Online Master of Arts in International Studies: China

Online courses begin May 2017

The Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) accelerated degree program at Concordia University offers graduate students a unique opportunity to interact with the people of China, understand who they are, how they think, and build relationships in a country that is setting pace for the future of the world. Our immersive program allows you to choose from three concentrations: International Business, International Education, and International Development. Concordia seeks to train business students, non-profit leaders, & educators into world-class professionals who are prepared to learn, serve, & lead.

At a Glance
Units: 36
Average Completion Time: 12-18 Months
Cost Per Unit: $635
Total Cost of Program: $23,180
Accreditation: WASC
Language: No prior Mandarin required

Live & Work in China

The online Master of International Studies program prepares you to work or intern in China, conduct research for your capstone project, and negotiate living in a new culture. Our Master in International Studies is one of the only graduate programs where you get paid while earning your master's degree. The International Business concentration prepares business professionals to successfully navigate the dynamic and diverse global landscape of entrepreneurship and enterprise. The International Education concentration prepares educators to successfully navigate the dynamic and diverse global contexts for teaching and learning. The International Development concentration prepares international non-profit (NPO) and non-government (NGO) agents to successfully navigate the dynamic and diverse global contexts for sustainable economic development and social responsibility.

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Delivery options.

Fully online. You can complete the program and earn your master's degree fully online. We demonstrate our care for students in how we build and develop our online courses that are user-friendly and highly interactive.

Blended delivery is offered for MAIS 592 (Fall), MAIS 593 (Spring), MAIS 510-A (Fall), MAIS-510B(Spring), MAIS 511(Fall), and MAIS 512 (Spring).

The flexibility in delivery allows you to complete the courses and the program requirements while continuing on with what matters in life. It also facilitates experiential learning in that you get to apply what's learned in the classroom to the workplace and life in general.

Technology Requirements

Technology Requirements

We want to be sure you are set-up for success as you begin the online Master’s program for International Studies. Below is a chart of the minimum requirements and recommended technology so you are able to complete your assignments, access the digital library and resource websites, correspond with professors and colleagues, and conduct your capstone research.

Required (minimum) Recommended
Hardware & Peripherals Laptop with Intel Core i5 Laptop with Intel Core i7
8 GB RAM 4 GB RAM
120 GB Hard Drive 250 GB Hard Drive
802.11 a/n/g wireless 10/100 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Ethernet
10" XGA Display 14" WXGA Display
Web-Cam, Microphone, Speakers Web-Cam, Microphone, Speakers
128MB Graphic Card 256MB Graphics Card
CD/DVD Drive DVD+/-RW
  Inkjet or Laser Printer
  Scanner (highly recommended)
Software & Applications Microsoft Office 2010 (PC) or
Microsoft 2011 (Mac)
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Power Point
Microsoft Office 2013 (PC) or
Microsoft 2011 (Mac)
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Power Point
Skype (latest version) Skype (latest version)
Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari (latest version) Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari (latest version)
Adobe Reader (latest version) Adobe Reader (latest version)
  Anti-Virus Application
Windows or MacOS version compatible with the software above and with Statplus Pro (will
be provided in Statistics course)
Windows or MacOS version compatible with the software above and with Statplus Pro (will
be provided in Statistics course)

Core Curriculum

The curriculum design includes core courses and area of concentration courses, allowing you to choose to emphasize in International Business, International Development, or International Education. Upon successful course completion during the Summer semester, students will receive their Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certification before going to China. No GRE/GMAT or prior Mandarin language skills are required.

