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School of International Studies
Phone: (209) 946-2650
Location: George Wilson Hall

Lewis R. Gale, Interim Dean
Laura Bathurst, Director, MAIR
Katrina Alison Jaggears, Associate Director, MAIR

Programs Offered

Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations

The Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations (MAIR) is a limited-residency program designed to provide seasoned and aspiring professionals with the knowledge and expertise to respond to the challenges of working across cultures domestically and internationally. The MAIR program, jointly sponsored by University of the Pacific’s School of International Studies and The Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon, prepares students to meet the demands of working in the complex cultural diversity of our world. This program offers a unique curriculum in a creative format.

MAIR is designed for adult professionals who find the schedule and structure of a traditional full-time master’s program unsuitable for their situation, and wish to earn an advanced degree in a two-and-one-half to three-year period while maintaining employment or other commitments. In this limited-residency program, students complete nine core courses in 18 months by attending 3 two-week residencies held in Portland every six months (January and July). Directed course assignments are completed at home after each residency.

The MAIR curriculum balances classroom instruction, extensive coursework assignments between residencies, independent study, and thesis research and writing. It emphasizes a theory-into-practice model, stressing the application of relevant theoretical frameworks and concepts to real-world contexts, including both domestic diversity and international settings. The program attempts to directly link the ongoing professional aspirations and responsibilities of its adult learners with all their academic work, equipping them with practical tools and concepts to accomplish their goals.

Students work with a faculty advisor who is responsible for overseeing their entire program and serving as a liaison between them and the cooperating institutions. Students also work with a thesis committee composed of MAIR faculty members and other recognized, practicing professionals in the field of Intercultural Relations. The committee assists and supports students during the thesis process.

The study of Intercultural Relations provides the opportunity to develop cultural competency, including the skills that will be essential to compete in the global workplace. Students and graduates work in areas such as business, government, nonprofit organizations, education, tourism, and human services. Their occupations include positions in human resources, communication, teaching, diversity training, international transition assistance, consulting, marketing, counseling, program development, administration, and healthcare.

The MAIR program partners with the Peace Corps Master’s International program, allowing students to combine Peace Corps service with graduate study to complete the requirements for the MAIR degree. Students must apply separately to the MAIR program and the Peace Corps, and be accepted by both. They must satisfy specific course requirements before traveling overseas for Peace Corps service. While overseas, students complete a written project to obtain academic credit for their Peace Corps service. The Master’s International program allows students to apply their classroom learning to benefit a host country, and graduate with both an advanced degree and two years of substantive international/intercultural work experience.

Applicants to the MAIR program must demonstrate:

  • Previous successful academic performance.
  • An understanding of the field of intercultural relations through previous academic coursework and/or professional employment, volunteer service, or field experience.
  • Clear educational goals that are compatible with the program philosophy.
  • Sensitivity to intercultural situations.
  • The ability to operate effectively in small learning groups.
  • The ability to develop and manage personal distance-learning strategies.
  • The ability to write and organize thoughts at a graduate level.

Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations

Degree Requirements

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 and/or international work. The program—built around a set of nine core courses—allows students to focus on areas of specific personal interest through electives and their thesis.

Three core courses are taken during each of the 3 two-week residencies and completed through assignments at home undertaken during the six months following each residency. If students miss a residency or core course for some reason, they can take those courses at subsequent residencies. Students work with their faculty advisor to map out the focus of their programs and the schedule for completing all requirements given the challenges in their lives.

Students must complete a minimum of 40 units with a Pacific cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to earn the master of arts degree in intercultural relations.

I. Required Core Courses:

Complete nine core courses

MAIR 200Concepts of Intercultural Communication3
MAIR 201Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations3
MAIR 202Research I2
MAIR 220Advanced Intercultural Communication Theory3
MAIR 221Research II3
MAIR 222Process of Change2
MAIR 240Leadership and Adult Learning3
MAIR 241Change Agentry3
MAIR 242Culture in Organizational Context2


II. Electives for specialized focus:

Complete a minimum of 8 units (at least 2 units must be from Pacific) from the following:

MAIR 223Personal Leadership2
MAIR 260Intercultural Context of Training3
MAIR 291Independent Study1-4
Electives ‑ (Graduate-level courses at other institutions, or courses taken at the Intercultural Communication Institute’s Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC).


