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College of Arts and Sciences

Master's Program

department of political science

This is a two-year program. Students are required to take ten courses (30 credits), with at least one course taken in three of the four fields of Political Science (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory). Students choose three courses per semester.

A student is allowed to take two or, with permission from the M.A. Program Director Gerald Easter, three courses in other departments. The passing of a comprehensive examination completes the requirements of the program;  please note that students will be tested in two subfields.  If a student chooses to write a thesis, eight courses of study are required, and the written comprehensive examination is waived.  In lieu of a thesis or a comprehensive exam, students also have the option of taking Advanced Directive Study (ADS) with a supervising faculty member.  ADS is a focused final paper project that is based on a paper that a student has already written in a seminar.

Masters' students' performance will be reviewed by the graduate committee during the second semester of their first year. To remain in good standing, MA students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. program, our students are expected to:

  1. demonstrate substantial knowledge of one subfield of political science
  2. conduct scholarly work at the post-graduate level
  3. be strong candidates for admission to Ph.D. programs in political science or for professional jobs that require post-graduate education
  4. have a good understanding of proper professional ethics in political science