  • Summer Term I
  • 12 Units
  • MAIS 501: Chinese Culture & Society
  • 3
This interdisciplinary course will provide insight into China’s contemporary culture and social issues by studying its geography, history, linguistics, socioeconomic demographics, economics and politics, social system, and philosophy/religion. Examining a broad range of topics, the course will help students better understand the Chinese people and the economic and social transformation that China is currently undergoing.
  • MAIS 502: Comparative Research Methods
  • 3
Students will acquire fundamental research skills that can be applied to an international context. These include case study, surveys, interviews, and other qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Students will also learn how to create a literature review, and subsequently, to utilize that knowledge to formulate a research plan. Data analysis will be introduced using StatPlus Software. An overview of APA Style and MAIS Thesis policies will be covered in this course.
  • MAIS 528: TESOL Certificate Class
  • 3
This course provides a foundation in TESOL, including second language acquisition theories, methods and techniques for the classroom, lesson planning, and language assessment. It also gives students the opportunity to engage in observation of mentor teachers and peer teachers-in-training, deliver lessons, and obtain instructor and peer feedback on those lessons. At the end, the classroom management plan, including the individual TESOL teaching philosophy, will be drafted. [Course may be waived if qualification requirements are met.]
  • MAIS 520: Foundations of Chinese Education – Education concentration
  • 3
This course provides the context for understanding how education has evolved in China. Students will discover the methods of instruction most prevalent in China as compared to Western teaching methods. Furthermore, the cognitive, social, moral and psychological development of students in China will be examined, particularly in comparison to that of students in the US. Topics such as human learning, achievement, motivation, conduct and attitude will also be covered. This course prepares prospective teachers for the Chinese classroom experience.
  • MAIS 530: Foundations of Chinese Business – Business concentration
  • 3
This seminar addresses world economic topics including globalization, emerging markets, supply and demand, comparative economic development, control and democratic regimes, and international trade. China’s emerging role as the world’s largest economy, based on its unprecedented economic and social transformation will be examined along with its integration into the community of trading partners. We discuss how China sees herself and her role in the world, as well as aspects of doing business in China.
  • MAIS 540: Foundation of International Development - Development concentration
  • 3
Starting with a general survey of the history, sociology, and economics of international development in China, students develop an intimate understanding of best practices and approaches to NPO & NGO work in China. The knowledge and skills developed in this foundational course will prepare students for their practicum work in China.
  • Fall Term I
  • 10 Units
  • MAIS 503: Ethnographic Research
  • 3
In this course, students will continue to progress through the research strand. They will have an opportunity to put into practice and take to the field the research skills learned in MAIS 502. In this course, students will explore contemporary economic, social, and political issues impacting China through replication studies that evaluate documented data and results from the course text (The Return of the God of Wealth: The Transition to a Market Economy in Urban China by Charlotte Ikels). This course will also provide exposure to a diverse array of viable topics for students to focus their own Masters Thesis on. Students will write a draft and submit their Thesis Proposal and contact potential Advisors.
  • MAIS 510-A: Basic Chinese Language (Blended) (not available to IB-LI students)
  • 1
This course is designed for students with no prior background/experience in Chinese language. It focuses on developing students' basic conversation skills in Mandarin Chinese, preparing them to communicate effectively during their stay in China. This course also introduces basic reading and writing in Chinese. Those with some prior Mandarin skills, but not proficient enough to be waived out, will register in the beginning-intermediate level course. The purpose of the course is to improve and enhance students' communication skills on listening, speaking, reading and writing. [Course may be waived if placed out by testing.]
  • MAIS 592: Teaching Practicum I (Blended)
    or MAIS 511: Beginning-Intermediate Chinese Language (4 units, available only to IB-LI students) 3 / 4 (Blended)
  • 3
Teaching Practicum I This course provides students with the opportunity to apply and implement teaching principles, activities, strategies, and assessment techniques while teaching in a cross-cultural EFL classroom environment in China. It focuses on providing students with experiences as educational practitioners and then building upon these experiences in a reflective, collaborative, and action-oriented manner. Teaching experiences will be analyzed and assessed through classroom observations, lesson plans, reflective journaling, discussions on Blackboard, application of ideas learned through readings, practicum instructor evaluations, a teaching video, primary research in the school setting, and an onsite employer evaluation. Two times per semester, an instructor will attend and evaluate each student's teaching performance.