Note: 1) No more than six (6) units total may be transferred in from either SIIC or other institutions. Transfer units must represent regular, graduate-level courses, countable by that institution toward its graduate degrees, and have been completed with a B or better grade. Pass/fail grading is not transferable. 2) Extension or continuing education courses are accepted for credit towards the degree only if they are recognized as graduate courses by the home institution.

III. Research and Thesis

MAIR 297Graduate Research1-4
MAIR 299Thesis4


Note: Graduate research and a thesis are the last of the program requirements and are targeted toward students’ own professional goals.

International Studies Courses

INTL 101. International Research Methods. 4 Units.

Students are introduced to how research is conducted in the social sciences, with emphasis on the problems that occur in international studies research. The course shows how qualitative and quantitative research complements each other and it compares research methodologies in the different social science disciplines. The course also introduces basic statistical methods for analyzing social scientific data, and introduces the use of computers for quantitative analysis. Prerequisite: fundamental quantitative skills.

INTL 105. Globalization, the U.S. and the World. 4 Units.

This interdisciplinary course surveys the changing nature of global relations that focus on political, economic, and cultural aspects of globalization and the US role in global affairs. Students study US governance (which includes the institutions of government) in comparative perspective in order to better understand the country’s position in the world. The course also addresses the meaning and implications of globalization: what impact does it have on democracy in the world, the global environment, etc. Prerequisites: INTL 077 and ECON 053.

INTL 113. World Geography for the Social Sciences. 4 Units.

This interdisciplinary course on economic, political, and cultural geography around the world, emphasizes the evolving pattern of globalization. Students examine how the physical geography and historical geography in ten world regions have led to today’s differences in economies, governance systems, and cultural patterns in those regions and the extent to which convergence may be occur due to globalization. Prerequisite, may be taken concurrently: ECON 053. Sophomore standing.

INTL 113L. Video Lab for World Geography. 2 Units.

Complementing INTL 113 (World Geography), this course offers documentary videos which bring to life geographical concepts. Each video focuses on a different society that show insights into the way that geography influences the economy, politics, and culture of a society. The discussion of each video gives a deeper appreciation of human geography – the similarities and differences among people and societies around the world. The discussion also shows the importance of geography in understanding the current international news. Prerequisite, may be taken concurrently: INTL 113 or permission of instructor.

INTL 115. Pacific Rim Geography. 4 Units.

This course covers the geography of the Americas, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The physical geography of each region is explored followed by an examination of the economic, political, social/cultural, and environmental patterns and issues in each of these regions of the world. Emphasis is placed on the countries with the largest populations in the regions that surround the Pacific Rim which includes China, the US, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico. Prerequisites: ECON 051 or 053 or 055. Sophomore standing.

INTL 123. Literature Across Cultures. 4 Units.

On the basis of selected works taken from the vast body of contemporary world literature, the course surveys the variety of literary expression from cultures around the globe. Although often separated physically by continents, creative writers respond to fundamental human dilemmas in ways characteristic of their craft as well as individuals and members of a culture. Students read, compare, and discuss these responses as they have been formed in Lagos, Berlin or Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Paris or Mobile. Emphasis is on conflicts that arise from post colonialism. General Education IC.

INTL 151. Cross-Cultural Training I. 2 Units.

This course prepares the student, American or foreign, for study and life abroad. Topics include American values and assumptions, cross-cultural communication, cross-cultural adjustment and problems, and research on the host country. Prerequisites: the fundamental skills requirements and a Pacific GPA of 2.50.

INTL 152. Inter-American Cross-Cultural Training. 2 Units.

Inter-American Cross Cultural Training deals with the theory and practice of living and working in US Latino and Latin American cultures. It is intended to prepare students to operate successfully in a professional context either abroad in a Spanish-speaking country or in Hispanic communities within the United States. Through course work leads up to an internship that requires experiential learning. Students will increase their understanding of the general character of the cross-cultural experience, explore learning and coping strategies to maximize that experience, amplify their understanding of themselves as cultural beings so that they can better understand others, and gain basic cultural knowledge necessary for them to operate successfully in bilingual (English/Spanish) professional settings. It is designed to build both culture-general skills as well as culture-specific ones. That is, students learn skills that serve them in intercultural encounters with people from all over the world, but emerge with particular preparation to productively engage across difference in Latin America and with US Latinos. Permission of instructor.

INTL 161. Cross-Cultural Training II. 2 Units.

This course analyzes and evaluates the effects and consequences of cross-cultural exposure. Topics include entry and return culture shock, communication styles and channels, alterations in value structure, and models that characterize personal and cultural change. Prerequisites: INTL 151 and study abroad (SABD).

