Master of Arts Program Requirements



Program Overview and Core Requirements: 

The master's program is designed to introduce students to the breadth of the discipline, while providing tools for in-depth independent research. Students receive training in research methodologies that permit them to pursue original research in their chosen field of interest. The M.A. is offered under three plans: Plan I (thesis), Plan II (non-thesis, coursework plus a qualifying exam), and Plan III (coursework only). Students pursuing a B.A./M.A. or an M.A. as their terminal degree are expected to follow Plan III, while Ph.D. students earning an M.A. en route are expected to follow Plan II. More details are available in the Graduate Handbook.

All M.A. students are required to complete a minimum of 32 credit hours in order to obtain their degree and must take the following courses: POLS 581 - Statistics for Social Research, POLS 582 - Political Science as a Discipline and a Profession, and POLS 580 - Introduction to Empirical Research. In addition, students are required to complete three pro-seminars, including one in their chosen concentration, and one research seminar.


All M.A. students must choose one of the following concentrations for their degree plan: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Public Policy, or Methodology.

Students selecting the methodology concentration must take POLS 681 - Advanced Statistical Analysis for Social Science Research, two additional methodology courses, and one research seminar employing advanced research methods.