Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

 

MGA 60001

Integral Human Development

(3 credits)

Clemens Sedmak

This multidisciplinary course explores Integral Human Development as a conceptual framework for understanding, practicing, and evaluating development, peacebuilding, human rights, governance and institutional reform, sustainability, global health, and related professions. It will begin by examining the provenance, meanings, and resonances of the term in multiple religious as well as secular traditions. We will test the concept’s relevance through case studies chosen to illuminate the relationship between “animating worldviews” and aspirational or mission statements, on the one hand, and the concrete outcomes of development-related projects, on the other.


MGA 60003

Economics of Growth & Development

(3 credits)

Santosh Kumar

This course will provide an introduction to modern macroeconomic concepts. It will train students to interpret economic statistics and to understand how fiscal, monetary, trade, and exchange rate policies affect the economy. We will discuss how countries can achieve long-run economic growth and how countries can harness the benefits of globalization while managing the risks. The course will be primarily taught using case studies, will require students to actively participate in class discussions, and will emphasize the role of quantitative analysis and contextual factors in understanding economic policy.


MGA 60013

Keough Career Colloquium I: Establishing a Professional Foundation

(0 credits)

Melinda Fountain

The Keough Career Colloquium Series (i) Supports students’ ability to discern career paths and possibilities, (ii) within those, it focuses on developing the tools and skills students need to realistically compete in the global affairs marketplace and (iii) identifies the kinds of further information and contacts students need to prepare for and take their next professional steps upon graduation. As the first course in the series, this course will focus on discernment, goal setting, and successfully completing key documents necessary for field placements as well as the job search.


MGA 60014

Keough Career Colloquium II: Professional Development Tools and Talents

(0 credits)

Melinda Fountain

The Keough Career Colloquium Series (i) Supports students’ ability to discern career paths and possibilities, (ii) within those, it focuses on developing the tools and skills students need to realistically compete in the global affairs marketplace and (iii) identifies the kinds of further information and contacts students need to prepare for and take their next professional steps upon graduation. As the second course in this series, this course will focus on fluency in skills such as networking, using job-search tools, and interviewing.


MGA 60015

Keough Career Colloquium III: Integrating New Skills

(0 credits)

Melinda Fountain

The Keough Career Colloquium Series (i) Supports students’ ability to discern career paths and possibilities, (ii) within those, it focuses on developing the tools and skills students need to realistically compete in the global affairs marketplace and (iii) identifies the kinds of further information and contacts students need to prepare for and take their next professional steps upon graduation. As the third course in this series, this course will focus on developing the language required to incorporate students’ field placements into their explanation of qualifications to employers and move to networking and meeting deadlines for jobs with long timelines, such as government, UN, and fellowship positions.


MGA 60016

Keough Career Colloquium IV: Implementing Your Plan

(0 credits)

Melinda Fountain

The Keough Career Colloquium Series (i) Supports students’ ability to discern career paths and possibilities, (ii) within those, it focuses on developing the tools and skills students need to realistically compete in the global affairs marketplace and (iii) identifies the kinds of further information and contacts students need to prepare for and take their next professional steps upon graduation. As the final course in this series, this course will focus on implementing students’ job searches using what students have learned in and outside of the classroom to obtain the next professional, educational or experiential step you seek.


MGA 60019

i-Lab I, Module 1: Innovative Approaches for Complex Global Challenges: Foundational Skills

(1 credit)

Melissa Paulsen & Steve Reifenberg 

Designed for MGA students in the Sustainable Development and
the Governance and Policy concentrations, the first semester i-Lab
is composed of three-interrelated modules. The first module
introduces foundational skills for innovative and integrative
approaches to address complex global challenges through the
foundational lens of systems thinking and design thinking,
including work on interviewing skills, stakeholder mapping, and
asset framing.


MGA 60020

i-Lab I, Module 2: Innovative Approaches for Complex Global Challenges: Research Methods

(1 credit)

Marie Donahue & Steve Reifenberg 

Designed for MGA students in the Sustainable Development and
the Governance and Policy concentrations, the first semester i-Lab
is composed of three-interrelated modules. The second module
engages the theory and practice of research methods including
knowledge management, literature reviews, cultural humility and
accompaniment. During the second module, students engage in a
discernment process, indicate preferences, and are assigned to their Global Partner Experience (GPE) team that they will have the
opportunity to participate in during the 2023 calendar year.


