About the Masters Program

The Master of Arts in Political Science is a general post-baccalaureate degree that gives students a broad understanding of political science and a firm grounding in scientific-based inquiry into problems in politics.

Students learn how institutional design and economic and cultural factors shape the distribution of power and patterns of cooperation and conflict in society within and outside of government.

Students master the postulating of cause-effect relationships, and the marshalling of evidence using quantitative or qualitative methods to test hypotheses about problems in politics.

Students learn their skills through intensive study of several fields within the discipline. In the general program it is possible to specialize in urban politics, policy processes and institutions, American political behavior, political economy, public administration, comparative politics, international relations, public law, and political theory. The Master of Arts is useful for students who are already in or planning on a career in secondary education, public policy, or politics. It is also useful for students who are considering doctoral education. It is particularly valuable for students simply interested in learning more about subjects that interest them.

Course Work

18 hours must be at the 6000 level
12 hours must be in core courses in political science, including:

PS 6401: Introduction to Policy Research

and three of the following political science courses:

PS 6410: Introduction to Policy Analysis
PS 6420: Proseminar in Public Law
PS 6430: Proseminar in American Politics
PS 6440: Proseminar in Public Policy Administration
PS 6450: Proseminar in Comparative Politics
PS 6460: Proseminar in Political Theory
PS 6470: Proseminar in Urban Politics
PS 6480: Proseminar in International Relations

Students can plan their degree program to reflect one or more of the following six emphasis areas:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Politics
  • Political Process and Behavior
  • Public Administration and Public Policy
  • Urban and Regional Politics



The Director of Graduate Studies advises all graduate students in the Masters program. After the first semester, students are encouraged to choose a faculty member in their area of concentration for advice about specific course work, certificate programs, exit projects, Ph.D. programs, other professional degrees and job opportunities.

Exit Projects

Students must also select one of the following exit projects: a six-hour thesis, a six-hour internship, or six hours of additional course work and an approved paper.

Final Oral Review

Each candidate for a Master of Arts degree is given a final oral review conducted by a students Masters committee on the course work completed and the students chosen exist project.

Please see the guide, The Master of Arts in Political Science, 2019-2020, for the most current and complete information about the degree requirements.