Masters Degree Requirements


We seek to prepare our students with the advanced substantive mastery, as well as research, critical, analytical, and communication skills for successful careers in politics and government, public administration, law, business, education, community service, survey research, and journalism.  Students in the M.A. program are expected to complete the following course and research-related requirements:

Course Requirements

A total of 33 hours of course credit:

    • 6 hours from core methods courses:  
      • POLS 5103: Research Design 
      • POLS 5013: Quantitative Methods of Political Analysis
    • 9 hours from pro-seminars in each of the three major sub-fields:
      • POLS 5203: ProSeminar in International Relations
      • POLS 5403: ProSeminar in Comparative Politics
      • POLS 5703: ProSeminar in American Politics
    • 6 hours of electives
    • 6 hours of thesis coursework (POLS 5000)

A list and description of all POLS courses is available here.

In addition to the coursework requirements, a student must defend the thesis orally before their faculty committee.  In all their coursework, the M.A. student must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, with only one grade of "C" allowed.

Research-Related Requirements

    • RCR Certification: The graduate college requires all students to complete The Social and Behavior Responsible Conduct of Research certification their first semester.
      • Click here to download a guide for proper course selection. 
      • Click here to be directed to the online training module.
    • Plans of Study: Students must complete a preliminary plan of study (POS) before completion of their 17th credit hour. For more information regarding Online Plan of Study Form, click here.
      • Note:  The Final POS must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator within the first two week of the semester that the student intends to graduate.