Political Science M.A.

Purpose of degree:

The Master of Arts in Political Science prepares graduates for positions in the public, non-profit, or private sector at various levels — domestic, foreign, or international - or for further graduate or professional study, such as law school. The graduate political science curriculum comprises the systematic study of the theory and practice of politics at various levels — domestic, foreign, and international.

Graduate students can focus their program of study on questions of a theoretical nature, the role and performance of political institutions and political systems, or the behavior of individuals and groups.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will demonstrate an in-depth of knowledge of the schools of thought, theories, models, and issues within the political science discipline.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of multiple research designs and methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, and have the ability to conduct political science research involving the development of research questions, a research design, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and presenting the results in a logical and professional manner.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills in understanding and evaluating theories, ideas, and issues across the four subfields of political science: American Government and Public Administration, Political Theory, Comparative Government, and International Relations.
  • Students will demonstrate professional and academic ethics.
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to work in a diverse, multicultural environment.
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively through their written work.
  • Students will be prepared to pursue public or non-profit sector work, and/or doctoral studies in political science or law school.

Special resources of the department:

The department provides internship opportunities for students who are interested in exploring employment in the public or private sectors.

Program of Study

30 credits

Required Courses (9 credits)

POLS 570Introduction to Research: Scope and Method

3 credits

POLS 572Thesis I

3 credits

POLS 573Thesis II

3 credits

Political Science Electives (15-21 credits)

Students must elect at least one course from each group:

  • Group A - American Politics and Public Administration
  • Group B - International Relations
  • Group C - Comparative Government and Regional Studies
  • Group D - Political Theory

Related Electives (3-6 credits)

Students may select up to six credits from related areas: history, economics, sociology, geography, or other approved electives.

Language requirement

A knowledge of the fundamentals of one foreign language is required unless waived under the provisions set forth in the Graduate Catalog.

Final graduation requirement

In addition to the required courses, students must pass a comprehensive examination.

Admissions requirements and deadlines

The department follows the requirements of the office of Graduate Studies for admission.