Government – Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

  1. General admission to graduate study.
  2. Completion of 18 credit hours of undergraduate work in political science or related field with GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. Acceptable proficiency in social science, analytical skills, and writing ability as determined by the SPA/GOVT admissions committee from the following: undergraduate transcripts, writing sample, publication record, and interview (required at committee's request).
  4. GRE score of 294 or higher preferred (total for both verbal and quantitative sections) and writing score of 3 or higher. Lower scores (minimum of 283) may be accepted with other evidence (e.g., high GPA or research and writing output) of potential for quality work.
  5. Preferred TOEFL score of 525 or higher for international students; a lower score may be accepted with evidence of English speaking and writing proficiency.
  6. A two-page typewritten statement of personal, educational, and career goals to be used as a writing sample or department interview.

Requirements for Degree

  1. Satisfy University degree requirements.
  2. Complete a minimum of 36 credit hours including a core of 21 hours, approved elective of nine hours, and an approved thesis of six hours.
  3. Successfully complete a comprehensive written or oral examination as determined by the faculty of the program and the student's advisory committee.
  4. Public presentation of thesis.
  5. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  6. Must be unconditionally admitted.

Program Requirements


GOVT 610American Politics


GOVT 620International Relations


GOVT 630Comparative Politics


GOVT 640Political Theory


GOVT 650Public Law


PA 605Epistemology and Research Methodology


PA 620Bureaucracy and Public Management


Total Credit Hours:21


Choose three (nine hours) from the following:

GOVT 600Seminar: State and Local Government


GOVT 605Environmental Law and Policy


GOVT 612American Political Development


GOVT 676Directed Study


GOVT 680Government for Teachers


PA 645Seminar in Founding Fathers and American Thought


PA 660Intergovernmental Relations


PA 681American Diplomatic History


PS 600Political Science Seminar


RAPP 670Directed Research


Total Credit Hours:9


(Completion and defense of an approved thesis)

GOVT 699Thesis


Total Credit Hours:6

Dismissal from MA in Government

All students pursuing the MA in government must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. Students falling below a 3.0 will be placed on a one-semester period of probation. Students failing to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 after one semester of probation will be dropped from the program. Any student who receives a grade of "C" or below in more than two courses taken for graduate credit will be immediately dropped from the program. Academic standing will be monitored by the program director.

Student Competencies

  1. Students will be actively engaged in research and learning exercises that will develop comprehensive understanding of the concepts, theories, institutions and principles of political science.
  2. Students will become familiar with and demonstrate knowledge of the six largest subfields of political science: American government and politics, public law, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and public administration.
  3. Students will engage in learning exercises and research projects that will develop an understanding of the links between political science and the formulation and administration of governmental policy.
  4. Students will participate in courses, seminars and learning exercises that will develop an understanding of the institutions and processes that are responsible for the formation and execution of public policy in international, national and subnational governments.

Assessment Procedures

  1. Competencies in political science that are measured include methods, theories, analytical thinking, historiography, and professional writing. These are assessed in each course in the curriculum.
  2. Students are systematically assessed by their thesis and undergo a defense of their research.
  3. Program assessment also takes place through alumni surveys in conjunction with program reviews.
  4. Students are assessed by a comprehensive examination of core sub-field content areas as a requirement for graduation. This examination assesses professional competency at the graduate level in the field.  

Total Credit Hours: 36