MA in Political Science
The department also accepts applications for our BA/MA programs, although most students interested in the study of political science at the graduate level are admitted to the PhD program. We also award an MA to a PhD student who requests it and has completed all the requirements for the PhD except the dissertation.
Please be aware that you must be registered as a student during any semester during which you complete any degree requirements. This means that you have to pay continuing student fees for that semester even if you are not registered for classes.
The BA/MA Program
This program is intended for outstanding students (see the GPA requirements in the undergraduate Bulletin) who wish to pursue intensive study in a specialized area of political and social science beyond the level of the BA. Students must apply for admission to this program before March 1 of their junior year. (See the undergraduate program for more details about application requirements.) The work of a BA/MA candidate will be reviewed at the end of the first and second semesters following the student’s admission to the program. The reviewers will include the BA/MA Program Advisor and those professors with whom the student has worked. The committee will decide, after consultation with the student, whether the student shall continue in the BA/MA Program or be required to stop at the BA level.
MA Degree Requirements
Since the department does not have a regular MA program, the following requirements are applicable only to the BA/MA program. A student must successfully complete eight courses, including two graduate core courses. No more than two Directed Study courses can be included. Any incompletes must be cleared within the calendar year. Except in the case of students applying for the Post-Qualifier MA (i.e., PhD candidates who have passed their comprehensive examinations) or students in the Program for Professionals, candidates for the MA must take and pass comprehensive examinations, which will be held in the Spring Semester of each year. Students cannot take the MA exams if they have incompletes from a previous semester. Awarding of the BA is conditional on meeting all requirements for the BA as well as for the MA.
Post-Qualifier Master’s Degree
PhD students who have successfully completed all the requirements for a PhD except the dissertation may request that a master’s degree be granted to validate the work accomplished.
Master’s Program for Professionals
This program is one of educational enrichment for those already employed in a professional career, or enrolled in a professional school for training, in a related social science field such as law, social work, public administration, and journalism. It is not intended for students planning to work for the doctorate in political science.
Admission and Prerequisites
To be considered for this program, a student must be employed in a professional career in a related social science field or be enrolled in a related social science, legal, or public affairs program. Applicants should indicate why they believe that graduate-level work in political science will augment their training or enrich their chosen careers. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test.
A minimum of eight semester courses (32 credits) is required for the MA. At least two of these courses should be graduate-level core courses in the subfields of political science closest to the student’s vocational field. No more than two courses may be Directed Study. With the approval of the major advisor, students may take up to three courses in related social science departments. Courses of study are individually planned with the student’s major advisor. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences accepts the transfer of a maximum of two courses (8 credits) toward the master’s degree.
Evaluation of Performance
Students must write a major policy paper under the supervision of a faculty member.