The MA Program in Central Asian studies includes language training, core field studies, elective courses, and MA thesis research and development.
Students take a 6 credit language course each semester. The program offers language courses in Kyrgyz, Russian, Kazak, Uzbek, Tajik and Uygur. The content of language courses is determined based on students’ interests and knowledge levels. Students who demonstrate proficiency in a local language will be allowed to replace language courses with electives but will still be asked to sit for a language examination at the end of their study.
Core field courses
Students must successfully complete eight core field courses, including the mandatory CA 503 course. This course assesses students’ knowledge of Central Asia and surveys past and current academic and policy research on the region, in addition to providing a background for critical reflection on the relationship between area studies and academic disciplines. The other five core field courses are selected from a multidisciplinary list of offerings focused on the Central Asian region (CA 500 to CA 507). Provided by faculty members with a major teaching or research interest in Central Asia, they ensure a sound grasp of the history, societies, cultures, and politics of the region. Two of the core field courses, CA 508 and CA 509, are devoted to the MA thesis.
Elective courses include theory and methodology courses in a disciplinary field that may address Central Asia only indirectly. They are chosen from the course list of AUCA’s various departments in consultation with the student’s advisor. Two of these elective courses must be in the same field as the student’s MA thesis. Two elective courses may be replaced with independent readings under the responsibility of the student’s MA thesis supervisor.
The MA thesis should comply with AUCA's rules for thesis writing and defense. It is supervised by a member of the program's core faculty. It should combine an innovative approach to the study of Central Asia with a thorough, critical knowledge of previous scholarship on the topic. The MA thesis is based either on field work or critical reading of sources and data in a Central Asian language chosen by the student.