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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs M.A. in Political Science, General

Masters in Political Science

The general Master’s degree in Political Science is designed for those students who seek a terminal graduate degree and whose career goals include education, public service, not-for–profit organizations, or non-governmental organizations. Students may focus on Political Science and public policy broadly defined, or they may concentrate more specifically on American politics or global politics. The core courses will provide students with a strong background in Political Science as a field, and the substantive courses allow students to pick their focus.


A minimum of 31 credit hours are required for the Masters of Arts degree

Of those 31 hours:

  • 27 hours shall be graded graduate credit course work;
  • 24 hours shall be graded Political Science course work, no more than six hours of which shall be 400 level courses which provide graduate credit in their program statement to the Graduate School;
  • 3 out of 4 core courses in Political Science including:

POL_S 501 —  The Scope of Political Science (Basic issues in social science epistemology, elements of social science theory-building, theoretical framework, and intellectual history of political science.)

POL_S 503 —  Introduction to Political Science Research Methods (Introduction to general topics in the area of social science research design including: Theories and Concepts, Measurement, Sampling, Data Sources, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs, Field and Historical Designs, and Survey Research).

And either

POL_S 502 – Seminar in Political Theory (Provides basic training in normative political theory).
POL_S 504 – Quantitative Methods in Political Science (Applied statistical skills and theories of probability, enabling understanding of substantive political and social questions).

  • A minimum of four hours of Political Science 702

Final oral defense: To be scheduled during the final semester of the degree program.

Graduate Coordinator:

Diane Scott
Johnson Tower 801
Phone: 509-335-2545

Useful Links:

Graduate School
Schedule of Classes