MGA 60021

i-Lab I, Module 3: Innovative Approaches for Complex Global Challenges: Effective Partnerships

(1 credit)

Marie Donahue, Melissa Paulsen, & Steve Reifenberg 

Designed for MGA students in the Sustainable Development and
the Governance and Policy concentrations, the first semester i-Lab
is composed of three-interrelated modules. The third module
explores effective partnerships, work and communication styles,
negotiations, proposal development, and project management,
especially in the context of their upcoming Global Partner
Experience (GPE). The i-Lab fosters an accompaniment-based
approach to addressing complex problems, preparing students to
engage at different scales with stakeholders at various levels of their
partner organization, with their teammates and with wide-ranging
actors in the communities they seek to impact and serve.


MGA 60007

Integration Lab II: Preparing for the Field

(3 credits)

Tracy Kijewski-Correa

Working closely with the organization serving as their Global Partner and with their assigned GPE Mentor, students begin to plan a Global Partner Experience (GPE) that addresses an identified problem or opportunity.  Through this course, students will develop in-depth understanding of their GPE topic, gain insights into the culture, history, and context of their proposed field sites, and formulate a plan to accomplish their fieldwork. ND faculty will share frameworks, methodologies, and perspectives that teams may apply to their GPE based on field placement and context. These activities will draw upon concepts introduced in two other courses offered this semester: Research Design (qualitative and quantitative methods) and Global Actors & Institutions. By the end of this course, students will develop and present a GPE Proposal outlining their work plan and budget, including the fieldwork component.


MGA 60008

Integration Lab III: Analysis & Strategy

(3 credits)

Tracy Kijewski-Correa

This course supports the Global Partner Experience (GPE) teams in the systematic work of analysis and synthesis as they produce their GPE Products. Many of the approaches introduced in i-Lab I will be revisited in this course to deepen student expertise through the introduction of additional tools relevant to the data and analyses required for their GPE. Teams will produce a high-quality, professional GPE Product by the end of the semester, based on the interests of the Global Partner. The product might be a consultancy report evaluating and recommending improvements for a particular policy or program, or an analysis and series of recommendations to scale a successful programmatic initiative. Each student will also produce individual research and reflective pieces about his or her own experience and learning, as a member of a team, in a foreign land, on a new project. Therefore, this course facilitates synthesis of their deep twelve-month engagement with a Global Partner across multiple dimensions: as an educational and reflective experience for the students, as well as a contribution to a critical issue for the Global Partner through their GPE Product.


MGA 60101

Foundations of Peace Studies

(3 credits)

Ernesto Verdeja

This course is designed to provide a cross-disciplinary examination of violence and peace issues so that students will have a firm grounding in the more serious concepts, methods, frameworks, and findings that peace research scholars, policymakers, and activists employ in dealing with war and violence. The course also provides opportunities to read and write about various issues that are distinctive in their own right, but which also have particular relevance to the task of strategic peacebuilding. Operationally, the first half of the course will examine the various schools of thought, controversies, and key concepts, theories and methods that have guided the development of the interdisciplinary field of peace studies. The second half of the course examines critical issues that are significantly tied both to peace research and to peacebuilding practice.


MGA 60102

Strategic Peacebuilding & Reflective Practice

(3 credits)

Lisa Schirch

In this course we will examine the “violence of everyday life”, the inequalities and sources of suffering created by taken-for-granted structures such as bureaucracy, security, nation, color and creed (to name only a few). We will ask questions about how structures constrain and damage peoples’ lives, the relationship of these structures to poverty, and the non-violent and violent reactions that result. How do physical walls perpetrate and perpetuate violence? Why does resource richness cause poverty and war? What is the lived experience of systematic inequality? When does everyday hopelessness become explosive violence? Students will examine how violence is both culturally mediated and understood, and will learn to recognize the symptoms and anticipate the consequences of oppression, neglect, and resistance around the world.


