Research focused TAM track


  • An English-language track in which students are mainstreamed at the European universities;
  • One full academic year at UNC-CH;
  • Second academic year at the VU University Amsterdam or the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona or the University of Bremen in Germany;
  • Students earn a single MA from one of the schools, excluding the VU;
  • Starting in 2014, we expect TAM II students will be able to seek both the UNC and the European MAs simultaneously.

Research Track

This research-focused track of TAM provides outstanding academic and methodological training. The program prepares graduates for Ph.D. or research-related fields, but graduates also pursue careers with public service groups, NGOs, federal agencies, or consulting firms.

The TAM research track is a two-year program. Students begin by studying for one full academic year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They then go on to complete a second year of study and research at the VU University Amsterdam or the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona or the University of Bremen in Germany. All classes will be offered in English. Coursework focuses on European governance and social policy, and there is an emphasis on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Students pursue an MA-level program, "European Governance with a Comparative Focus." While at UNC-CH in the fall semester, students take required courses as well as electives; they also participate in the Speakers Series offered by the Center for European Studies. Courses will focus on such topics as comparative politics of industrial societies, comparative social policy, democratization, the European Union, and multilevel governance. At least one of these fall classes offers training in research design/methods. During fall break, students travel to Washington, DC, for site visits and an annual TAM alumni/current student gathering. Required and elective courses will be offered in the spring.

UNC's academic year ends in early May. Students will be encouraged to pursue academically relevant summer internships in DC or Brussels. Some internship guidance will be offered at the UNC site.

After the summer, fall coursework will resume in Amsterdam, Barcelona, or Bremen, where students will be mainstreamed into courses offered at the European universities. VU University Amsterdam, UPF, and the University of Bremen all have strong offerings in social policy. In Amsterdam, courses focus on comparative welfare states, international political economy, international security, and global environmental governance. Some research internships may be available to TAM students who study at the VU. At UPF, course titles may include Statistical Analysis I, Electoral Systems, Multiculturality and Immigration Policies, The Welfare State, Globalization and European Integration, Democracy and Political Liberalism, Social Policy and the Welfare State, Electoral Competition and Voting Behaviour, and Migration and Society. In Bremen, research internships are readily available to TAM II students and serve as an integral part of the program. Some of these positions are paid. In addition, social policy coursework focuses on the economy and on health policy. TAM students may also have the option to take classes through other MA programs offered in English at Bremen. During the second semester overseas, TAM II students will focus on their thesis research and preparation.

Upon completion of coursework and a thesis, students will earn either a Master of Arts in Political Science, Concentration European Governance, from UNC, the UPF Master's in Political and Social Sciences, or the MA from the University of Bremen.

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