Master of Arts
Political Science



The Master of Arts program provides a flexible curriculum for students who want to pursue goals of an advanced general education, to gain skills and knowledge suitable for various types of public or private employment, or to prepare for further work at the doctoral level. The Master of Arts program is designed for students who wish to conduct scholarly investigations in one of the following areas of political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Public Law, and Political Theory.
This focus is especially beneficial to those students who wish to pursue studies at the doctoral level.

Political science faculty members are involved in international, national, state, and local political affairs and utilize their experiences in the graduate seminars. Master of Arts students are encouraged to work along with faculty in their research and scholarly community service projects.

The faculty expects students to have a full commitment of their talents and energies in pursuing graduate study, in order that they may become competent professionals in their chosen fields, whether it is teaching, research, or administration. Our graduate courses
are taught largely as seminars, where students enter fully and actively into discussion. They will be in an intellectual setting that is lively and open, where contending viewpoints are expressed on the deepest issues of politics. Students can expect to receive
support and encouragement from the faculty as they venture into new areas of knowledge.


Option 1: Thesis Program. Requires thirty semester hours in political science including six hours of thesis credit or a minimum of eighteen hours in political science if a minor is selected. (POLS 5013) Scope and Methods of Political Science is required.

Option 2: Non-Thesis Program. Requires thirty-six semester hours in political science or twenty-four hours in political science if a minor is selected, and a substantial research paper. (POLS 5013) Scope and Methods of Political Science is required.

Students have six years to complete the programs.


Students taking Option 1 or Option 2 are required to have two years study of one foreign language or twelve undergraduate hours of mathematical sciences (includes statistics and computer science). Students may begin work without these hours but must complete them before the degree can be given.



Unconditional Admission:  An applicant who meets each of the following admission criteria may be admitted unconditionally by the graduate faculty of the student's intended major.


  1.       1.      A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.  (The equivalence of foreign degrees is evaluated by the Office of International Services.)  The MSU Admissions Office must receive an official transcript, including one on which a bachelor's degree is posted, directly from each institution the applicant has attended.
         2.      A GPA of at least 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work exclusive of credit hours awarded by a two-year college.
         3.      A satisfactory score on the GRE/GMAT/MAT.  (The specific admissions test accepted is determined by the student's intended graduate major department.)  The MSU Admissions Office must receive official admissions test scores directly from the organization that administers the test.
         4.      An undergraduate background judged by the graduate faculty of the student's intended major to be adequate for success in the student's intended major.

            For Conditional Admission, please see the Graduate Catalog.



A maximum of six graduate credit hours may be transferred into the program with the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.



Graduate Assistant (GA) and Teaching Assistant (TA) positions are available. GAs are assigned to individual faculty members and assist with research projects. Students are eligible to be a TA after completion of 18 semester hours of graduate work in political
science. TAs teach their own sections of introductory undergraduate courses within the program. To be considered for a GA or TA positions fill out the following application and send it to the graduate coordinator.

 For additional information contact:
Dr. Steve Garrison, Graduate Coordinator, at or (940) 397-6282.