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Intercultural Relations (MA) Degree Requirements


Pacific 2020, adopted by the Board of Regents in 2012, outlines the University's mission and core values.  Of the strategic directions listed in this important document, number 3.3 states that the "University strives to Prepare every student for personal and professional success in a global and multicultural world".  Indeed, the theme of developing responsible citizen-leaders in a global context is woven throughout Pacific 2020.  The MA program in Intercultural Relations (MAIR) mirrors University of the Pacific's objectives related to intercultural and global perspectives, and our curriculum and learning outcomes reflect this close alignment.




MAIR students develop the intercultural competence to:

  • Reflect on their own culture and its impact on intercultural interactions
  • Analyze cultural patterns both domestically and internationally
  • Synthesize interdisciplinary perspectives for professional applications
  • Comprehend strategies for adaptation to cultural differences
  • Solve complex problems in intercultural settings
  • Foster inclusive organizational cultures
  • Design culturally appropriate interventions for creating individual, organizational, and social change


Central to the MAIR program is the fundamental assumption that there is a core body of knowledge and theory in intercultural relations that all students need to internalize as part of their graduate education for domestic or international work. The academic program - built around a set of nine core courses - allows each student to focus on an area of specific personal interest through electives and thesis research and writing.

The classroom portion of three core courses is taken during each of the two-week residencies, and the remainder of the course is completed through readings and assignments undertaken at home during the five months following each residency. If a student misses a residency or portion of a residency for some reason, the courses missed can be taken at subsequent residencies. Students work with their faculty adviser to map out the focus of their programs and the schedule for completing all requirements given the challenges in their lives.

In order to earn the Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Relations, students must complete a minimum of 40 units, including a thesis, with a Pacific cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

I. Required Core Courses - Total of 24 units   
MAIR 200                  Concepts of Intercultural Communication (3 units)
MAIR 201                  Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations (3 units)   
MAIR 202                  Research I (2 units)
MAIR 220                  Advanced Intercultural Communication Theory (3 units)
MAIR 221                  Research II (3 units)
MAIR 222                  Process of Change (2 units)
MAIR 240                  Leadership and Adult Learning (3 units)
MAIR 241                  Change Agentry (3 units)
MAIR 242                  Culture in the Organizational Context (2 units)

II. Electives for specialized focus - Total of 8 units
Complete a minimum of 8 units (at least 2 units must be from Pacific) from the following:
MAIR 223                  Personal Leadership (2 units)
MAIR 260                  The Intercultural Context of Training (3 units)
MAIR 291                  Independent Study (1-4 units)

Up to six (6) units of elective credit may be satisfied through graduate-level courses taken at other institutions subject to the critieria outlined below. Workshops at the Intercultural Communication Institute's Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) may also be taken for up to six (6) units of graduate credit through Portland State University, and transferred to Pacific toward the MAIR elective requirement.  Finally, participation in the Peace Corps Master's International program requires that the eight (8) units of elective credit be completed through specific coursework which complements the Peace Corps experience.

For a courses to be eligible for transfer, it must be a regular, graduate-level course, countable by the institution towards its graduate degree, the student must have received a grade of B or better. Pass/fail grading is not transferable. Extension or continuing education courses are eligible for transfer credit towards the MAIR degree only if they are recognized as graduate courses by the home institution. Transfer units are subject to approval by the student's advisor.

III. Thesis Research and Writing - Total of 8 units
MAIR 297                  Graduate Research (4 units)
MAIR 299                  Thesis (4 units)        

Graduate research and thesis writing are the capstone of the MAIR education and reflect each student's unique professional goals and interests in the field of intercultural relations.