate Programs

The university now offers four certificate programs in International Transactions. The certificate programs build on courses from the Master of Arts in International Transactions to provide education for those seeking the knowledge and skills to be competitive in an increasingly complex global economy, but who do not require a degree program. The certificates are awarded after completion of 15 credits of course work, in one of the following areas of concentration:

Global Trade Management: Provides an overview of the international trade environment, together with courses on key business tools and the myriad rules and regulations that international businesses must navigate. Focuses on strategies for product and service development, financing and logistics management.

Managing Organizations in the International Arena: Includes study of the theory and practice of international management, organizational culture, human resource management, and cross-cultural dynamics.

International Business Planning: Provides an introduction to the key building blocks for success in international business¬marketing and distribution, finance and investment, business planning and trade regulation.

Regional Trade Policy and Planning: Gives students an overview of the global trading system as well as an opportunity to study in depth the political and cultural issues that influence trade policies in key regions of the world.

These certificate programs are open to both full-time and part-time students. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and meet all of the other standards described above for admission to the M.A.I.T.

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