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MA in Political Science

Program Description | Admission | Degree Requirements | Courses


Program Description

The graduate program in political science is designed to expand students’ knowledge and to develop their skills of analysis and professional communication. The program is of value to both recent college graduates and those seeking to advance their careers. Among those it serves are students preparing for doctoral work or law school, school teachers seeking to improve their professional competence, promising scholars wanting to teach in community colleges, present and prospective public administrators, and those preparing for careers or advancement in nonprofit organizations, international organizations, the military, and private business.


Admission

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

  1. A Graduate Studies Application for Admission with the application fee
  2. Official transcripts of all college-level work, including the transcript that shows the date the undergraduate degree was conferred
  3. Official GRE scores
  4. Two letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s suitability for graduate study
  5. A writing sample of scholarly work
  6. 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 department offers two degree plans. Plan 1, which requires a thesis, is designed for students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree. Plan 2, which does not require a thesis, is designed for students who plan to pursue careers in teaching, government, and other areas related to the study and practice of government and politics.

Students on either plan take two core courses (POL 577 <POLS 5377> and POL 562 <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, and public administration and public policy. 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 – MA in Political Science (Thesis)

Item
Requirement
Options
Hours
Required
1
Specified
Courses
Choose all from:
POL 562 <POLS 5362> Seminar in Political Theory
POL 577 <POLS 5377> The Scope and Methods of Political Science
6
2
POLS Electives
Choose six from:
All graduate courses in POL <POLS> except thesis courses
18
3 Thesis Choose all from:
POL 698 <POLS 6398> Thesis
POL 699 <POLS 6399> Thesis
6
TOTAL
30

 

Plan 2 – MA in Political Science (Non-thesis)

Item
Requirement
Options
Hours
Required
1
Specified
Courses
Choose all from:
POL 562 <POLS 5362> Seminar in Political Theory
POL 577 <POLS 5377> The Scope and Methods of Political Science
6
2
POLS Electives
Choose ten from:
All graduate courses in POL <POLS> except thesis courses
30
TOTAL
36

 


Courses

Political Science (POLS)

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