Master of Arts in Political Science

Program Description | Admission | Degree Requirements | Courses


Program Description

The Master of Arts in Political Science is designed for both recent college graduates and individuals seeking to advance their professional or academic careers. The program serves students preparing for doctoral studies or law school, high school teachers seeking to improve their professional credentials, individuals wanting to teach in the community colleges, and individuals preparing for careers or advancement in nonprofit organizations (international and domestic) and the public sector. 


Admissions

Students seeking admission to the graduate program in political science must supply the following materials directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcripts from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. Official GRE scores
  5. Two letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s suitability for graduate study
  6. A writing sample of scholarly work
  7. Optional: You may submit a two word-processed page statement explaining your background and/or potential that would make you a good choice for our program.

A holistic review of each student’s application file will be completed, and admission will be granted on a competitive basis.


Degree Requirements

The program offers two degree plans: a thesis option (30 hours of coursework and a written thesis) and a non-thesis option (36 hours of coursework and written comprehensive exams). The thesis degree plan is designed for students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree. The non-thesis degree plan is designed for students who plan to pursue a career in the public and non-profit sectors or other employment fields relevant to the study and practice of government.

Students on either plan must take either The Scope and Methods of Political Science (POLS 5377) or Seminar in Political Theory (POLS 5362) and then focus on the areas of concentration appropriate to their needs. The department offers three areas of concentration: American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. With graduate advisor approval, students may take a concentration in an appropriate area from one or more other departments.

Students must pass comprehensive exams in their areas of concentration. These exams are administered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students take their comprehensive exams during their last semester of coursework. Students must be enrolled in the University during the semester or summer session in which the comprehensive exam is administered.

Plan 1 - Thesis: MA in Political Science

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science (Thesis)
Course Name Hours
Specified Courses (3 credit hours)
Choose one from:
POLS 5362 Seminar in Political Theory 3
POLS 5377 The Scope and Methods of Political Science 3
POLS Electives (21 credit hours)
Choose seven from:
All graduate courses in POLS except thesis courses 21
Thesis (6 credit hours)
Choose all from:
POLS 6098 Thesis I 3
POLS 6099 Thesis II 3
Total 30

Plan 2 - Non-Thesis: MA in Political Science

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science (Non-Thesis)
Course Name Hours
Specified Courses (3 credit hours)
Choose one from:
POLS 5362 Seminar in Political Theory 3
POLS 5377 The Scope and Methods of Political Science 3
POLS Electives (33 credit hours)
Choose eleven from:
All graduate courses in POLS except thesis courses 33
Total 36

Courses

Political Science (POLS)

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