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Department curriculum

HOMEAcademic Information For Prospective StudentsDept.Curriculum/ RequirementsDepartment curriculum

Course Outline for NGO Studies Students

Introduction of NGO Studies

A dramatical change occurred in global politics due to global civil society movements and key actors of global civil society are Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). NGOs deal with development issues, the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the information technology revolution, climate change, questions of democracy and human rights in local, national and global levels.
NGOs are now at the forefront of multidisciplinary academic debates such as the role of government and international organizations in the very complex and interconnected politics. Also NGOs and Non-Profit Sectors go beyond the domestic boundary into the realm of global governance. In the NGO studies program, you will learn about the relationships between academic debates and the everyday practices and policies of NGO and civil society, the NGO Studies program seeks to develop domestic as well as international networking by combining theory and practice in this field of study. For this purpose, NGO studies provide prospective students a broad categories of subjects ranging from managerial skills for NGO organizations and NGO cooperation with international organizations.
activities: 1_ NGO and Civil Society, related subjects including Social Movements and Civic Education.
                  2_ NGO and Global Governance, related subjects including International Cooperation and International Organizations.
                  3_ NGO and Policy, related subjects including Public Policy and Governance, and fourth, NGO and Management, related subjects including Human Resource Management, Social Marketing, and Financing.
Accompanying these academic and theoretical aspirations, AJOU GSIS seeks to offer more practical opportunities related to NGO activities in South Korea and international society, connecting students with international NGOs. Anyone who is interested in developmental projects of developing countries, anyone with the intention of working with world, is all eligible for NGO studies at AJOU GSIS.

Recommended Sequence of the subject

Recommended Sequence of the subject
Semester Required Elective Korean Studies/
Reseach Credits
# of Credits Recommended
1st Semester

NGO Introduction


NGO and Global



Qualitative Research Methods


Quantitative Research Methods



Beginning Korean Language 1

9 – 12

2nd Semester

NGO and Global



Civil Society and the State


1 Subject


Qualitative Research Methods


Quantitative Research Methods


12 – 15

3rd Semester

Civil Society and the State


1 Subject

2 -3
Research 1

9 – 12

4th Semester     Research 2 3 Credits
Total 4 Subjects
(12 Credits)
5 Subjects
(15 Credits)


(3 Credits) +


(6 Credits)

36 Credits
* Non-Thesis Track students MUST take 27 credits from the Elective Courses
* Graduation Credit Requirements: 36 Credits or 30 Credits + Thesis(6credits)
* Students who enter into Ajou University since 2014 spring semester should take “Beginning
   Korean Language 1” in the first semester. (GSIS Academic Committee decided)
* Methods will be offered in every spring semester. If you would like to graduate with writing a
   thesis, please take “Quantitative Research Methods” OR “Qualitative Research Methods” in your
  1st semester or 2nd semester.
1. Courses in Korean Studies(3 credits)
1. Courses in Korean Studies(3 credits)
Course Title Credits Description
Korean History 3 The purpose of this lecture is to understand Korean history systematically from the viewpoints of universal development and struggle for national independence in East Asian and world history.
Contemporary Korean Society 3 This course is designed to give students an overview of contemporary Korean society. We will examine the process and cultural backgrounds of economic development, and some of the social outcomes and new challenges coming from the transition
Beginning Korean 
Language 1
The goal of this class is that the foreign students will have
the abilities to communicate in their daily lives in Korean
through understanding the Korean general culture.

Beginning Korean

Language 2

The goal of this class is that the foreign students will have
the abilities to communicate in their daily lives in Korean
through understanding the Korean general culture. Students
can practice Korean language in a diverse environment
besides the basic communication.

