MSSc Curriculum

A total of 30 credits is required to complete the MSSc degree.  The curriculum is based on five core areas: Europe, U.S. History, Developing Nations, International Relations, and War and Society. Six credits—two courses—must be completed in each of three core areas in order to fulfill the degree requirements.

The Residency Seminar is presented in its entirety during the initial two-week summer residency in Syracuse. Daily seminars are based on the annual theme of study. A paper must be presented at the end of the residency.

The last 9 credits needed to complete the degree can be from additional courses from the Core Areas, elective courses approved by the Faculty Director, or registering for SOS 750, Readings and Research. SOS 750 requires the completion of an Independent Study Proposal Form signed by an MSSc faculty in order to register.

MSSc Curriculum
Courses Credits
REQUIRED COURSE Residency Seminar (SOS 800) – Offered in Summer Only
Consists of discussions, lectures, readings and reports, all presented during the annual summer residency. Social Science methods and the linking theme that connects the lectures and discussions of the residency are the subjects of the Residency Seminar.
3
EUROPE CORE Comparative Cultural Analysis I/ Revolution in Europe (PSC 671)
A panorama of the staggering transformations Europe went through from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century – from villages to cities, from feudalism to states, from workshops to factories, from peasant rebellions to revolutions.
3
War and Society, Part I (HST 715/3)
Analysis of the formative effects of war, from the era of Machiavelli to that of Washington, (1492-1783) on the rise of European nation-states, their North American empires, and their successor state: The United States of America.
3
War and Society, Part II (HST 715/4)
A focus on the development of modern military organizations and the conduct of war in recent history, 1870 to the present. Among topics of particular concern: the struggle for mastery in Europe to 1914; the nature and implications of the Great War 1914-1918; World war II; the post-war rise of what President Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex.”
3
U.S. HISTORY CORE Comparative Cultural Analysis/ U.S. History I (HST 715/1)
This course extends from the general crisis of England’s American colonies in the 1670s (the “Empire” of the Iroquois) to the advent of “the Second American Revolution” in 1863. Special attention is given to “imperial” governance, from the “Sphere of influence” defined by the Onondaga sachem, Garacontie, to the “nationalism” proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln.
3
Comparative Cultural Analysis/ U.S. History II (HST 715/2)
Seminar on modern U.S.A. focusing on the ways questions of freedom and equality are debated in the period since the Civil War. Explore aspects of reform, radicalism, nativism and impact of war on American life.
3
DEVELOPING NATIONS CORE Women and Social Change (ANT 553)
Examines changing perspectives that anthropologists and other social scientists have held about women and the study and representation of women. The particular focus will be on definitions of feminist activity, or the relation of women’s behavior to patriarchal rules and expectations, moving beyond domestic white middle-class perspectives.
3
Comparative Cultural Analysis: Africa (ANT 686)
Exploring Africa from the primary perspective of social anthropology, as complemented by the other social sciences. While readings touch upon a diversity of African societies towards the end of illustrating principles and features of societal life and organization, the major cultural focus is on West Africa, traditional society, colonial legacy, and change.
3
Pre-Modern China: Insistence of Tradition (HST 600/1)
Over the centuries of pre-modern Chinese history twenty-three dynasties came and went, and about three hundred emperors ruled. Rather than attempting a comprehensive treatment of this vast and complex stretch of history, our approach will be to examine those elements of the Chinese past whose influence is felt in today’s China. Without falling victim to clichés about the enduring power of Confucianism or China’s self-conception as the “Middle Kingdom,” or that of a “changeless China,” we will examine Chinese history with an eye toward continuities.
3
Modern China: A Work In Progress (HST 600/2)
Modern China’s story is one of constant change. In this course, we examine Chinese history from the seventeenth century to the present, with a focus on those who sought to transform politics and society. We consider conquerors, rebels, intellectuals, communist revolutionaries, and capitalist reformers. Our goal is not only to understand the nature of change in modern China, but also to understand the continuities in the Chinese past.
3
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS CORE Politics of the Middle East (PSC 600)
The collective aim in this course is to critically contemplate a wide range of perspectives that have been offered on this question. We will begin by probing how and why we should study the Middle East and learn the most salient historical, economic and religious features of the region. We will then scrutinize the nature of contemporary politics in the Middle East and try to shed light on the factors that may have inhibited the growth of democracy in the region.
3
International Relations of the Middle East (PSC 684)
The main objective of this course is to help students understand how International Relations theories and conceptual tools can be applied to the Middle East and what are the determinants of the foreign policies of states and non-state actors in the region.
3
International Law (PSC 752)
An attempt to strike a middle path between an examination of the broad problem areas and the more narrowly defined subject areas where international law has been under particular stress. With backward glances to the “golden age of international law” within the 19th century European balance of power, try to confront the problem of whether international order is possible in the contemporary world.
3
WAR AND SOCIETY CORE War and Society, Part I (HST 715/3)
Analysis of the formative effects of war, from the era of Machiavelli to that of Washington, (1492-1783) on the rise of European nation-states, their North American empires, and their successor state: The United States of America.
3
War and Society, Part II (HST 715/4)
A focus on the development of modern military organizations and the conduct of war in recent history, 1870 to the present. Among topics of particular concern: the struggle for mastery in Europe to 1914; the nature and implications of the Great War 1914-1918; World war II; the post-war rise of what President Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex.”
3
FINAL PROJECT (OPTIONAL) Readings and Research (SOS 750)
An optional Independent Study project. A thesis, research project or expression of personal and professional interests connected to the social sciences. A proposal must be submitted by the student and approved by an MSSc faculty member prior to registering.
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