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M.A. in Political Science

Political Science FacultyPolitical Science traditionally is divided into four major subfields. Students pursuing the Master of Arts degree take a core course in each of them:

American Politics: Studies in the origins and operation of the U.S. constitutional order. Subfields might include political parties; campaigns and elections; the media; and race and gender.

International Relations: The study of both classical global politics – the balance of power among states – and the rise of non-state actors in an increasingly complex world, from transnational corporations to transnational terrorist groups.

Comparative Politics: Compares and contrasts forms of government and social organization in the world, such as institutions (militaries, political parties) or types of political systems (democracies, autocracies).

Political Theory: From Socrates to John Rawls, an inquiry into the ideas and influence of the great schools of thought on history, politics and society.

The remaining eight courses are electives, chosen in consultation with the faculty adviser and reflecting the student’s particular area of interest. At the end of the 12-course, 36-credit course of study, students must pass the Department’s comprehensive examination in two of the four subfields. Students who choose to write an M.A. thesis do not have to take the comprehensive exam. Normally the entire program takes two years to complete. Students in the United Nations Certificate Program also can earn a master’s degree after consultation with the Department.