Graduate Studies

Political Science

Please refer to the Political Science graduate program section for information including departmental contact information, list of graduate faculty members, program description, and course descriptions.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Master of Arts in Political Science

Requirements for Enrollment
  • A minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA
  • A minimum 3.25 major GPA
  • Writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation, two of which must be academic references
Integrated Degree Program Description

Students in the integrated program are allowed to use nine semester hours of B-level courses to satisfy both the Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree in Political Science. The following courses may be used: POLS 400G/B, POLS 410G/B, POLS 411G/B, POLS 440G/B, POLS 446G/B, POLS 447G/B, POLS 448G/B, POLS 451G/B, POLS 454G/B, POLS 465G/B, POLS 484G/B, POLS 490G/B, POLS 493G/B, POLS 494G/B, POLS 546B, POLS 553B, POLS 558B, POLS 563B, POLS 568B.

Integrated Degree Requirements

I. Core Courses: 12 s.h.

Students must take at least one course in each of the following categories:

A. POLS 493G/B Seminar in Organization Theory and Behavior (3)
POLS 546/546B Public Administration (3)

B. POLS 563/563B Seminar in American Politics (3)
POLS 583 Seminar in American Political Thought (3)

C. POLS 558/558B Scope and Methods of Political Science (3)

D. POLS 568/568B Comparative Government and Politics* (3)
POLS 553/553B International Relations* (3)

E. POLS 603 Comprehensive Examination (0)

*Students choosing the Comparative Politics and International Relations specialization must take both POLS 553 and POLS 568 to satisfy core requirements and 9 sh in area of specialization.

II. Select one of the following exit options: 18 s.h.

A. Thesis

Area of Specialization (12)
POLS 600 Thesis Research (3)
POLS 601 Thesis (3)

B. Two Paper

Area of Specialization (12)
Electives (6)
POLS 604 Political Science Papers (0)


Theses and the two papers must be defended before a committee of three faculty members selected by the student and approved by the chair of the Graduate Committee. For the two-paper option, at least one paper must be in the area of specialization.

Up to six semester hours (at least three of which must be at the 500 level) may be taken outside the department for graduate credit if approved by the chairperson of the Departmental Graduate Committee. Each student may take a maximum of three semester hours in POLS 501, Independent Study. Additional hours in POLS 501 may be taken only by petitioning the Departmental Graduate Committee.

To satisfy the requirements for the M.A. degree, a student must pass a comprehensive exam in his/her area of specialization (POLS 603). The department will administer the comprehensive exams three times a year. Students must pass both parts of the comprehensive exam by the second attempt. Students failing to do so will be removed from the program. In a case where the student believes that extraordinary circumstances prevented him/her from passing the exam on the second attempt, the student may petition the department graduate committee requesting a third attempt. The petition should identify the precise circumstances justifying an exception to the two-attempt rule.