The Master of Arts degree program in Central Asian Studies is designed to provide students with a critical understanding of past and present social, political, economic and cultural processes in Central Asia and an overview of the methodological and analytical approaches of the various academic disciplines that have shaped the production of knowledge on the region. Before graduation, students are required to demonstrate an ability to reflect upon, analyze and evaluate available or incoming information on or from Central Asia, and to be proficient in a local language at a level allowing them to conduct independent research or professional work. This is an interactive graduate program offering students the unique opportunity to pass from learning to practice and from practice to learning.
Graduates of the program will be equally prepared to enroll in social science PhD programs with a focus on Central Asia or to move seamlessly into careers in government, diplomacy, international organizations, development, journalism, and any other field that requires solid area expertise and knowledge of a local language.
The program is hosted by the Central Asian Studies Institute (CASI) of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. AUCA is an international, multi-disciplinary learning community in the American liberal arts tradition. Since its foundation in 1993, the University has proven its distinctiveness by encouraging and maintaining intellectual freedom and critical thinking. Capitalizing on its location and on its international faculty and student bodies, AUCA is determined to become the best teaching and research university in the region and a center of excellence in research on Central Asia with an increasing presence of international scholars and graduate students. Towards this end AUCA established a Central Asian Studies Institute in 2011. By bringing together local and international researchers, fostering synergy between students, faculty members and visiting scholars and by privileging multidisciplinary and comparative research projects, the Central Asian Studies Institute aims to produce innovative and responsible knowledge on the ongoing processes in the five Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and on regions bordering them. Students enrolled in the MA degree program in Central Asian Studies become part of a vibrant academic and research community and are offered the possibility, through an ongoing series of meetings, lectures, seminars and round tables, to meet key political actors and experts and to get in touch with a variety of visiting scholars.
Further enquiries on the program can be addressed to Christopher Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org).