M.A.

The Department of Political Science offers two M.A. degrees. Students in M.A. Plan A are expected to write a thesis. Instead of a thesis, M.A. Plan B students supplement their core curriculum with a Culminating Experience.

M.A. Plan A

The course requirements for the Master's Plan A is detailed on the Master's Plan A Advising Document (below). This form should be filled out as the student progresses through the program. All master's candidates are required to take a total of 30 units, of which 9 credit hours (3 courses) must be from POLS 610, 620, 630, 640, 650, 660, 670, and 680, plus one graduate seminar, which must be from POLS 700–798. There is no foreign language requirement, through students may decide that language study is relevant to their work. Students in Plan A must register for 6 to 12 hours of thesis research, POLS 700.

Students seeking a Master's Plan A will need to write a brief proposal, create a committee, and defend their thesis. The committee must include at least two members of the department and will guide the student from the proposal writing stages through the defense of the thesis. Upon completion of the thesis, the student must orally defend his or her work. It is the policy of the department that these defenses are public and a public announcement must accompany the defense.

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M.A. Plan B

The course requirements for the Master's Plan B is detailed on the Master's Plan B Advising Document (below). This form should be filled out as the student progresses through the program. All master's candidates are required to take a total of 30 units, of which 9 credit hours (3 courses) must be from POLS 610, 620, 630, 640, 650, 660, 670, and 680, plus one graduate seminar, which must be from POLS 700–798. Additional courses to total 30 credit hours must be chosen from remaining graduate-level courses. There is no foreign language requirement, though students may decide that language study is relevant to their work.

The Culminating Experience

Students entering the Master's non-thesis (Plan B) are required to complete a Culminating Experience consisting of a colloquium presented to the department. This colloquium will be the culmination of a research project or paper that may have been begun in class, but is of sufficient quality to be presented at an academic conference. The Culminating Experience is to be scheduled and publicized by the student working in coordination with the department's current Colloquium Coordinator.

The student is to form a committee of three political science faculty members who will evaluate the presentation. These faculty members are to indicate their approval through a signed note on the candidate's M.A. Plan B Advising Document. Alternately, the department has agreed that a six-credit internship is an appropriate Culminating Experience for Master's candidates in the Alternative Futures Specialization.

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Timelines, Checklists, and Advising Documents

M.A. Plan A

M.A. Plan B

Graduate Student Guide

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