Master of Arts in Political Science (MA)

The Master of Arts in Political Science is available in two forms: non-thesis and thesis. To earn this degree, you must complete 36 credit hours.

We designed these plans to provide you with:

  • Broad training suitable for pursuing doctoral work
  • A foundation for teaching
  • Practice in the private sector

In both plans, you choose your primary field of study from one of these three areas:

  • Public Administration
  • Comparative Politics and International Relations
  • Public Policy

Non-thesis plan requirements

For this 36-unit plan, you must complete:

  • 6 units of core courses
  • 6 units of core course work in your field
  • An additional 12-15 units of political science courses related to your field
  • An interdisciplinary concentration of 9-12 units
  • A final oral exam, with satisfactory performance

You may count up to two 400-level courses toward this academic plan if they haven’t previously been counted toward a bachelor’s degree.

Thesis plan requirements

For this 36-unit plan, you must complete:

  • 6 units of core courses
  • 6 units of core course work in your field
  • An additional 6-9 units of political science courses related to your field
  • An interdisciplinary concentration of 9-12 units
  • 6 units of POS 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis

Please note that you may end up taking more units of thesis credit than the 6 units you can count toward your degree because you must enroll for POS 699 each term while you work on your thesis.

You may count up to two 400-level courses toward this academic plan if they haven’t previously been counted toward a bachelor’s degree.