MGA 60017

Developing a Peacebuilding Practice

(3 credits)

Susan St. Ville

This course is designed for students in the international peace studies concentration of the MGA. Through readings and course exercises, students are introduced to the concept of reflective practice which will frame much of their work as peacebuilding practitioners. Students consider the structures and histories that have shaped their own position as peacebuilders and begin to refine the path they hope to take in the future as scholar practitioners. During the semester, students participate in the matching process that determines the organizations where they will serve during the 5-month field internship. Students also begin to develop the research focus that will be the basis for their Master’s Capstone project.


MGA 60103

IPS Capstone

(3 credits)

Norbert Koppensteiner

The course will provide structured assignments and writing group work to aid students as they produce their individual capstone projects. Students will be expected to continue to consult with their Field Research Advisor as well as with the capstone course instructor during the writing process. The final paper will represent a significant portion of the course grade and will be graded jointly by the seminar instructor and the Field Research Advisor.


MGA 60201

Foundations of Sustainable Development

(3 credits)

Paul Winters

This course provides a cross-disciplinary examination of issues central to sustainable development, providing students with a firm grounding in the concepts, methods, frameworks, and findings of the field. The class will critically engage with the work of development scholars and practitioners on the measurement and determinants of sustainable development. We will examine efforts by policymakers, international organizations, and practitioners to promote human wellbeing in an inclusive and sustainable manner, with an emphasis on critical issues connected to research and practice. The course also provides opportunities to read and write about issues and areas that are distinctive in their own right, but which have particular relevance to sustainable development.


MGA 60202

Quantitative Methods for Global Affairs

(3 credits)

Yong Suk Lee

This course will address core concepts of statistics, including probability theory, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, linear and non-linear regression analysis, and linear and non-linear optimization. The course emphasizes hands-on data analysis, effective data visualization, and interpretation for global policy analysis.


MGA 60203

Applied Microeconomics

(3 credits)

Sisi Meng

This course uses the tools of economic analysis to illustrate how markets work to allocate goods and services in an economy, and to understand the circumstances under which market forces may or may not lead to socially optimal outcomes. Students will discuss when and how governments should intervene in market processes, and analyze the consequences of policies such as taxes, subsidies and price controls. Course assignments include exams, problem sets, policy memos, in-class quizzes and a policy analysis project. This class requires no prior exposure to economics.


MGA 60206

Environmental Policy

(3 credits)

Ellis Adjei Adams

This course will feature several topic-based modules taught by environmental policy and climate change experts from Notre Dame and around the world. The goal is to introduce students to the effects of climate change on integral human development, to examine the effectiveness of different policy options and to highlight the barriers to the implementation of appropriate policy solutions. During the weeks when we do not have a guest speaker, we will either do readings in preparation for the guest speaker or have discussion sessions focused on the material taught by the guest speaker.   Students are expected to do class presentations before each guest session, come prepared with questions for each guest speaker, complete short required reflections after each guest module and write an end-of-semester essay on one topic module.


MGA 60321

Foundations of Global Policymaking

(3 credits)

Joshua Eisenman

Foundations of Global Policymaking provides students with the intellectual foundations necessary to understand the challenges faced by officials during the policymaking process. Not only will students enhance their knowledge of how foreign policy is made, but they will also learn the skills to support, and one day become, a policymaker.

In addition to learning about policymaking, students will also learn how to consume, digest, organize complex ideas and information on multiple related topics and explain them in a coherent manner. The ability to find the logical linkages among arguments and synthesize and present their similarities and differences in concise and informative written and spoken products is highly marketable skill. Whether a student plans to work in a corporation, a government agency, think-tank, NGO, multinational corporation, or an international organization it is essential that they be able to weigh different policy options and communicate complex analytical ideas to both superiors and subordinates.


MGA 60322

Research Design for Governance & Policy

(3 credits)

Kyle Jaros

This course, geared to MGA students in the Governance and Policy concentration, introduces principles and practices of research design with a focus on qualitative and mixed-method approaches. We begin by contrasting different cultures of social scientific research and their varying goals, assumptions, and advantages. We then explore different research methodologies and the types of data and analysis they employ. The course features guest speakers with expertise in different approaches, and practical interludes offer students the chance to link course topics to their own research projects.

 


Electives

MGA students may enroll in Keough School elective offerings or enroll in additional courses across the University (subject to approval by academic advisor). Elective courses may not be offered every semester.