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Regional Studies Consortium

Four Areas of Study; One Global Network

UVA’s programs in regional studies have partnered to create a vibrant intellectual and professionally minded community for master’s students that multiplies their academic and career opportunities.

Our four separate degree programs allow students to engage directly with cultural, historical and political experts on the topics and populations that are most central to their research interests.

At the same time, our regional studies consortium provides students with communal training in research methods and professional writing, access to academic exchanges and industry-based internships, and interaction with a network of accomplished graduates in shared employment sectors.

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Research Methods

Students from all four programs convene in a single course that surveys the common spectrum of humanities and social science research methods through which practitioners approach their respective regions.  Students identify and refine their own methodology, are trained to frame a robust research question, and are mentored through the process of producing a topic for their thesis.  Cutting across methods and regions, this course creates opportunities for students to pursue collaborative and comparative team-based research.

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Professional Writing

As students begin to research and write thesis projects, they receive communal mentoring about the practicalities of optimizing their interaction with subject-matter advisors in different disciplines, managing their research project and benchmarking progress, and effective writing habits.  Participants will have the opportunity to workshop drafts and explore various professional formats for their thesis with industry practitioners to ensure that their project directly supports their career goals.

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Academic Exchanges

UVA has both long-standing and emerging partnerships with universities across the globe.  Students in the regional studies consortium are prioritized for semester-long academic exchanges to facilitate cultural exposure and research in their region of interest.  Coursework and research at the host institution fulfills requirements for the master’s degree and is funded by the student’s tuition at UVA.

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UVA has extensive professional networks with employers in a variety of sectors.  Students in the regional studies consortium have systematic access to career advisors through group events and individual appointments.  They receive customized guidance regarding internship opportunities both domestic and international in areas such as government, policy, public service, healthcare, education, business and technology.

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Alumni Network

Because professional applications of training in regional studies crosses a variety of employment sectors, students in the consortium benefit mutually from the experiences and achievements of alumni across all four of the constituent master’s programs.  The Graduate School is working with University Career Services, the Office of Graduate Career Development, and our faculty to create new opportunities for engagement with alumni throughout the academic year, especially at the University’s location in the DC Metro area.

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Graduate Certificates

Master’s students can apply for affiliation with one of the Graduate School’s certificate programs to establish an interdisciplinary area of specialization that further refines their research interests and connects them to an even broader network of faculty and graduate students across Arts & Sciences.  Current certificates include Africana Studies, American Studies, Digital Humanities, Environmental Humanities and Gender & Sexuality Studies, with a certificate in National Security Studies in development.