Academic Program

Academic Concentration


The concentration program provides students with the opportunity to pursue a concentration in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies designed to deepen students’ comparative understanding of major issues pertaining to the concentration’s focus.  The Academic concentration comprises of the following courses:
Core courses (9 credit hours) required of students in the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies concentration
Course Number
Course Title
Palestinian Refugees
International Refugee Law
Demography of Refugees: Comparative Perspective
INST639     Palestinian Refugees  
Exploration of the concept of forced migration, the means employed in uprooting and displacement internally and externally. The historic origins of Palestinian forced migration with the progressive creation of a Diaspora in comparative perspective. Asymmetric and symmetric narratives of forced migration particularly those concerning Palestinians since the 1948 Nakba, and the sources for the study of Palestinian forced migration, both written and oral.
INST734   International Refugee Law  
Study of aspects of international law that address the rights and protection of refugees while paying particular attention to Palestinian refugees. Issues related to refugee resettlement, repatriation, and protection. United Nations resolutions on refugees, especially Resolution 194. The distinction between international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law.
INST737    Demography of Refugees: Comparative Perspective 
Examination of the demography of refugees through case studies, in a comparative perspective, with emphasis on generational shifts in refugee status in various fields and the primary indicators of those shifts. Study of the Palestinian refugee experience with reference to the existing literature on Palestinian demography.
Elective courses required of students in the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies concentration  (3 credit hours from the following):
Course Number
Course Title
Reparation for Injuries Resulting from Forced Migration
Psychological, Social, and Existential Dimensions of Refugee Life
Networking and Refugee Identity
INST6351  Reparation for Injuries Resulting from Forced Migration 
Exploration of elements of internationally wrongful acts against refugees from the standpoint of international law. Consequences of injuries caused by forced migration, particularly those sustained by Palestinians. Special emphasis on full reparation for injuries of refugees in the form of restitution (e.g. the Palestinian right of return), compensation and satisfaction from the standpoint of customary and conventional international law.
INST6371  Psychological, Social, and Existential Dimensions of Refugee Life   
Study of the psychological, social, and existential crisis of refugees and their suffering with reference to crisis management literature and examples of real life situations faced by Palestinian and other refugees, relating it to international standards of refugee treatment. The role of international organizations, e.g. UNHCR, UNRWA, and IMO, in ameliorating the living conditions of refugees.
INST736    Networking and Refugee Identity            
The maintenance of refugee identity through various means of networking in view of the increasing number of refugees worldwide, accompanied by globalization and the development of communication technologies such as the internet. The phenomenon of diaspora, methods of maintaining ties with the country of origin, the strength of these ties across generations, and the role of diaspora communities in assisting refugees.