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Political Science

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Graduate School
Application Deadline: July 1 for Fall Admission, November 15 for Spring Admission


A Master's Degree in Political Science is an intensive program of specialized study designed to develop students' analytical skills and deepen their substantive knowledge of political science in preparation for such pursuits as law school, teaching, or doctoral studies. The students may specialize in any of the four subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international politics or political theory.


The mission of the MA program is to prepare students for future educational and career opportunities by equipping them with substantive knowledge and methodological skills necessary to conduct research on political phenomena.

  • Admission

    All admitted applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School.

    Beyond the admission materials required by the Graduate School, students interested in the MA in political science should submit directly to the MA Director the following materials:

    • A statement of interest outlining the applicant's goal past the MA and the types of work he/she wishes to pursue in the program to realize that goal
    • A résumé
    • An academic writing sample
    • GRE scores on the general test and, for international students, TOEFL scores
    • Two letters of reference from people who can evaluate the applicant’s academic potential

    Except under special circumstances, students must begin their MA studies in a fall semester so as to participate in their graduate education as part of a cohort. Applications received by April 30 will receive full review; applications for the fall semester will not be considered if received after August 1. Applicants who seek a graduate assistantship must submit their materials before March 1.

  • Program of Study

    Students enrolled in the program will choose to concentrate in one of four subfields in political science—US Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, or Political Theory. The student’s program will be composed of 15 hours in the chosen concentration area (including 6 hours of thesis work) and two courses in political science research techniques.  The remaining 9 hours will be composed of elective hours in political science (though, subject to prior approval of the MA Committee, a student may propose to take courses in cognate fields when doing so would complement graduate study in political science).

  • Degree Requirements
    • POSC 6003, Techniques of Political and Public Administration Research (to be completed in the first fall semester)
    • POSC 6013, Advanced Political Analysis (in the semester immediately following POSC 6003)
    • 9 hours of course work in one of four subfields—US politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory (the concentration field)
    • POSC 665V, 6 hours of thesis work in the concentration field
    • 9 hours of elective study in political science