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Program Requirements

In order to be advanced in the program to the master’s level, the student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative average in all undergraduate coursework.

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science offers a wide range of courses in five subject areas: Political Theory, American Government, International Relations, Comparative Government and Public Administration. Majors must include in their program:

POL 1, 2 Introduction to Political Science
POL 21 American Political Theory
POL 26 or 27 European Political Theory I or II
POL 51 International Relations
POL 64 Introduction to Comparative Politics
and six courses in advanced political science, for a total of 36 credits

In addition to the usual requirements of undergraduate majors, students in the B.A./M.A. in Political Science program will take 12 graduate credits during their senior year. Upon the successful completion of the normal 129 credits required for graduation, the student will not receive the B.A. degree but will be given 12 credits of advanced standing in the M.A. program (depending on the M.A. option they select.) After completing the remaining credits required in the M.A. program (18 or 24 credits depending on Option 1-Thesis or Option 2-Comprehensive Exam), the student will be awarded both the B.A. and M.A. degrees in Political Science.

Note: If the student elects to not enter or complete the Master of Arts program, he or she will be entitled to the B.A. in Political Science degree upon the completion of the required 129 undergraduate credits.

A candidate who is admitted to the Master of Arts in Political Science degree program has a choice of two options:

Option I: Thesis

This program option is designed primarily for a candidate who anticipates continued graduate study at the doctoral level. It requires 30 credits of courses, including the writing of a master’s thesis to demonstrate the student’s ability to research and evaluate findings, organize materials and present conclusions effectively. Of the 30 semester hours, a total of 24 credits in graduate political science courses (including POL 700, 707, and 708) is required for degree Option I. If circumstances warrant, the department chair may authorize a student to take up to six elective courses in other departments. Students interested in writing a thesis must secure departmental authorization in advance.

Option II: Comprehensive Examination

This program option requires 36 credits and the passing of a comprehensive examination to demonstrate the candidate’s satisfactory graduate level of preparation and knowledge. Comprehensive examinations for Option II students are administered once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester. A candidate must register with the Department of Political Science/International Studies for the fall examination by November 1 and for the spring examination by March 1. No examinations are given at any other time of the year.

Required Courses

POL 700 Political Science: Approaches and Methodologies
POL 710 Seminar in Political Science
Related graduate courses, approved by the chair (history, economics, sociology). If circumstances warrant, the department chair may authorize a student to take elective courses in other departments.
Twenty-four credits of graduate political science courses
(Total 36 credits)