INTL 165. Development, Modernization, and Cultural Change. 4 Units.

The purpose of this course is to examine what we know about defining and measuring sustainable human development in the areas of: economic development, political development (governance, democracy and civil society), human development (health, population, nutrition and gender issues), health, education, environmentally-sustainable development, and the areas of disasters and failed states. This course is interdisciplinary and problem-oriented. It uses databases that are made available, and students undertake country and context specific analyses and case studies. The successful completion of this course equips students with an interdisciplinary and holistic understanding of sustainable human development. Finally the emphasis placed on comparative analysis to help the student gain a deeper understanding of a country in a broader regional and international context. Prerequisites: POLS 011 or POLS 051; ANTH 053; ECON 053 or permission of instructor.

INTL 167. Advanced Model United Nations (MUN II). 1-2 Unit.

This course offers advanced instruction on the workings of the specialized agencies of the United Nations and other international organizations with particular attention paid to current world issues before those bodies. Emphasis is placed on independent research and writing, as well as leadership skills, in preparation for attending a competitive Model United Nations conference. Prerequisite: POLS 051. May be taken for up to 2 units.

INTL 174. Global Environmental Policy. 4 Units.

Students examine the major environmental problems that confront the world today and an analysis of specific policies formulated to address those problems. Among the issues to be studied are deforestation, atmospheric and marine pollution, climate change, ozone depletion, and species loss. Prerequisite: POLS 051.

INTL 175. SIS Mentor III: Ethics Across Cultures. 4 Units.

This interdisciplinary course helps students become aware of how they think about ethics. It puts students’ experiences in more than one culture into an ethical framework, and prepares students for ethical action in their professional lives. The students look at philosophical and religious bases for ethical decision making in different cultures, and they use case studies to show applications of different ways of approaching ethical dilemmas. As a capstone course for international studies students, it explores ethical issues associated with human rights, development, the environment, sovereignty, war, refugees, and international business practices. Students prepare an ethical biography of a significant person who has spent considerable time in two different cultures. Students also prepare their own ethical autobiographies. Prerequisites: INTL 151 and a semester of study abroad, or a bi-cultural background (and with permission of instructor).

INTL 185. SIS Capstone. 2 Units.

This capstone course integrates the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary SIS core curriculum with the experiential learning of study abroad. This is accomplished through analysis of the role of the individual in a variety of cultural and historical contexts that pay particular attention to questions of identity and ethics in a complex global environment. Prerequisites: a semester of study abroad or permission of instructor. Senior standing.

INTL 187. Internship. 1-4 Unit.

An internship, approved and supervised by a faculty adviser, is an opportunity for a student to intellectually reflect on a supervised work experience in a setting appropriate for the student's career and life goals. Prerequisites: two SIS core courses and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

INTL 191. Independent Study. 1-4 Unit.

Ordinarily limited to SIS juniors and seniors. Student must be in good academic standing. Permission of instructor.

INTL 193. Special Topics. 4 Units.

INTL 193W. Special Topics-Business. 18 Units.

INTL 193X. Special Topics-Business. 18 Units.

INTL 193Y. Special Topics-Business. 18 Units.

INTL 193Z. Special Topics-Business. 18 Units.

INTL 197. Independent Research. 1-4 Unit.

Advanced students are offered the opportunity to design and complete an independent research project under the direction of a faculty member beyond the requirements of other course work. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Permission of instructor.

INTL 200. Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship. 3 Units.

This course is an introduction to the developing field of social entrepreneurship. The course will expose students to topics, concepts, and definitions in this developing field, including theory regarding the term 'entrepreneurship', definitions of social entrepreneur and social entrepreneurship, management skills required for social entrepreneurial organizations, scaling of social impact, and impact measurement for social mission organizations. Throughout the course, examples are given of real social extrepreneurs and social entrepreneurial organizations in order give practical insight to complement the theory covered in the different sections.

INTL 201. Business Plans for Social Entrepreneurial Organizations. 3 Units.

This course introduces the student to the importance, as well as actual mechanics, of developing a business plan for a social entrepreneurial organization whether it is a social enterprise or an organization that depends on non-earned income. The course emphasizes developing a business plan which integrates the organization's social mission with an economic strategy. An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship is the prerequisite course for this course.

INTL 202. Monitor and Eval Social Entrepreneurship. 3 Units.

This course provides the learner with an introduction to monitoring and evaluation of social programs with a special focus on social entrepreneurship and microfinance. Students learn the methods and approaches of monitoring and evaluation and apply these to the emerging field of social entrepreneurship.

