The department usually offers the master's degree only as a preliminary step toward the Ph.D.

The Master of Arts program in political science requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate credit, with a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25. No thesis is required. Each student's record is reviewed by a final examination committee, which may waive the final oral examination.

A first-year evaluation committee convenes at the end of a student's first year of courses; if the committee finds that the student's work provides sufficient evidence of the research and writing skills ordinarily demonstrated in a master's thesis, it may recommend that the student be allowed to proceed with a doctoral program. When the first-year evaluation committee finds the quality of a student's work inadequate for recommending continuation toward the Ph.D., the committee may recommend that the student be permitted to seek the nonthesis M.A. as a terminal degree.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.