* Please choose 1 out of 4



2. Required courses (12 credits)
2. Required courses (6 credits)
Course Title Credits Description

<Option A>

Qualitative Research Design and Methods
This course is designed for students who are beginning their
dissertation projects. The aim of the course is to give
students the tools to conceptualize their theses in terms of
research questions and design, methodology, data collection,
and qualitative analysis. In doing so, this course focuses
more narrowly on the issues, problems, and strategies
related to "small-N" qualitative research, for the most part
setting aside the techniques of large-N statistical analysis,
which is presumed best to be taught in a separate course.
Students will read and discuss texts related to theory
formation and hypothesis testing; creating variables and
measurement; descriptive and causal inference; longitudinal,
comparative case study research; field data collection;
working with texts and analyzing qualitative data; and, finally,
dissertation write-up. This course is divided into four main
parts focusing on the following topics: (1) the goals of social
science and elements of research design; (2) selecting and
application of different methodologies for conducting
research; (3) collection of primary and secondary data on
the field; and (4) analysis and synthesis of qualitative data in
the dissertation-writing process.

<Option B>

Quantitative Research Design and Methods
This Course deals with the general logic of scientific inquiry,
research design, sampling, measurement, statistical inference,
causal analyses, rational choice theory, and game theory. By the
end of this course, you should be able to conceptualize a
research problem and develop a number of complementary
design, measurement, and data collection approaches to bring
evidence to bear on the problem. In this course, you will also learn
to apply economic reasoning and game theory to interactive
situations, that is, to situations in which (1) people have
conflicting goals and (2) are affected in important ways by each
other's actions. We will use game theory to understand when and
how the incentives of individuals can work against the interests of
the group, and how this kind of problem can be overcome.
First, in this course, students will learn the concept and
historical lineages of NGOs. Second, situating NGOs in
globalizing world, we will look over many aspects of NGOs
like Global Governance & NGOs, Global Civil Society &
NGOs, and Global Environmental Crisis & NGOs, etc. Third,
focusing on contemporary South Korea, we will deal with
many activities initiated by Korean NGOs. Finally, each
student will choose particular NGO, delve into the activities
of that NGO, and make presentation on that topic in the last
phase of this semester.

NGO and

Global Cooperation

3 The objective of this course, learning the activities of international NGOs, is three-fold. First, the course will look at the states of contemporary international NGOs in terms of their working environment, structure, value, and impact. Second, it will explore three exemplary issues in international politics, particularly in developing nations, where activities of NGOs are widely felt and appreciated. Third, it will also deal with the actions and contributions that international NGOs have made to help manage the consequences of globalization under the newly emergent concept of global civil society. By taking this course the students are expected to understand the significance and implications of international NGOs, and to grasp some crucial dimensions of the contemporary NGO phenomenon on a global level.
Civil Society and the State 3 This course will present political philosophies and theories on the relationship between civil society and the state. Therefore, it will deal in detail with the controversial arguments of the relationship between social justice and new liberalism (or) authoritarianism, between mass democracy and enlightened civil politics, and between social capital and public good.
* NGO/IDC Students can register 2 Required courses.
* Students can choose Quantitative Research Methods OR Qualitative Research Methods
  according to the way to approach to write the thesis.
3. Elective courses (21 credits)

Civil Society Related Courses

Civil Society Related Courses
Course Title Credits Description
Corporate Citizenship 3 Companies have usually been the main target of critics and protest. However, the new role of NGO also includes partnership with companies, emphasizing that companies are not only profit centers but also socially-accountable actors. This concept will expand the partnership between NGOs and companies while transitioning the company from the private sector to the public sector, creating a more globalized and more responsible company. This also activates global or transnational cooperation and partnership between NGOs and companies. This new challenge for modern NGOs necessitates both global and local perspectives, profit and non-profit values and private and public accountabilities. In this context, this course will deal with the new challenges facing NGOs regarding global capitalism, new social services from companies and partnerships built on the concept of corporate citizenship.
Social Movements in the Age of Information. 3 The course considers the role of social movements led by NGOs working within the global political economy. Through a variety of case studies, the course focuses on the changing nature of the issues and strategies of social movements within a theoretical, conceptual and practical framework. The course considers the interrelationships between social movements and key forms of globalization at the local, national and global sites of contemporary politics. Key lecture topics are as follows: (1) course introduction; (2) defining social movements; (3) conceptualizing social movements in theory and practice; (4) social movements in historical context - strategies and tactics; (5) social movements in the study of international relations - from realism to critical theory; (6) global issue 1 - social movements and development; (7) global issue 2 - social movements and democracy; (8) global issue 3 - social movements and ethics; (9) from the local to the global - high technology and the geopolitics of social movements.

