Third cohort students of the Dual Degree Master`s Program defended their theses


MOSCOW. JUNE 22. PIR PRESS. – «Active involvement of the organizing partners, academic advisors, and instructors of the Dual Degree Master`s Program allows us to maintain a high level, dynamics, and quality of the educational process. Students of the program continue to show impressive results, and the recent master's thesis defense is a good confirmation of that», – Educational Program Director of PIR Center Yulia Sych.

On June 15 and 16 master`s theses defense of the third cohort students of the international Dual Degree Master`s Program in Nonproliferation Studies took place. The program is running jointly by PIR Center, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and the Middlebury Institute of international studies at Monterey (MIIS).

16 students from Russia, the USA, Canada, Ireland and Spain presented their final qualification papers, that they worked on during the program in 2018-2020. The thesis defense was traditionally held in the form of a video conference, as some students are still doing their internships, staying in different parts of the world.

The state qualification commission was headed by its Chairman Gen. Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Board member of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, PIR Center`s Executive Board member, and consisted of 5 members: Gen. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the Executive Board of PIR Center, Dr. Mikhail Lysenko, Associate Professor at the International Law Department at MGIMO, Dr. Alexandr Nikitin, Professor at the Political Sciences Department at MGIMO, Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation, Professor of the MGIMO Department of Applied International Political Analysis, Director of PIR Center,  Dr. Aleksey Ubeev, member of the Advisory Board of PIR Center. The commission was moderated by its Secretary Yulia Sych, PIR Center`s Educational Program Director.

During the defense of master's theses by the students, the American side was represented by Dr. Jeffrey Knopf, Program Manager at Monterey, and Dr. William Potter, Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at MIIS.

Active involvement of the students` academic advisors, equally from the Russian and American sides, in the hearing and subsequent discussion of the theses made a significant contribution to the work of the qualification commission.

The commission worked hard throughout the course of master's thesis defense, and the result of the evaluations was sometimes born in heated discussions. However, the wide range of topics and the quality of presentations demonstrated by the students pleasantly surprised and inspired members of the commission who trained the undergraduates along their entire path, and who at that point had the opportunity to see the fruits of their work, assessing the intellectual growth and students` development during the program.

The students spent an intensive first semester at MGIMO. During the second and third semesters, they studied at MIIS (Monterey), and during the fourth, semester they finalized their master's theses and conducted internships in international organizations and national agencies, leading expert centers and companies in Moscow, New York, Washington, Geneva, Prague, and other centers for nuclear energy development, nonproliferation, and international affairs.

Regarding the results of the thesis defense, 10 students received an A grade, 4 students got a B grade, and 2 others received a C. High level of several papers was expressly registered by the members of the commission, and students were encouraged to continue further development of their topics as a part of their PhD dissertations.

16 graduates of 2020 will receive two diplomas as they are deservedly awarded master's degrees in International Relations from MGIMO and Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies from the Middlebury Institute.

We congratulate the third cohort graduates on the completion of the Dual Degree Master`s Program in Nonproliferation Studies and wish them all the success in their professional life ahead.

Read more about the program on the website  

For all questions related to the Dual Degree Master`s Program, you may contact Educational Program Director of PIR Center Yulia Sych by e-mail [email protected] or tel.+7 (499) 940 09 83.