Intercultural Relations Courses

MAIR 200. Concepts of Intercultural Communication. 3 Units.

This course reviews the major concepts, theories, and models that contribute to a general process descriptions of communication across cultures, and it considers how cultures pattern communication. This work is intended to provide a vocabulary and framework for analysis and discussion throughout the program. Important topics in this course include the dynamics of face-to-face interaction, conflict styles across cultures, societal influences on ethnocentrism and racism, cultural value orientation, nonverbal dimensions of communication, language interaction, stereotypes, relationship development, and intercultural adaptation.

MAIR 201. Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations. 3 Units.

Assuming an intercultural communication perspective on ethnic relations, this course examines group theory with particular emphasis on dynamics common in domestic multicultural contexts. Topics include an examination of research on ethnic identity development, cross-cultural psychology, prejudice and stereotyping, and interaction patterns specific to particular ethnic groups. It also considers models for managing diversity at the organizational level. Participants review models for multicultural group behavior and learn approaches to facilitation that are applicable in both small groups and organizations.

MAIR 202. Research I. 2 Units.

In intercultural relations, practitioners face a crucial question: How do I know what is real? This is the central issue in what is called “ontology,” and intercultural researchers must be familiar with alternatives to the positivist research tradition in arriving at answers to the question. This course explores, through a phenomenological perspective, cultural differences in the search for meanings. Symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology provide a foundation for exploring nonwestern ways of insight about human experience, via the paradigms of Consciousness, Transcendence, and Connectedness. Nonwritten channels for expression of learning are often explored.

MAIR 220. Advanced Intercultural Communication Theory. 3 Units.

This course examines theories from the field of social science that have been influential in the development of intercultural communication concepts, with an emphasis on the contributions of constructivism. It provides an overview of major paradigms in scientific thought that are mirrored in social scientific theories, and of where intercultural communication fits into the scheme. Students review classic sources in the field of intercultural communication and examine current writings that pertain to the future of the field. They specifically explore the body of theory that underlies the planning of programs and conducting of communication research—interpersonal, small group, and intercultural. Students also consider ethical questions that arise in intercultural encounters, in teaching and training, and in the conduct of research, especially across cultures.

MAIR 221. Research II. 3 Units.

In this course, both quantitative and qualitative research tools are examined for their usefulness in the intercultural context. Exercises and readings consider surveying, sampling, content analysis, depth interviewing, participant observation, personal document analysis, and unobtrusive methods, with equal attention paid to the disadvantages and advantages of each. Students experience using a range of methods and designing research plans which address issues of bias and ethics as well as matching research strategies to the research question.

MAIR 222. Process of Change. 2 Units.

In the process of individual identity development, culture plays a primary role. This course systematically examines the intrapersonal impact of cultural adaptation by reviewing theories of change, ethnic identity development, acculturation, and cultural marginality. Special topics include loss and change, models of transition, adaptation, and acculturation, and culture shock and re-entry as developmental processes.

MAIR 223. Personal Leadership. 2 Units.

Course focuses on exploring what it means to be a practicing interculturalist, specifically the internal states and external behaviors that promote appropriate and ethical interactions when working across cultural boundaries in professional and personal contexts. Course has three parts, sequenced over three residencies. Topics include the basic framework of Personal Leadership (two principles and six practices), crafting a vision of oneself as an effective interculturalist, and real-time application of the self-reflective process known as the Critical Moment Dialogue.

MAIR 240. Leadership and Adult Learning. 3 Units.

This course provides an opportunity for learners to explore theories of leadership and adult learning from a developmental and intercultural perspective. First, leadership theories amenable to use across cultures are examined that include Jean Lipman-Blumen’s connective leadership model and Belenky, Bond & Weinstock’s work on community and developmental leadership. Global leadership and multiple intelligences frameworks are explored from a critical intercultural perspective. Second, the course explores theories and practices of adult and transformative learning, again within a critical framework informed by intercultural concerns. Students practice translation and interpretation of selected models for multicultural and intercultural contexts.

MAIR 241. Change Agentry. 3 Units.

Managing the transition process for people and human systems in an intercultural context requires expertise in planned change, innovation theory, and systems diagnosis and intervention. This course reviews the nature of change in communities and cultures with special attention to social action research and organization development. It also involves students in both critiquing and designing programs for planned change.

MAIR 242. Culture in Organizational Context. 2 Units.

