Political Science - Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Arts (M.A.) - Political Science

College of Humanities and Sciences

Degree Specific Credits:

Thesis Option: 30

Non-Thesis Option: 36

Required Cumulative GPA: 3.0

Catalog Year: 2022-23

Notes/Description

  • The Political Science M.A. Program provides students a rich learning environment in which to explore their interests and develop their skills and knowledge.  Our M.A. Program offers students a high degree of flexibility in their graduate studies to enable them to pursue their goals for learning, research and career preparation.

  • The M.A. Program develops students' knowledge of political science, policy and politics, as well as critical thinking, communications, and research skills.  This means our students gain excellent preparation for a wide range of careers in the research-based "knowledge economy", and for applying to highly selective graduate and law schools.  Our MA graduates develop the tools to be effective in government and public service, nonprofits and community organizations, media and journalism, and research and teaching.

  • Students can choose from two paths to the degree: a Thesis Option and a Non-Thesis Option.

  • The MA Core Requirements for both Options are to:

     1) Complete six graduate seminar courses (18 credits) with at least one course in each of the following four subfields - (PSCI 580 Research Seminar can count for one of these subfields with the consent of the instructor).  American Politics (PSCI 524 or PSCI 540); Comparative Politics (PSCI 520, PSCI 582, or PSCI 521); International Relations (PSCI 530, PSCI 521, or PSCI 582), and Political Theory (PSCI 553 or PSCI 557). 

     2) Complete a Comprehensive Exam with both written and oral components set by three faculty in two or more of the core subfields of Political Science (the student may retake the exam once if a non-passing grade is received the first time).

     3) Complete additional Elective courses - 18 for Non-Thesis Option, 12 for Thesis Option.  50% of all credits must be 500-level or above; 400-level courses may be used for credit if the course's graduate increment is successfully completed.  See additional specific Non-Thesis / Thesis requirements below

  • Non-Thesis Option Electives: 18 credits, of which up to 12 may be taken outside the Political Science department.  Up to six credits may be in Internships (PSCI 598) and up to six credits may be in Independent Study (PSCI 596)

  • Non-Thesis Option requires 3 professional-quality research papers:

    • At least two Political Science faculty as paper advisors

    • Topics in at least 2 subfields of political science

    • 25 pages with references

  • Thesis Option Electives: 12 credits, of which up to 6 may be taken outside the Political Science department.  Up to six credits may be in Internships (PSCI 598) and up to six credits may be in Independent Study (PSCI 596). Six credits maximum can be in thesis development (PSCI 599, one credit per semester)

  • Thesis Option: Writing the Thesis

    • Form a Thesis Committee of 3 or more faculty members.  The thesis committee chair and 1 other committee member must be from the PSCI department and one faculty member from another department related to your thesis.  In consultation with the committee chair, formulate a plan for your thesis, and complete the thesis in consultation with your committee.

    • Complete two oral exams: a thesis prospectus oral exam and a thesis defense.  The Thesis must be completed and delivered to the Graduate School before the oral exam.

Summary

Core Courses

18

Thesis/Non-Thesis Options

12-18

Total Hours

30-36


Core Courses

Code

Title

Hours

Complete six of the following courses, at least one each in the four major subfields:

American Politics (PSCI 524 and 540); Comparative Politics (PSCI 520, PSCI 521 and PSCI 582); International Relations (PSCI 530, PSCI 521 and PSCI 582), and Political Theory (PSCI 553 and PSCI 557); PSCI 580 Research Goals & Strategies can count for any one of the four subfields with prior consent of the instructor. 

PSCI 520

Comparative Government

3

PSCI 521

Globalization

3

PSCI 524

Management and Policy Skills

3

PSCI 530

International Relations

3

PSCI 540

American Government

3

PSCI 557

PSCI Theory Graduate Seminar

3

PSCI 582

Politics of the World Economy

3

*PSCI 580

Research Goals and Strategies

3

*PSCI 580 Research Goals and Strategies counts for any subfield w/ instructor consent

Total Hours

18

Minimum Required Grade: C

Non-Thesis Courses

Code

Title

Hours

Complete 18 additional credits: which may include credits taken in 400-level courses if graduate increment completed:  up to 18

Credits taken outside the Political Science Department

up to 12

PSCI 596

Independent Study

up to 6

PSCI 598

Internship

up to 6

Total Hours

18

Minimum Required Grade: C

Thesis Courses

Code

Title

Hours

Complete up to 12 credits: which may include credits taken in 400-level courses if graduate increment completed:  up to 12

Credits taken outside the Political Science Department

6

PSCI 596

Independent Study

6

PSCI 598

Internship

6

PSCI 599

Thesis

6

Total Hours

12

Minimum Required Grade: C