Migration Studies Graduate Degree Programs
Though it seems that the subject of US immigration has become a popular topic in recent years, human migration is a historical phenomenon that spans centuries. Keep reading below to see if a graduate degree in migration studies is right for you.
How Can I Apply for a Master's Degree in Migration Studies?
While options for a graduate degree in Migration Studies are few and far between in the United States, there are several schools that do offer a Master's degree in the subject. In order to submit an online application, applicants will need to possess a Bachelor's degree (and be able to provide transcripts) and provide two letters of recommendation and a personal statement. While the majority of the applicant's Bachelor's degree does not have to be in a specific subject, it's normally required that the applicant's GPA be at least a 3.0. The personal statement is normally about 500 words and describes the applicant's interest in the Master's degree program and what the applicant intends to do with the degree once it's been obtained. Other application requirements may include a resume or curriculum vitae and an application fee.
Master's in Migration Studies: Courses
A Master's in Migration Studies will normally take a full-time student approximately two years to complete. While course titles vary among the different programs, commonly accepted core subjects that the student can expect to study are listed and explained below.
History of Migration
In order to fully understand the current climate and challenges surrounding migration, students can expect to first learn about the history of immigration. Most Master's programs in Migration Studies will include a historical component or introduction which explores the past as a basis for the present. In this subject, the student can expect to learn about previous migratory patterns, the reasons for those migrations, and the challenges that are presented as a result.
Research methods courses cover the latest methodologies utilized in the subject of migration. Courses in this subject seek to provide the student with a solid understanding of both qualitative and quantitative methods of research to use when compiling data and extrapolating information. By the end of this course, students should be able to successfully create, research, and explain outcomes of their own studies with regards to migration.
Immigration policies can include national or international policies (or both) and can cover a variety of subjects that are tied specifically to immigration, such as human rights. Courses in this subject explain the legal status of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and explore topics related to these groups of people including citizenship processes, deportation procedures, and individual rights, to name a few. The courses also cover how these immigration policies are created, shaped, and implemented. In this subject, the student can expect to discover the legal definitions and terms associated with the different immigrant groups and what protections are afforded to these groups under law.
Courses in the area of forced migration hone in on those immigrant groups which do not voluntarily migrate to their new host countries, and the various reasons why these groups are forced to migrate. In these courses, students can expect to learn about the numerous international occurrences that cause forced migration (such as civil and international war, human trafficking, and environmental displacement) and the corresponding legalities that arise as a result of these occurrences. These courses afford the student an in-depth understanding of global crises that create such immigrant groups as political asylees and refugees and the global legal responses to these groups.
A Masters Degree in Migration Studies would not be complete without a detailed look at the current issues that arise from immigration, whether forced or voluntary. Some programs prefer to provide students with a thorough look at current issues in a classroom setting, while others opt for practical experience through the use of internships or studying abroad. Regardless of the method used, students should expect to learn about current and emerging social, political, and economic obstacles that affect the immigrant groups and their host countries.
A graduate degree in Migration Studies, though still uncommon in the United States, offers a comprehensive and intensive look into the profound complexities that surround immigration. Students who wish to further study the phenomenon of immigration or affect immigration policy, either on a national or international level, may find a graduate degree in Migration Studies to be a valuable asset in breaking into their chosen career path.