Governance Related Courses

Governance Related Courses
Course Title Credits Description
and Governance
3 This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn how governance is theoretically explained and practically functions. To do so, the course deals with topics like theory on NGO and governance, government and governance, civil society and governance, market and governance, global governance, limits and prospect of governance, etc. The course consists of lecture and seminar.

Globalization Related Courses

Globalization Related Courses
Course Title Credits Description
NGO and International Organization 3 In the globalized era, NGOs become more motivated and increasingly expand their sphere of influence, along with international organizations such as the United Nations, posing themselves as its partners, experts, and advisors and setting the stage for global governance. This course deals with such international actors as NGOs, international organizations, other multilateral institutions, and corporations, probing their capabilities and the limitations in promoting their collaboration for collective and global action. Relevant issues of global scale are addressed along with the relationships between the international actors to understand the dynamics of global governance.
Political Economy of
the State and International
The introductory course is broad based to introduce
students of NGO/IDC core themes of the study of politics
and economics. We will consider a variety of key books and
thinkers including approaches, concepts and scenarios and
policies. The course will enable students to understand the
emerging patterns and trends of key actors in a world of
increasing interconnectedness and globalization. Key
thinkers and copies of key articles/texts will be provided as
photocopies or PDF’s identified in order to give a foundation
and reading library for student’s future work in IDC/NGO.

Management Related Courses

Management Related Courses
Course Title Credits Description
and Leadership in NGO
3 This course aims to provide a conceptual understanding of social resources and strategies for NGOs and help understand specialized components like human resource management, leadership effectiveness and cooperative networks among NGOs, governments, companies and people. This course also expects that graduate students experience the strategy of NGOs by personally completing field research and/or simulation through their ideas and imagination. This work is supposed to enhance the ability to design NGOs’ strategies, mobilizing social resources and evaluating the whole process. Through planning and discussion of the strategies, students will naturally understand the uniqueness of NGO leadership; for example, what is different from the political leadership or CEO leadership or what kinds of virtue are essentially necessary.
The Security of NGO & International Organization 3 This course considers the security environment of NGOs and International Organizations. This security environment has changed from the traditional humanitarian operations such as e.g. UN peacekeeping operations in the Balkans in the 1990s to today’s NATO stabilization operations in Afghanistan. The course will address both the actual security challenges of NGOs and International Organizations and how these may be addressed at a more conceptual and theoretical level. With respect to NGOs, the course will examine the unique threats to NGO staff and how these may be mitigated. The course will analyze these issues from both a conceptual and theoretical level and by way of practical case studies
Applications and Cases in International Development 3 This course has two objectives: first, to systematically explore the nature of change in the development process and of the associated role of policy and institutional design; and second, to illustrate the use of the range of concepts and techniques learned in other MPA/ID core courses in the diagnosis of development change. This will include the normative analysis of change (applying various concepts of well-being, efficiency, social justice and proverty), the application of economic concepts (to the interpretation of household and firm behavior, strategic interactions and economy-wide patterns), and the role of political, governmental and social behaviour in shaping  the  possibilities  for,  drivers  of  and  resistance  to change. This class will have a mixture of discussion of overall patterns  backed  by  a  strong  focus  on  case  studies  in particular country settings. 

