Master of Arts

Our Program

Our M.A. program equips students with the skills and education necessary to succeed in business, international organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits, among others. In our master's program, you will become a skilled professional who can lead teams and develop policies that improve people's lives. Ready to challenge yourself? Check out our two master's tracks and three specializations!

The M.A. program provides two tracks:

  • Thesis track (Plan A) which is more suitable for students interested in academic research, or
  • Professional track (Plan B), which is often more suitable for students interested in vocational opportunities in government agencies or non-governmental organizations.
Classroom gathering

M.A. Specializations

M.A. students will choose one of the following three specializations.

Detail and abstract photographs inside the Morgan Library
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Degree Requirements for Plan A (Thesis Track; 30 credits)

The thesis track requires 30 credits total. A minimum of 21 credits must be at the graduate level in political science which include the following:

  • Two methods courses
    • 1) EITHER
      • Approaches to the Study of Politics (POLS 620) OR
      • Scope and Methods (POLS 624) AND
    • 2) One of the following:
      • Qualitative Methods in Political Science (POLS 621)
      • Quantitative Methods of Political Research (POLS 625) OR
      • Public Policy Analysis (POLS 665)
  • At least two courses in each of two subfields in political science.
  • Satisfactory performance on oral presentation of thesis.
  • Thesis(a maximum of 6 credits may be allowed for preparation of the thesis.)
  • A research tool as determined between the student and the committee.

Degree Requirements for Plan B (Non-thesis, Professional Track; 36 credits)

The non-thesis track requires 36 credits total. A minimum of 24 credits must be in political science, and at least 18 of those must be at the graduate level to include the following:

  • Two methods courses
    • 1) EITHER
      • Approaches to the Study of Politics (POLS 620) OR
      • Scope and Methods (POLS 624) AND
    • 2) One of the following:
      • Qualitative Methods in Political Science (POLS 621)
      • Quantitative Methods of Political Research (POLS 625) OR
      • Public Policy Analysis (POLS 665)
  • Satisfactory performance on oral presentation of professional paper.
  • A research tool as determined by the student and the committee.
graduate students

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships, which typically include a monthly stipend and tuition waiver, are available on a competitive basis.

Internships

Internship opportunities are available for M.A. students in a variety of public and non-profit organizations.

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Sub-Fields

Students in the M.A. program may pursue studies in two of the following sub-fields:

  • Administration
  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Public Policy

Application Information

How to Apply

  • Confirm Program Qualifications
  • Contact the department
    • Check out our faculty page to determine faculty members who have similar areas of study to you.
  • Apply
    • Complete the Online Graduate Application through Graduate Admissions.
    • A one-time non-refundable application fee is due
      • $60 U.S. citizen/permanent resident
      • $70 International students
    • Required supporting documents
      • The department is not requiring GRE scores at this time, but applicants are welcome to submit them.
      • A paper submitted in English. The paper must be an appropriate writing sample that reflects a student’s abilities to conduct independent research and communicate effectively. Requirements include a minimum of 15 pages and maximum of 40 pages.
      • Resume/CV
      • Statement of interest (300 - 500 words)
      • Three letters of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to submit letters of recommendation from academic instructors. Letters should be on original letterhead paper with original signatures.
      • Original transcripts from all colleges and universities applicants have attended.
    • Additional Information
      • Applicants are automatically considered for GTA positions; there is not a separate process for applying for departmental funding.
      • The department makes funding decisions immediately after the February 15 deadline. Applicants must submit completed application by February 15 to be considered for funding.
      • The department reserves the right to review promising applications earlier or later than the formal deadlines.
      • The department is unable to review any incomplete applications.
      • Military veterans and service members may qualify for an application fee waiver.

Application Deadline

Applications for admission and financial aid for the fall semester must be completed by February 15. Deadline for application for Spring admission is August 1 for international students and October 15 for U.S. students. The department will continue to review applications after these deadlines on a space available basis.

Financial Awards

Graduate teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Assistantship stipends vary between approximately $13,086 and $17,532 per nine-month academic year. Normally, part of the compensation that assistants receive includes tuition payments on their behalf. Applicants who submit an admissions application by February 15 for the following fall semester will automatically be considered for an assistantship. Initial assistantship award determinations will be made shortly after the February 15 deadline. Late applicants will be considered for assistantships on a funding available basis.

Contact Information

For additional information about the Political Science M.A. program or to set up a virtual appointment, please contact Graduate Coordinator, David McIvor.

David W. McIvor

  • Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator