Master of Arts Degree in Political Science
While the Department does have separate M.A. and Ph.D. tracks, the beginning graduate student will complete an M.A. degree prior to work at the doctoral level. If an M.A. degree in political science has already been obtained from another institution, the applicant may be considered for doctoral studies upon request following the first semester. Nevertheless, not all students wish to pursue a Ph.D., and instead seek employment or admission to a professional school after earning the M.A. degree. Once course requirements are fulfilled, the student is examined in one specialization (major) and one concentration (minor) area, both of which must be selected from the four areas offered by the Department. These examinations are evaluated by the faculty members in each area, and at that time a decision is made about whether or not the student should pursue doctoral work in the Department.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Political Science
The doctoral student is required to specialize (major) in one of the four departmental areas, and have concentrations (minors) in two other areas, one of which could be in a cognate discipline or a special, self-designed minor area. At this stage, the student becomes more deeply immersed in the process of scholarly research. We encourage students to execute research projects in preparation for careers as publishing scholars. In addition, we also seek to prepare doctoral students for independent classroom instruction, and make every effort to provide an independent teaching experience for each doctoral student completing our program. Upon passing doctoral examinations and successfully completing a dissertation, the student receives a Ph.D. in political science.