Beginning-Intermediate Chinese Language
The course is designed for students and professionals who are going to live and/or work in China. The purpose of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to improve their Mandarin language skills from a beginning to intermediate level. Class time focus will consist of approximately 50% listening & speaking and 50% reading & writing. The course will take place on the campus of our partner university in China. Students in the IB-Language & Internship option must register for this course in Fall in lieu of MAIS 592. Course waiver is not available.
  • MAIS 525: Environmental & Instructional Design – Education concentration
  • 3
This course focuses on the design of effective, appropriate, and positive classroom environments and instructional strategies for students from diverse backgrounds and learning modalities. Students in the course acquire skills in lesson planning, classroom management, and assessment. The frameworks that are utilized include, but are not limited to, backward planning, Vygotsky’s Scaffolded Learning, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • MAIS 531: Global Economics and Enterprise – Business concentration
  • 3
This course presents an overview of the dynamics of the global marketplace with an emphasis on China. Topics include geopolitical influences on economic success; branding, positioning, promoting and selling in the Chinese marketplace; financing the foreign enterprise, intellectual property protection and logistics. Students will apply their knowledge of these theories to market analysis and business planning, analyzing the multiple internal and external factors that must be addressed for economic success of the multinational enterprise.
  • MAIS 541: Social Change & Project Management – Development concentration
  • 3
Methodologies and strategies appropriate to diverse Chinese contexts, both urban and rural, are developed through practical and experiential implementations of development theories and research. Site visits to existing service project venues will be organized in collaboration with local NGO’s and NPO’s.
  • Spring Term I
  • 10 Units
  • MAIS 504: Data Analysis
  • 3
Students will submit IRB applications, collect survey data, and apply quantitative data analysis - with a focus on descriptive statistics and simple inferential statistics. Students will be required to build on their research from MAIS 503 by either utilizing data that was already gathered through the ethnography or collecting additional quantitative data sufficient to run analyses on. By the end of the semester, students will submit the first draft of their thesis which includes an Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Data Analysis, and Conclusions.
  • MAIS 510-B: Basic Chinese Language (Blended) (not available to IB-LI students)
  • 1
This course is designed for students with no prior background/experience in Chinese language. It focuses on developing students' basic conversation skills in Mandarin Chinese, preparing them to communicate effectively during their stay in China. This course also introduces basic reading and writing in Chinese. Those with some prior Mandarin skills, but not proficient enough to be waived out, will register in the beginning-intermediate level course. The purpose of the course is to improve and enhance students' communication skills on listening, speaking, reading and writing. [Course may be waived if placed out by testing.]
  • MAIS 593: Teaching Practicum II (Blended)
    or MAIS 512: Intermediate-Advanced Chinese Language (Blended) (4 units, available only to IB-LI students) 3 / 4
  • 3
Teaching Practicum II This course provides students additional opportunity to apply and implement teaching principles and activities while teaching in a cross-cultural EFL classroom environment in China. It focuses on providing students with experiences as educational practitioners and then building upon these experiences in a reflective, collaborative, and action-oriented manner. Teaching experiences will be analyzed and assessed through practicum instructor teaching evaluations, lesson plans, reflective journaling, self-assessment and action plans to improve teaching, peer discussions, interactions with readings, a teaching video, primary research in the school setting, and an artistic piece representative of the teaching experience. Two times per semester, an instructor will attend and evaluate each student's teaching performance.

