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Master’s Degree Program

Master of Arts in Political Science Heading link

The Master of Arts in Political Science prepares students for application to a doctoral program, teaching at the junior college or high school levels, research, employment in public service or in government and non-profit organizations. The program is designed to provide students with theoretical and methodological training in the political science discipline.  In addition to other requirements, MA candidates demonstrate their command of the requisite skills by writing a major research paper.


General Information

Full-time students normally complete the program in two years. The maximum time to complete the program is five years from the date of entry. A maximum of two courses (8 semester hours) may be taken outside the department.

Required courses must be taken within the program. No waivers are granted for graduate courses taken elsewhere.

A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required throughout the graduate study (A= 4.00). Additional standards of adequate progress are described in the graduate student handbook made available to all students after enrollment in the program.


M.A. Degree Requirements

(for students entering spring 2019 and after)

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 34.
  • Course Work Required course work totals 18 semester hours. Required courses will not be waived. A grade of B or better is required in all required courses.
  • POLS 401 – Data Analysis I
  • POLS 482 – Theories of Democracy and Representation
  • POLS 505 – Research Design and Methods
  • POLS 593 – Independent Research for Master’s Degreea


  • One of the following “gateway courses”
    • POLS 504 – Theoretical Approaches to Policy and Governance
    • POLS 551 – Introduction to Urban Politics
    • POLS 560 – American Politics
    • POLS 570 – Comparative Politics and Public Policy
    • POLS 571 – Seminar in International Relations
  • Electives
  • At least 16 additional hours at the 500-level. No more than two courses (8 hours) may be taken outside the department

iPOLS 593 students complete a major research paper under the supervision of two faculty members.