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

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of two major fields in the discipline and competency in one minor field (the minor field may be within the discipline, in an interdisciplinary subject, or in another related discipline);
  • demonstrate advanced research skills, including advanced statistical analysis and broad knowledge of a range of theoretical and methodological approaches relevant to their field of research;
  • demonstrate effective teaching skills following the pedagogical standards of the discipline;
  • be familiar with and follow disciplinary norms and standards, including understanding issues related to ethical practices in research; professional, public, and collegial engagement; and instruction; and
  • demonstrate a full understanding of the research enterprise, including an ability to engaging others' work and an ability to make original and substantial contributions to the field.

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.