Issues in Devlopment:

Theory and Practice

3 This  course  is  offered  with  two  purposes:  First  one  is  to make a broad overview on macro developmental perspectives (modernization  vs.  dependency)  and  to  look  into  real-world developmental  strategies  adopted  by  non-Western  countries from comparative and political economy point of view. Role of the state, specific industrialization policy adopted by the state and the changing environments of Third World development in terms of globalization and global environmental issues are topics to be discussed in this part of the study. Second one is  to  make  students  familiar  with  several  dimensions  of so-called  “development  issue”,  regarding  democratization, gender, urbanization, agrarian problem to name a few. Other related  and  no  less  important  relevant  topics  are  military, religion, ethnicity, revolution, which we will discuss as far as time permits.
The Social Marketing and Finance of NGO 3 Social Marketing can be understood to persuade people to have the commitment or to make contributions to public works or NGO activities. This course will deal with marketing principles and techniques to influence target audiences according to specific public agendas which NGOs want to raise. Social marketing eventually will help people to voluntarily accept, reject, modify, or abandon a behavior for the benefit of individuals, groups, or society as a whole. In this course, the main targets for social marketing of NGOs will be local people, local and central government, company, mass media, and global organizations. Also, finance, which is critically important to non-profit organizations, is very closely related to the outcome of social marketing.
Volunteer Management and Civic Education 3 This course is designed to understand the voluntary sector as the main human resource of NGOs with a focus on the unique concerns of community engagement and volunteer involvement in the work of non-profit and public sector organizations. Also, this class will deal with civic education to encourage ordinary people as well as volunteers and activists to strengthen civil society and to create a more human and friendly social fabric. Attention will be given to an exploration of all the roles of volunteers working within community groups in order to support and facilitate citizen involvement.
ODA: Theory and Practice 3 Types of ODA are varied depending on the number of donors (bilateral or multilateral) and the forms of assistance (loans or grants). Understanding the complicated inter-governmental processes requires information on basic political theories both international and domestic. Recently cultural and normative inquiries are also added to the traditional material-scientific approaches. Practically, however, an ODA research tends to be case-dependent and therefore should be “multi-dimensional” or “cross-cutting” by its scholarly nature. Major areas of investigation are, though not limited to: foreign aid policy, socio-economic conditions, and regional integrations.
Development Project Management 3 This course is about the modes and mechanisms through which development assistance is channeled, via investment in developing countries, for the promotion of a wide range of development including agricultural and rural, environment, education, ICT, health, local and regional development. It is thus primarily about the rationale, context, and methods of planning, appraising and evaluating development projects and programmes. Projects and programmes are widely used when attempting to allocate limited resources for specific development purposes as effectively as possible, and a core part of the module is on methods for appraising the financial and economic efficiency of rural and agricultural development projects. These methods of appraisal are informed by economic theories and, in particular, those of applied welfare economics. While the module emphasizes financial and economic efficiency, other important issues in assessing project design and impact are presented. Planning and management techniques for the project cycle are covered; including project identification and logical framework analysis. Approaches for social and environmental appraisal of projects are also reviewed. Finally, a guide to project and programme monitoring and evaluation is provided. This course aims to nurture future development consultants and practitioners ? from private business, government departments, international development agencies, NGOs and academic institutions? who would like to work in the delivery and management of development assistance projects and public sector investment for various sectors in development fields? In this course, you ought to be involved directly with your own project work in your future workplaces. Even if not directly involved, you are likely to have contact with particular projects and need to know something of how they work. The emphasis we have selected does not mean that you can become an expert in project design or appraisal simply by doing this module alone, although it does aim to provide a solid initial basis for project work and to make you an effective member of a project or programme design team.
Introduction to International Development and Cooperation 3 The course is a topical and theoretical approach to international development and cooperation studies. The course will provide students with political, economic, social and environmental dimensions of development and cooperation through a multidisciplinary approach. Trying to incorporate theories and viewpoints from multiple disciplines from political science to economics, it aims to provide a well-rounded view of development as well as actors and precise issues of international cooperation.  The course is divided into three parts: (1) an overview of key theories and subject perspectives, (2) a presentation of the key actors, and (3) and exploration of contemporary issues in international development and cooperation. Since the course combines theoretical, practical, and multidisciplinary approaches to development, it will give students an overview and deeper understanding of essential ideas and knowledge of development and cooperation. This course is designed for students seeking to work in national/international public agencies, NGOs, private voluntary organization dealing with development and cooperation issues.
Development Strategies and Analysis 3 The purpose of this course is to help students understand theoretical as well as practical approaches to economic development of developing countries. The course is organized into five major issues, dealing first with the meaning and objectives of development followed by the analysis of obstacles to and general requirements for economic development. The leading theories of growth and development such as the Harrod- Domar model, Lewis model, and Solow model are discussed in order to derive theoretical and policy implications for economic development. After a critical review of theories of development and growth, alternative development strategies and policies are described, discussing their theoretical backgrounds, detailed policy measures, and limitations and usefulness. Finally, it is attempted to make a historical overview of Korea’s development strategy in the past four decades, discussing in detail how it evolved in response to changing economic environments and what are its major features and lessons to be drawn from the Korean experience  (development strategy)

