Political Science - Master of Arts

The MA program provides general course work in each of the major fields of political science. Students may choose either the thesis option, under which they complete 30 credits of course work plus 6 thesis credits (POLS 599 Master's Thesis), or the nonthesis option, with 30 credits of course work plus 6 hours of special research credit (POLS 598 Special Research Programs) or 6 hours of approved internship credit (POLS 510 Internship). Both the thesis and nonthesis options require a final oral examination; the non thesis option requires a written examination as well. The program provides a broad-based foundation in political science while allowing students to pursue specific areas of interest.


Flexibility in planning a program of study is permitted to meet the educational needs of a diverse student population. Structured areas of emphasis are available in several topical areas, including Latin American and international affairs. Students may also take a graduate minor in Security Studies. Information on these areas and the graduate minor may be obtained from the Department of Government. No more than 9 credits taken outside the department will be counted toward the degree.

Prefix Title Credits
POLS 502Research Methods in Government3
or POLS 503 Qualitative Research Methods
Select three from the following:9
Seminar in Public Policy3
Seminar in American Politics3
Seminar in International Relations Theory3
Seminar in Comparative Politics3
Seminar in Political Theory3
Additional credits subject to advisor approval 118
Select one from the following:6
Master's Thesis6
Special Research Programs6
Total Credits36

The remaining credits required for the degree are selected subject to advisor approval to satisfy particular academic interests or career goals.