Graduate Program Degree Requirements

The Department offers two routes to the M.A. in Political Science: the thesis route and non-thesis route. Ideally suited for students who will eventually pursue a doctorate, the thesis route requires a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of coursework and six credits of thesis culminating in the writing and defense of a thesis. The non-thesis routerequires the completion of a minimum of thirty-six (36) semester hours of coursework and the submission of a significant research paper.

All students must successfully complete the following and maintain an overall 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) in order to earn the M.A. degree in Political Science.

  1. Complete fifteen (15) hours of required courses (see below).
  2. Take and pass the Graduate English Competency Examination.
  3. Take and pass the Graduate Area Comprehensive Examination in three fields.

Students pursuing the thesis option must also complete the following requirements.

  1. Complete at least fifteen (15) hours of electives in consultation with the major adviser.
  2. Write and orally defend a masters’ thesis.

Students pursuing the non-thesis option must also complete the following requirements.

  1. Complete at least twenty-one (21) hours of electives in consultation with the major adviser.
  2. Write and submit a significant research paper.

Core Courses

Course Title Hours
PS 506 Methods and Approaches to Political Science 3
PS 507 Political Inquiry and Research 3
PS 509 African Political Systems 3
PS 513 or PS 514 History of Political Philosophy 3
PS 532 Blacks and the American Political System 3

Retention Requirement

A minimum grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on graduate work earned in the degree program is required.

Requirement for Degree Candidacy

The comprehensive examination and completion of the required political science courses are required for a student to be admitted to candidacy for the M.A. in Political Science. The comprehensive examination consists of written essay questions in three fields of political science. It should be taken and passed by the end of the second year.