The impact of culture in the organization occurs at multiple levels. Employees as well as clients may come from a variety of domestic or international cultures to participate in an organizational culture, which in itself requires adaptation. The interplay of cultural patterns affects management and leadership styles, decision-making, negotiation, conflict mediation, and team-building. This course provides an overview of modern organizational theory with a view to extracting principles and methods, which are relevant to this multicultural context.

MAIR 260. Intercultural Context of Training. 3 Units.

Course will explore the impact of culture on training design. Through application of specific frameworks from adult learning, instructional design, and student development, participants will learn specific strategies for modifying training to take culture into account.

MAIR 291. Independent Study. 1-4 Unit.

MAIR 297. Graduate Research. 1-4 Unit.

MAIR 297D. Grad Research. 1-4 Unit.

MAIR 297E. Grad Research. 1-4 Unit.

MAIR 299. Thesis. 4 Units.

Mair students gain the intercultural competence to:

• Bridge worldviews of self and others in order build relationships and complete tasks across cultures.
• Apply principles of intercultural communication to overcome communication barriers, create shared meaning, and facilitate problem solving.
• Identify how one’s own cultural patterns influence interactions in personal and professional contexts.
• Analyze, synthesize, and apply multiple frameworks to personal and professional contexts.
• Ask complex questions about diverse cultures and seeks multiple interpretations in intercultural contexts.
• Demonstrate the ability to apply intercultural theory and skills in personal and professional settings to develop an inclusive environment and engage others to create change.

School of International Studies Faculty

Janet M. Bennett, Executive Director of the Intercultural Communication Institute, 2001, BA, San Francisco State University, 1972; MA, University of Minnesota, 1976; PhD, 1985.

Kent Warren, Director of Graduate Program, 2001, BA, University of Southern California, 1964; MA, 1968; PhD, University of Minnesota, 1974.

Ravi Ammigan, 2012, BA, Kendall College, 2002; MA, Michigan State University, 2009.

Laura Bathurst, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, 2005, BA, Kansas State University, 1997; MA, University of California-Berkeley, 1999; PhD, 2005.

Bruce La Brack, Professor Emeritus, 1975, BA, University of Arizona, 1967; MA, M Phil, Syracuse University, 1975; PhD, 1979.

Torey Browne, 2010, BA, Marylhurst University, 2006; MA, 2009.

Chris T. Cartwright, 2010, BA, University of Michigan, 1979; MPA, Indiana University, 1990.

Christopher Deal, 2010, BA, American University, 1993; MA, 1997; PhD, University of New Mexico, 2004.

Steven R. Dowd, 2003, BA, University of California-Davis, 1970; MA, 1974.

Havva Houshmand, 2001, BA, Chapman University, 1963; MLA, St. John’s College, 1987; PhD, Amsterdam University, 1970.

Elizabeth Kirkhart, 2001, BA, University of Maryland, 1971; PhD, University of Southern California, 1991.

Larry Kirkhart, 2001, BBA, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1964; MPA, University of Southern California, 1968; PhD, 1971.

Judith Martin, 2001, BA, Eastern Mennonite College, 1971; MA, Pennsylvania State University, 1977; PhD, 1980.

Adair Linn Nagata, 2007, BA, Smith College, 1965; MAT, Harvard University, 1966; MA, Fielding Graduate University, 2000; PhD, 2002.

Michael Osmera, 2001, BA, University of Oregon-Eugene, 1969; MA, University of Minnesota, 1978; PhD, 1990.

Nagesh Rao, 2001, BC, Vivekananda College, 1981; MBA, Loyola Institute of Business Administration, 1989; PhD, Michigan State University, 1994.

George Renwick, 2001, BS, Williams College, 1963; MA, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1967; PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1994.

Barbara F. Schaetti, 2003, BA, Trinity University, 1981; MA, Antioch University-Seattle, 1984; PhD, The Union Institute, 2000.

Miriam Sobré-Denton, 2010, BA, The University of Puget Sound, 1999; MA, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002.

Donna Stringer, 2011, BA, California State University-Sacramento, 1971; MA, University of California-Davis, 1973; PhD 1981.

Guy Michael Trombley, 2012, BA, St. Olaf College, 1985; MA, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1992; PhD, 2001.

Valerie L. White, 2001, BA, Whitman College, 1974; MA, Antioch University-Seattle, 1993.

Muneo Yoshikawa, BA, Linfield College, 1962; MA, University of Hawaii, 1967; PhD, 1980., 2001