International Relations Related  Courses

General Courses
Course Title Credits Description
Cross Cultural Management 3 The purpose of this course is to help students understand the complexity and dynamics of doing business across national borders. Cross-national management is quite a challenge because of cultural differences that affect business and management practices. Successful cross-national management, therefore, requires a good understanding of cultural differences. Effective global (or cross-national) managers should have the global mind-set, perspectives and attitudes. Furthermore, they should be trained with important cross-cultural management skills such as: (1) cultural awareness and sensitivity, (2) cross-cultural communication and interaction, (3) managing diversity, (4) cross-cultural negotiation, and (5) cross-cultural adaptation. This course is designed around these five cross-cultural skills.
International Relations
This course offers theoretical aspects of international relations covering traditional, Contemporary and post-modern approaches, and examines
their assumptions and key concepts. The relevant issues
such as international security, political economy, foreign
policy-making, diplomacy and negotiation, and so forth are
introduced and discussed
International Negotiations
The course deals with the art and science of achieving your
objectives in interdependent relationships, both within and
outside your company. The class is experientially taught
and students are given feedback about their negotiation
skills. Topics include cross-cultural negotiation, dispute
resolution, coalition formation and multiparty negotiations,
extremely competitive negotiations and negotiating via
information technology.
International Political Economy 3
The first aim of the course is to familiarize students with the
theoretical and conceptual tools that will help make sense
of International Political Economy (IPE), International
Relations (IR) and World Politics (WP). Students will thus
be introduced to differing perspectives on IPE, IR and WP
and introduced to different ways of interpreting and
understanding those three sectors. The second aim is to
encourage students to develop and consolidate critical and
evaluative skills including conceptual and analytical abilities.
A further aim of the course is to make students familiar with
International Organizations 3 The course begins with a foundational overview of the origins, development, financing, structure and role of the United Nations and other international organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This course is designed for students who wish to undertake advanced work concerning the United Nations or other international organizations. The issues that will be covered include the purpose of the multitude of UN affiliated organizations, the UN Security Council, the reform of the UN and the expanding role of international organizations, including those engaged in international development.
International Law 3
This course examines public international law - what
diplomats and scholars once referred to as the "law of
nations," - ideas about sovereignty, self-determination,
legitimate war, humanitarian intervention, economic aid,
and human rights - that began in Europe's colonialization of
the New World and developed over time as it has matured
and evolved to adapt to today's complex and
interdependent world. It begins by considering fundamental
questions about the nature of international law - the
subjects and sources of international law, its origins in the
sovereign equality of states, and the limits on authoritative
interpretation and the enforcement of international law. It
explores core international law concepts and issues such as
state responsibility, the law of treaties, and the bases for
states to exercise jurisdiction. It then looks at a series of
international law topics and issues, including some of
particular interest today, such as mechanisms for the
settlement of international disputes, the law governing
coercion and the use of armed force, the development of
international human rights, the law or armed conflict, and
the emergence of a body of international criminal law and
international criminal tribunals for its enforcement.
Throughout, the course will consider current issues and
problems arising in the international arena and the extent to
which international law actually affects the behavior of
states. This course provides a general grounding in public
international law and a foundation for more advanced or
specialized international law course.- Stanford Univ
