The Master of Arts degree has a dual purpose. Primarily, the M.A. is designed to provide students with the foundation to pursue the more advanced graduate study associated with the pursuit of the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Many individuals, however, find the M.A. degree useful in their careers in such diverse areas as journalism, the military, or education.
Students pursuing a terminal M.A. degree may follow one of the two options in completing the degree: Option I: 30 credit hours of course work, plus writing a M.A. thesis (6 credit hours maximum); Option II: 36 credit hours of course work, plus a written comprehensive examination.
The M.A. student should choose two of the following six broad areas to concentrate on: Traditional and Normative Theory, Empirical Theory and Research Methodology, American Government and Politics, Public Administration, Comparative Government and Politics, and International Relations. In one the student should develop real competence (primary area), in the other reasonable familiarity with the major aspects (secondary area). An approved field from outside of Political Science can be substituted for the second field. The student need not confine course work taken in the two areas chosen. Students enrolled in the M.A. degree program must successfully complete two of the following courses: 510-Scope and Methods in Political Science; 511-Research Design; and 512-Quantitative Political Analysis I. There is no foreign language competency required for the M.A. degree.