Master of Arts in Political Science

The Master of Arts in Political Science focuses instruction on four areas: American politics, political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. This course of study is designed to 1) prepare students for matriculation to doctoral programs in political science, 2) train degree recipients for teaching responsibilities at the junior college level, and/or 3) provide professional competencies for private and public sector employment.

Master of Arts in Political Science--Total Semester Hours=36

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate study, the requirements for admission to the political science program are as follows:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  2. A satisfactory score on the General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE should be completed prior to the conclusion of the first long semester of enrollment. Courses taken after the first long semester of enrollment will not apply toward the degree unless the student has successfully completed the GRE. Students who do not have satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination may be admitted under the condition that they obtain a grade of B or higher on a prescribed set of graduate courses that are approved by the department.
  3. A satisfactory grade-point average on all prior advanced-level (junior, senior, and graduate) work (Minimum GPA - 3.0)
  4. Consideration is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant's demonstrated commitment to his or her chosen field of study, socioeconomic background, first generation college graduate, multilingual proficiency, geographic region of residence, and level of responsibility in other matters including extracurricular activities, employment, community service, and family responsibilities.

Degree Requirements

Two degree options exist. Option A is intended for students seeking broad knowledge of the field of political science, and who may wish to complement that knowledge with additional course work, and intensive reading within the discipline. Option B is designed especially, but not exclusively, for students contemplating doctoral study, and those desiring advanced competence in research skills. Students choosing either option must complete either a graduate level research methods course or show competency in a foreign language by passing the appropriate examination; those choosing Option B, will with rare exception, be expected to complete such a course before beginning thesis research.

Option A: Master of Arts in Political Science (Non-Thesis)

  1. Five core seminars (15 hrs.)
    POLS 5300: Seminar in Scope and Methods
    POLS 5311: Seminar in American Government
    POLS 5321: Seminar in Political Theory
    POLS 5331: Seminar in Comparative Politics
    POLS 5341: Seminar in International Relations
  2. Approved electives (21 hrs.)

Option B: Master of Arts in Political Science (Thesis)

  1. Five core seminars (15 hrs.)
    POLS 5300: Seminar in Scope and Methods
    POLS 5311: Seminar in American Government
    POLS 5321: Seminar in Political Theory
    POLS 5331: Seminar in Comparative Politics
    POLS 5341: Seminar in International Relations
  2. Approved electives (15 hrs.)
  3. Thesis (6 hrs.)
    POLS 5395, POLS 5396

The thesis will be in an area of faculty expertise. A three-person committee, which shall include at least two political science faculty (one of whom shall chair the committee) shall direct the thesis.

Graduation Requirements

All candidates for the Master of Arts degree in political science must also meet the following requirements:

  1. A cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 in all course work applied towards the degree
  2. Demonstrated competence in a methodological skill, normally including a) reading ability in a foreign language, or b) advanced research and analytical techniques (Such competencies shall be determined by the Department of Political Science and History.)
  3. Satisfactory performance on a final comprehensive written examination for students choosing Option A.