Graduate Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

M.A./Option I Degree Requirements

(thesis) – 30 credit hours of course work, plus 6 hours for thesis

Course Requirements:

Students are required to take the following courses their first year:

  • POLS 800 (Research Methods) with a grade of B minus or better
  • POLS 801 (Scope and Methods) with a grade of B minus or better.

The following course requirements must be satisfied in a student's first three semesters of graduate studies or as soon thereafter as feasible.

  • Three core seminars with a grade of B minus or better from among the following: American Government; Biology and Politics, Comparative Politics; Political Theory; International Relations; and Public Policy
  • Not more than three (3) graduate credits in tutorials in Political Science (891 Individual Readings, or 991 Minor Research Problems) shall count towards the degree.
  • Passing comprehensive examinations in two areas of specialization.
  • Preparation of an acceptable thesis (6 credit hours).
  • No 400/800 level courses in political science shall count toward the degree. This does not apply to courses being applied to the PhD research tool requirement, or to courses taught outside the department that are cross-listed in political science
  • Completion of two research seminars (one from each area in which the student takes comprehensive examinations).

M.A./Option II Degree Requirements

(no thesis) – 36 credit hours including one or two minors of 9 hours each.

Course Requirements:

It is required that students take the following courses their first year:

  • POLS 800 (Research Methods) with a grade of B minus or better
  • POLS 801 (Scope and Methods) with a grade of B minus or better.

The following course requirements must be satisfied in a student's first three semesters of graduate studies or as soon thereafter as feasible.

  • Three core seminars with a grade of B minus or better from among the following: American Government; Biology and Politics, Comparative Politics; Political Theory; International Relations; and Public Policy
  • Not more than three (3) graduate credits in tutorials in Political Science (891 Individual Readings, or 991 Minor Research Problems) shall count towards the degree.
  • Passing comprehensive examinations in two areas of specialization.
  • No 400/800 level courses in political science shall count toward the degree. This does not apply to courses being applied to the PhD research tool requirement, or to courses taught outside the department that are cross-listed in political science
  • Completion of two research seminars (one from each area in which the student takes comprehensive examinations).

M.A. Option III Degree Requirements*

(no thesis, extra course work, and promise for success in working towards the Ph.D.) – 36 credit hours

This option may be chosen only with the approval of the Graduate Committee upon recommendation of the student's advisor. Option III shall only be approved when there is sufficient evidence of excellent progress in the program combined with extraordinary research and writing skills demonstrating ability comparable to that required for a thesis.

Course requirement are the same as Option 1.

  • Not more than three (3) graduate credits in tutorials in Political Science (891 Individual Readings, or 991 Minor Research Problems) shall count toward the degree.
  • Passing comprehensive examinations in two areas of specialization.
  • No 400/800 level courses in political science shall count toward the degree. This does not apply to courses being applied to the PhD research tool requirement, or to courses taught outside the department that are corss-listed in political science.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements*

  • A Bachelor's degree in political science (or related field).
  • A minimum of 90 credit hours, with no more than 21 credits for dissertation research.
  • Course Requirements – The requirements listed under M.A. Option 1.
  • Not more than a total of three (3) graduate credits in tutorials in Political Science (891 Individual Readings, 991 Minor Research Problems) taken at this university, including those taken at the M.A. level, shall count towards the degree.
  • Passing comprehensive examinations in two areas of specialization.
  • Passing POLS 901 in which the student will prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus.
  • Passing POLS 802, Professional Development in Political Science.
  • No 400/800 level courses in political science shall count toward the degree. This does not apply to courses being applied to the PhD research tool requirement, or to courses taught outside the department that are corss-listed in political science.
  • A student with a masters degree from another institution may pass a proficiency examination in or substitute courses taken for any core seminar, POLS 800 (Research Methods) and POLS 801 (Scope and Methods). Proficiency examinations and substitutions shall require the approval of faculty responsible for the course and should be taken as soon as possible, preferably in the student's first year.
  • Students working toward the Ph.D. can apply no more than six (6) hours of work beyond a masters degree completed at a non-Ph.D. granting academic unit/department to the Ph.D. This requirement does not apply to the Ph.D. tool requirement.
  • The Department requires candidates for the Ph.D. to teach during their period of residency. This requirement may be waived upon the recommendation of a student's committee or the Graduate Committee.
*Degree Requirements - also see requirements listed in the general and departmental portions of the Graduate Studies Bulletin