M.A. in Political Science

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Applications are now being accepted. The application deadline for the M.A. is March 1, 2018.

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PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Political Science Department at Georgia State University invites applications to study for the Masters of Arts degree.

  • The degree offers a choice of four concentrations: General Political Science, American Politics, International and Comparative Politics, and Public Law.
  • The degree is taught primarily in-person through small seminars, but students also have the option of taking some of their courses online.
  • All courses are taught by full-time faculty and emphasize interaction among students and professors.

This program is geared towards students who want a deep foundation in the current scholarship of political science. It can be taken as a terminal degree for someone seeking a career in government, politics, law, or a related field, or it can be taken as the first step to a doctorate. Unlike our online degrees, this M.A. focuses more on developing a student’s independent research.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

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Concentration in General Political Science (33)
1. Required Methods Sequence (9 hours)
a. POLS 6800 or 8800 Elements of Research Design (3)
b. POLS 8805 Introduction to Qualitative Analysis (3)
c. Either POLS 8810 Uses of Intermediate Statistical Methods in Political Science Research or POLS 8840 Qualitative Research Methods (3).

Students who wish to substitute another course for the third required methods course (either POLS 8810 or POLS 8840) may do so with advance permission of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

2. Six additional graduate Political Science courses (18 hours)

Students should take one course in three of the five major areas of study. These areas include American government and politics, comparative politics, international politics, political theory and public law. Two of the six courses may be taken outside the department, with the advance approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

3. Thesis Option
a. A minimum of six hours of POLS 8999 Thesis Research.
b. A thesis, written following successful defense of proposal before three-member faculty committee. The chair and at least one member of this committee must come from the department’s graduate faculty, but the third member may come from the graduate faculty of another department at Georgia State University or from among the department’s permanent non-graduate faculty. Subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, additional members beyond the required three may also come from outside the university, normally among members of the political science graduate faculty at an MA or PhD granting institution.
c. A thesis defense.

4. Non-Thesis Option (students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree should not choose this option)
a. Six additional hours of graduate courses in political science.
b. A research paper completed according to departmental guidelines. First readers on this paper should be chosen from among the department’s graduate faculty, but second readers may also be chosen from among the department’s permanent non-graduate faculty or from among the graduate faculty of other departments at Georgia State University, subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Concentration in American Politics (33)
1. Required Methods Sequence
a. POLS 6800 or 8800 Elements of Research Design (3)
b. POLS 8805 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

2. Either POLS 8810 Uses of Intermediate Statistical Methods in Political Science Research or POLS 8840 Qualitative Research Methods (3). Students who wish to substitute another course for the third required methods course (either POLS 8810 or POLS 8840) may do so with the advance permission of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

3. POLS 6100 or 8100 Seminar in American Politics (3)

4. Five additional courses (15 hours) chosen from general American offerings, Public Law, American Institutions, or American Political Behavior (POLS 6100-6180, POLS 8100-8180). One course may be taken in a different political science concentration with the advance approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. Two of these courses may be taken in another department with the advance approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies

5. Thesis Option
a. A minimum of six hours of POLS 8999 Thesis Research.
b. A thesis, written following successful defense of proposal before three-member faculty committee.
c. A thesis defense.

6. Non-Thesis Option (Students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree should not choose this option)
a. Six additional hours of graduate courses in American politics (POLS 6100–POLS 6180, POLS 8100–POLS 8180)
b. A research paper completed according to departmental guidelines

Concentration in International and Comparative Politics (33)
1. Required Methods Sequence
a. POLS 6800 or 8800 Elements of Research Design (3)
b. POLS 8805 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
c. Either POLS 8810 Uses of Intermediate Statistical Methods in Political Science Research or POLS 8840 Qualitative Research Methods (3). Students who wish to substitute another course for the third required methods course (either POLS 8810 or POLS 8840) may do so with the advance permission of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

2. POLS 6200 or 8200 Comparative Political Analysis (3) and POLS 6400 or 8400 International Politics (3).

3. Four additional courses (12 hours) chosen from the areas of comparative (POLS 6200–POLS 6280, POLS 8200–POLS 8280) and international politics (POLS 6400–POLS 6480, POLS 8400–POLS 8480).Two of these courses may be taken in other departments with the advanced approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. One may be taken in a different political science concentration with the advanced approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

4. Thesis Option
a. A minimum of six hours of POLS 8999 Thesis Research
b. A thesis, written following successful defense of proposal before three-member faculty committee
c. A thesis defense.

5. Non-Thesis Option (Students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree should not choose this option):
a. Six additional hours of graduate courses in comparative (POLS 6200–POLS 6280, POLS 8200–POLS 8280) and international politics (POLS 6400–POLS 6480, POLS 8400–POLS 8480).
b. A research paper completed according to departmental guidelines.

Concentration in Public Law (33)
1. Required Methods Sequence
a. POLS 6800 or 8800 Elements of Research Design (3)
b. POLS 8805 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis (3)
c. Either POLS 8810 Uses of Intermediate Statistical Methods in Political Science Research or POLS 8840 Qualitative Research Methods (3). Students who wish to substitute another course for the third required methods course (either POLS 8810 or POLS 8840) may do so with advance permission of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

2. Either POLS 6100 or 8100 Seminar in American Politics, POLS 6200 or 8200 Comparative Political Analysis, or POLS 8200 or 8400 International Politics (3)

3. POLS 8140 Judicial Process & Policy Making (3)

4. POLS 8145 Law, Courts & Policy (3)

5. Either POLS 8427 International Human Rights, POLS 6220 Comparative Legal Systems, or POLS 8139 Constitutional Theory (3)

6. Choose one additional Public Law or Public Law-related course (3). One course may be taken in a different political science concentration with the advance approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. Potential courses include, but are not limited to:
a. POLS 6130 Constitutional Law (3)
b. POLS 6131 Civil Rights & Liberties (3)
c. POLS 6190 Studies in American Politics (3)
d. POLS 6420 International Law (3)
e. POLS 6425 International Criminal Justice (3)
f. POLS 8421 International Institutions & Organizations (3)

7. Choose one elective course in consultation with the departmental Director of Graduate Studies (3). Two of the above courses may be taken in another department with the advance approval of the departmental Director of Graduate Studies.

8. Thesis Option
a. A minimum of six hours of POLS 8999 Thesis Research.
b. A thesis, written following successful defense of proposal before three-member faculty committee.
c. A thesis defense.

9. Non-Thesis Option (Students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree should not choose this option):
a. Six additional hours of graduate courses in Public Law or Public Law-related courses.
b. A research paper completed according to departmental guidelines.