Academic Catalog

Political Science

Admission Requirements

Admission is open to students who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and who fulfill the admission requirements of the Graduate School. Three letters of recommendation (at least two from a faculty member who has worked with the student in the past two years, if applicable) and a personal statement outlining the expected fit between the student’s skills and objectives and the department’s programs and resources are required.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Master of Arts in Political Science allows students to focus their study in one of three concentrations: American Politics, Criminal Justice, or International Politics.

Students may also work toward certificates in Applied Politics in conjunction with their graduate studies in Political Science.

Degree Requirements

Complete 30 credits of graduate work, including 24 credits at the 600 level, as follows

  • Three required core courses:
    • 3700:600 Scope & Theories of Political Science (3 credits)
    • 3700:601 Research Methods in Political Science (3 credits)
    • 3700:603 Scholarly Writing & Professional Development in Political Science (3 credits)
  • Two additional departmental seminars, 6 credits (neither Independent Study nor Internship credit counts as a graduate seminar).
  • Two track-required seminars depending on the track chosen (6 credits)
  • Nine additional graduate Political Science credits (500 or 600 level)

Pass a comprehensive written examination covering one concentration: American Politics, Criminal Justice, or International Politics.

Complete the following writing requirement:

  • An Essay of Distinction is a single, article-length, scholarly research paper. This writing requirement will encourage our students to learn how to participate in the debates central to our discipline and complete the program with a superb writing sample that can serve as a foundation for continued graduate work, a conference presentation, a published article, or a deliverable policy analysis.

To complete an Essay of Distinction, students are also required to orally defend their paper to their Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC). All FAC members must approve the topic and pass the paper and oral defense.

Political Science - Security Studies Track

The Security Studies track is intended to prepare professionals in the world of national security operations Students in the Security Studies option are required to complete an Essay of Distinction and a Comprehensive Examination along with the required coursework outlined below.

Degree Requirements

Complete 30 credits of graduate work as follows

Department Required Courses - 9 credits:

  • 3700:600 Scope & Theories of Political Science (3 credits)
  • 3700:601 Research Methods in Political Science (3 credits)
  • 3700:603 Scholarly Writing & Professional Development in Political Science (3 credits)

Track Required Seminars - 6 credits:

  • 3700:610 Seminar in International Politics (3 credits)
  • 3700:612 Seminar in Security Studies (3 credits)

Electives - 15 credits (selected from the courses below):

  • 3350:505 Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • 3700:500 Political Extremism & Violence (3 credits)
  • 3700:510 International Security Policy (3 credits)
  • 3700:513 Global Public Health Threats (3 credits)
  • 3700:514 Wealth and Power Among Nations (3 credits)
  • 3700:545 Al Qaeda and ISIS (3 credits)
  • 3700:546 National Security Intelligence (3 credits)
  • 3700:563 Human Rights in World Politics (3 credits)
  • 3700:611 Seminar in War and Insurgency (3 credits)
  • 3700:620 Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 credits)
  • 3700:622 Seminar in Alternatives to Violence at Home and Abroad (3 credits)
  • 3700:630 Seminar in National Politics (3 credits)
  • 3980:543 Introduction to Public Policy (3 credits)
  • 3980:573 Computer Applications in Public Organizations (3 credits)

Complete an Essay of Distinction

Pass a Comprehensive Examination