The Master’s Degree

The M.A. in Political Science is a 40-hour program with a required 28-hour minimum of 500-level courses. 


On admission to the program, students are assigned an initial advisor. After a semester a student may select his or her permanent academic advisor. This faculty member can assist the student with closure committee formation and closure guidance, as a supervisor for internships and practice units, and academic counselor in devising an appropriate program of study. The advisor also monitors student progress in satisfying the requirements of the degree.

Communication Skills

Successful performance in practical politics and political science requires ability to write and speak persuasively and to present sophisticated information and complex subject matter directly and plausibly. Completion of PSC 501 will verify satisfaction of the communication skills requirement.

Continuous Enrollment

Campus policy requires that students be enrolled in the master’s closure exercise each fall and spring semester after beginning their graduate closure exercise until that exercise is completed. For PSC students, this means that if the closure exercise is not completed by the end of the initial four hours of enrollment in PSC 590, students must register for PSC 591 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) in all subsequent fall and spring semesters until the exercise is completed.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses
PSC 501 Introduction to the Graduate Study of Politics 4
PSC 502 Methods Of Inquiry 4
Electives 28
At least 16 of the 28 elective hours should be 500-level PSC courses. A maximum of eight hours outside of PSC may be taken. Up to 12 hours of 400-level courses can be taken for graduate credit. 1
PSC 590 Closure Exercise 4
Select one:
Comprehensive Examination
Participant/Observer Case Study
Total Hours 40

Grading Policy

Students must have a grade average of B to qualify for the degree. A maximum of eight hours of C (2.0) grades is applicable to the degree (grades of C- or lower are not accepted), provided that a minimum GPA of 3.0 is reached at time of graduation and an approved Student Petition is on file in the Office of Records and Registration. In no circumstances, however, may a grade lower than B in PSC 501 be counted toward the degree. For students choosing the CR/NC option, a CR represents work equivalent to B, meaning that grades of CR may be counted toward the master’s degree.

NOTE: Students also should refer to the campus policy on Grades Acceptable Toward Master’s Degrees section of this catalog.