Organizational Behavior 3 This course emphasizes an empirical approach to the study of individual and group behavior within the context of the organization and as affected by a wide array of emerging organizational realities. It provides current and emerging theoretical and practical knowledge for understanding topics such as individual differences (personality), OB research methods, motivation, job satisfaction, stress, leadership, managerial decision-making, and group processes. The major objective of this course is to understand basic organizational behavior concepts and research, models, and moving from individual behavior to the group and to the organization as a whole.
Human Resources Management 3 The course deals with the systematic approach to major phases of human resource management in organizations, including knowledge bases and theories, problems constraints, opportunities program controls, evaluations, and costs and results of effective and efficient human resource management. Point of view is of the generalist, not of the specialist personnel or industrial relations professional.
Korea and World Economy : Past, Present & Future 3
This course will overview Korea's Economic development
and achievement, and examine the backgrounds and major
factors of Korea's economic growth. To explain major
characteristics and issues, this course will provide students
with analysis and reviews of the Korean economy from
various perspectives such as general economics, finance,
and the like. Additionally, this course is aimed at preparing
students to better understand and obtain insights into the
future of the Korean economy in terms of localization and
globalization of the world economy.
Korean Politics 3 This course will explore contemporary Korean politics. Among the themes covered by the class will be Liberation, ideological conflict, Korean War, the rise of authoritarian rule, modernization drive and democratic transition. Our inquiry into Korean politics will not be limited to mere chronological description. At each critical juncture of political change, a variety of political theories are geared to justifying political restructuring. For a better understanding of Korean political reality, Korean politics will be analyzed in light of political theories. 
NGO Internship 1
This course provides opportunities for students to
experience a real working atmosphere and circumstances
through an internship program from NGO organizations and
other international organizations. Students will be able to
apply theories and knowledge acquired from the class to
the real NGO.
NGO Internship 2
This course provides opportunities for students to
experience a real working atmosphere and circumstances
through an internship program from NGO organizations and
other international organizations. Students will be able to
apply theories and knowledge acquired from the class to
the real NGO.
Leadership and Ethics Ⅰ,Ⅱ 1, 2 This course is designed to introduce a leadership and ethics in general by participating in various GSIS workshops and extra-curricular activities such as day trips, industrial site tours, special lectures and other academic activities provided by the GSIS. Students will be able to obtain hands-on academic knowledge and experiences from outside of classroom.  This course is composed of 'Leadership and Ethics Workshop I and II', 1 credit for 'Leadership and Ethics Workshop I' and 2 credits for 'Leadership and Ethics Workshop II'.  Students are required to participate in the mandatory activities to receive credits by the end of the semester.  The information session on the course will be opened on March 5(Fri) 1pm at Dasan Hall 406. This course will be counted on major elective course for all majors.

The specific courses that any student takes are individually chosen, in consultation with advisors depending on each student’s interests and course availability. 


Research Related Course

Course Title Credits Description
Research 1 3 Individual thesis work with thesis advisors - Thesis Proposal Stage.  Students have to pass thesis proposal defense in order to get 3 credits (grading will be given as “S(Satisfactory)” or “U(Unsatisfactory). 
Research 2 3
Individual thesis work with thesis advisors – Thesis Defense
Stage. Students have to pass thesis defense in order to get
3 credits(grading will be given as “S(Satisfactory)” or

※ Thesis Track students have to take Research 2 as well as Research 1. 

※ Students cannot take Research 1 and Research 2  at the same time in a semester.


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