Academic Catalog

Political Science (M.A.)

The Master of Arts program in Political Science is designed for students who have completed an undergraduate degree and wish to continue their education in Political Science.  The MA program prepares students for doctoral study upon completion of the degree, and for careers in government, policy advocacy and the non-profit sector.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. A strong undergraduate performance is a prerequisite and substantial undergraduate preparation in the social sciences is recommended. Applicants must submit the following materials via the online application.

  1. Official copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  2. A personal statement: a two to three-page essay describing your educational and professional goals as they relate to the Master’s program
  3. One letter of recommendation.
  4. Optional: Graduate Record Examination scores.  Applicants with a cumulative GPA below 3.30 must submit GRE scores in order to be considered for admission. Applicants with a GPA of 3.30 or higher are not required to submit GRE scores, although they may wish to do so, especially if they are considering continuing on to the Ph.D.

The Master of Arts in Political Science program accepts applications for admission to start in either Fall or Winter terms.

AGRADE — Accelerated Graduate Enrollment

The Department of Political Science permits undergraduate majors with superior academic records to petition for accelerated graduate enrollment under the AGRADE (BA to MA) program. This program allows qualified juniors and seniors to apply a maximum of 16 credits earned in specifically approved courses to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, saving time and money in the pursuit of both degrees. For further details about the AGRADE program, students should contact either the undergraduate advisor or graduate program director.

Program Requirements

The Master of Arts in Political Science requires a minimum of thirty-three credits, including twenty-four in political science and either a three-credit master’s essay (Plan B) or eight-credit thesis (Plan A).   

All masters students must satisfy a general Departmental requirement aimed at the development of basic analytic and methodological skills by successfully completing PS 5630 (statistics) and PS 7660 (research methods). These courses should be taken early in the student’s program of study. Students select a major field of study from among the following six fields: American government and politics, comparative politics, political theory, public policy, urban politics, and world politics. A minimum of twenty-four credits must be completed in political science.

If the thesis option is elected, an oral examination on the thesis is required.

A student’s program is finalized in a Plan of Work that must be filed by the time the student has earned twelve credits. The student should consult the department’s Graduate Program Director for guidance in the development of his/her Plan of Work and for the specific requirements of their major field concentration.

Academic Scholarship: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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