Intermediate-Advanced Chinese Language The course is designed for students and professionals who are going to live and/or work in China. The purpose of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to improve their Mandarin language skills from an intermediate to advanced level. Class time focus will consist of approximately 50% listening & speaking and 50% reading & writing. The course will take place on the campus of our partner university in China. Students in the IB-Language & Internship option must register for this course in Fall in lieu of MAIS 593. Course waiver is not available.
  • MAIS 527: Literacy and Language Acquisition – Education concentration
  • 3
The primary objective of this course is to familiarize students with factors (both micro and macro) that affect the acquiring of a language. Utilizing a framework that examines the intersection of language, culture, and cognition, students will study individual (micro) differences in language development and acquisition alongside pertinent external, cultural, political, and economic (macro) issues. Insight gained from this investigation will allow them to improve their instructional practice.
  • MAIS 533: International Management & Leadership – Business concentration
  • 3
In this course, students will study the inner workings of Chinese companies by examining them through the lenses of the mechanistic/bureaucratic perspective, the human relations perspective, the political perspective, the cultural perspective and the management perspective. These multiple perspectives along with original field research will provide the substance for projects in group leadership and business planning.
  • MAIS 542: Social Policy & Sustainability – Development Concentration
  • 3
The International Development Concentration curriculum concludes with an investigation of strategies for creating enduring change that persists beyond the length of a given intervention or action, fostering local ownership, policy change and sustainable development. These require knowledge of meta-level factors and players as well as grass-roots, community-based mobilization and training paradigms.
  • Summer Term II
  • 4 Units
  • MAIS 600: Thesis Writing
  • 4
Students will select or be assigned to a faculty advisor and be engaged in completing their research project by editing and publishing a final research paper that will meet the professional standards of validity, reliability and credibility. Each MAIS 600 course includes a free extension (Summer+Fall; Spring+Summer) and is approximately 8 months in length. Students who do not file their Master’s Thesis at the end of the Summer/Fall term may repeat the Research Writing course one additional time in the Spring/Summer Term by re-registering for 4 additional units.
  • Fall Term II (if necessary)
  • 0 Units
  • MAIS 600E: Thesis Writing Extension
  • 0
If necessary to complete the Thesis, a one-time, one-term extension is provided without an additional tuition charge/fee (only available for students enrolled in the Summer Term II MAIS 600 course).
Students who do not file their Master's Thesis at the end of the Fall Term II may repeat the Research Writing course in the Spring Term II for 4 additional units at the full tuition fee. Students not completing their Thesis during the Spring Term II will receive Summer III for free. Students not completing their theses by the end of the Summer Term III will be dropped from the program.

MAIS + MBA Program

The Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) + Master of Business Administration (MBA) Joint Degree Program enables students to receive two separate diplomas where graduate students can count up to 16 units of coursework completed in the MAIS program toward the completion of their MBA degree. Students have the opportunity to complete all requirements for both degrees in as little as two years of full-time study, compared to 3+ years for the MBA and MAIS programs if taken separately.

Dr. Eugene Paul Kim
Director of MAIS

Personal Interaction with Faculty

Our faculty and staff come from diverse backgrounds and fields but what they share is real world experience, extraordinary expertise, a faith-based perspective, and a commitment to our students and their success. Our team includes administrators, faculty and staff in Irvine, CA stateside, and Shanghai, China overseas. When it comes time to write your thesis, you will work one-on-one with a faculty thesis advisor who will provide oversight, counsel, and collaboration in this culminating project of your MAIS experience.

More Faculty

Tuition and fees.

Let us help you advance your career and obtain your next level of education. Concordia University will give you a scholarship totaling $1,000 towards your your first term when you enroll in the Master of Arts: International Studies program. Students who teach English will be provided with a work visa, a monthly salary plus housing or a housing allowance, and airfare reimbursed by your employer in China. International Business students who pursue the Language & Internship option will be provided with a student visa, with other expenses built into the financial aid package. For more information about financial aid, please call us at (949) 214-3280.

Tuition and fees are listed here for your convenience, but are subject to change without notice.

Tuition/Fee Amount
Application Fee (nonrefundable) $50
International Application Processing Fee $150
Graduation Fee graduation fee
Tuition $635/unit

Apply now.

We are still accepting applications for Summer 2017. Admission will be based on applicant's qualifications and space availability.

The admission process for acceptance to the MAIS program involves three steps.

  1. The prospective candidate submits a Graduate Application for Admission.
  2. The prospective candidate submits their Resume, a Statement of Intent, References and a copy of a valid U.S. Passport.
  3. The prospective candidate will be invited to schedule an interview in-person or via Skype.

Get Started Today.

Have questions about Concordia University's online MAIS? Not sure how to get started? Fill out the form below, and one of our admissions counselors will get in touch with you.