A two-year interdisciplinary Masters Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague
This programmes focus is to provide English-speaking students with deep, interdisciplinary knowledge of transatlantic relations since 1945. After all, the security commitments entered into by the United States after the Second World War represented a turning point in American history because, from its founding in 1776, the United States carefully avoided entering into so-called entangling alliances. The post-1945 changes also deeply impacted the political and cultural relations of the United States and the rest of the world. Close attention is paid to history, politics, and diplomacy, so that students can understand the changing nature of transatlantic relations during the different phases of the Cold War and afterward. As our faculty have various areas of specialization, the student should gain a balanced, well-rounded appreciation of the complex nature of transatlantic studies. Prague is an excellent place to study the issue because the Czechs underwent a transformation from being a nation subjugated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War to one that is a full member of NATO and the European Union.
The end of the Cold War has resulted in dramatic changes in the form and substance of transatlantic relations. The main organization symbolizing transatlantic relations is NATO. Though NATO has survived as a political and military alliance, its goals have been transformed in line with new challenges and threats to peace and stability in the world. The impact of the end of the Cold War on political, cultural, and economic relations has been substantial. In fact, as many questions have been raised as problems solved. What is the goal of NATO now? Has eastern expansion of the alliance been successful and productive? How have the mutual perceptions of North Americans and Europeans of the other changed?
Transatlantic Studies is a two-year Masters programme that is fully accredited by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. The English-language audience can appreciate the Central European perspectives on transatlantic relations. The course can challenge the individual student to consider the political, social, cultural, and economic changes associated with the new global reality. Students will gain an overview of the history and the current state of transatlantic relations. Prague and the Czech Republic provide a perfect example of post-Cold War Europe.
Students will take a number of core courses designed to provide them with a general understanding of the issues involved. However, the generous selection of elective courses should help each individual student gain an area of specialization, which, in turn, will result in a scholarly Masters thesis, which can then be published if it meets the standards of our institute. Opportunities will be provided for students to make brief research trips to research centers in Europe and North America if their thesis topic warrants it. Successful graduates of the programme might like to consider a number of the doctoral programmes offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences.
After completion of the Transatlantic Studies programme, students will have a number of career options open to them. Some might like to pursue a doctorate and an academic career, but others will surely wish to enter employment straight away. Opportunities include diplomacy or civil service in their home country, employment at international organizations, the private sector, and, of course, the growing NGO (non-governmental organization) sector.
Transatlantic Studies is a two-year English-language Masters degree programme fully accredited by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. It addresses the English speaking audience with a deep and versatile exploration of the Transatlantic Euro-American cultural as well as political and geographical space.
Primary attention is paid to modern history, politics and diplomacy, as well as to fundamental social, cultural and economic problems. It also offers students the elective chance to learn or improve their knowledge of some of the Czech language.
The core courses provide an overview of crucial segments of the area from an analytical and multidisciplinary perspective, while the elective classes allow students to create their own specialisation. The aim of the programme is to help students write a Masters thesis of sufficient quality to merit publication. Through the universitys network of exchange programmes, talented students may also be offered the opportunity to make a brief research visit to another country in the area. By developing the students knowledge of the Czech milieu and language, the programme may also serve as an access-point to some of our Ph.D. programmes. The programme is deliberately structured to take advantage of the multidisciplinary nature of the Faculty, and students will be encouraged to make connections between different fields of study, learning to combine a global perspective with attention to detail and local interests. It is an excellent stepping stone in developing an academic career in any of the Facultys academic disciplines, as well as a valuable source of analytical skills and practical background knowledge that can be applied in professional life.
Academic supervisor: Doc. PhDr. Fancis D. Raka, Ph.D.
Transatlantic Studies: Course Structureand Study Requirements
Total number of all required ECTS 120 ECTS
Defence of M. A. Thesis
(Electives see article 4 paragraph 10 of Consolidated University Code of Study and Examination of Charles University in Prague)
Bachelor degree in a related field. Evidence of English-language ability (if not a native speaker).
Scholarships Administered Directly by the Faculty
Development Scholarships: University scholarships for students from developing and transition countries, directly administered by Charles University in Prague
The Developement Scholarships are available for ANY degree programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences. They offer students a 50% waiver of school fees for a maximum of two years, plus a one-off lump sum payment to cover the basic living costs. In the academic year 2014/15 we are able to provide approximately 7 of these scholarships across all of our fee based programmes. The application deadline is 30 April 2014. Applications should be sent to the Faculty of Social Sciences, together with an application for study. In principle, it is possible for students to hold the scholarship for up to two years, but because funding is provided on a year-by-year basis, we can initially only guarantee funding for the first year of studies. Further details are on our Development Scholarships page.
Government Scholarships: Czech Government scholarships for developing countries, funded and administered by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport
Please note the Faculty of Social Sciences in not part of this scheme at the moment although the discussions with the Ministry about our study programs being included are ongoing.
You will find more information about the currently eligible programs on the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport website.
The Government Scholarships were available for the Master in Economics and Finance (MEF) programme only. They offer students a 100% waiver of school fees for a maximum of two years, plus a monthly stipend to cover the basic living costs. In school year 2012/13 we have been able to accept 15 students. The application deadline is usually 15 January. Applications should be made in the student's country of origin to the nearest Czech Embassy (and NOT to the Faculty of Social Sciences). The scholarships are part of a more general scheme set up by the Czech government to fund students of Economics, Information Technology and Agriculture, and the exact division of students between these three subject areas may vary from year to year. Further details are on the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport website.
International Visegrad Fund Scholarships
The International Visegrad Fund (IVF) is a joint initiative of the governments of the four Visegrad Group countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary). It offers scholarships for study abroad, both to students from within the Visegrad group, and to neighbouring countries like Belarus and Ukraine.
The International Visegrad Fund Scholarships are available for any degree programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences. They comprise of a fixed-rate contribution of 3000 EUR towards school fees (paid direct to the university), plus two lump-sum payments (one for each semester) to help with living costs. Because school fees at the Faculty of Social Sciences are higher than the contribution from IVF, students will be expected to cover the balance of our standard school fee from other funds. Most years we accept 5-6 students with IVF funding. Application deadlines vary, depending on the exact sub-programme students are planning to use. Applications should be made direct to IVF. Scholarships are normally awarded for one year only, so students should expect that they will have to fund their second year of study from elsewhere. Students who wish to make parallel applications for both an IVF scholarship, and one of our own Development Scholarships are free to do so, but it is our policy that we will not pay out a Development Scholarship to someone who is also receiving funding from IVF. In the event that students succeed with both applications, then, they will have to choose. Further details are on the IVF website.
Special Note for US Applicants
We are aware that nowhere above do we make any mention of the standard US student loan programmes administered by the US Department of Education, on which most US students depend to fund their studies (whether at home or abroad). This is not an omission. It is, rather, a reflection of the fact that, unfortunately, we are not currently registered with USDE, either as the Faculty of Social Sciences, or at the central level as Charles University. We are also well aware that some of our Medical Faculties do have this registration, which causes much confusion among our applicants.
The reason for this anomaly is that the Medical Faculties registered with USDE in the 1990s, when the bureaucracy involved in registering as a foreign entity was relatively simple. However, the rules have since changed, making it extremely complicated for a large historic university like ours to gain a new USDE code. Thus, while we do return to the question of registering with USDE periodically, we regret that at present we are not able to offer this facility.
In answer to another commonly asked question: we also regret it is not possible to use one of the Medical Faculty codes to study at the faculty of Social Sciences, since this would be a clear breach of the terms of their registration with USDE.
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