Jun 06, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, M.A.

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Return to: 3470 Department of Political Science  

The purpose of the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program is to guide students in the development of analytical and critical capabilities through inquiry into political and governmental processes. The objective of the program is to provide education for persons interested in pursuing careers in research, teaching, or the professional practice of public service and politics. Students can choose a degree program that will provide them with a general knowledge of the discipline, or one that will provide them with a specialization in American politics, international and comparative politics, or the professional practices of government and politics.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Political Science by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Political Science has the following requirements for the M.A. program:

  • Have an acceptable cumulative undergraduate grade-point average and the equivalent of at least a minor in political science.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential to do graduate work in political science or a related field.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities applicant has attended.
  • Submit a statement of research interest and goals for political science degree.
  • Submit a writing sample demonstrating graduate level research capabilities

No grade below a C may be used towards the M.A. degree. In addition, because the field of political science changes so quickly, the department will not normally support the use of coursework and other qualifications older than seven years towards the M.A.

Degree Requirements

Both masters and doctoral students must be registered for a minimum of three (3) semester hours the semester of completion of all degree requirements.

Methods Sequence

Students should select from the following two methods tracks.  Those planning to apply for a PhD should strongly consider the advanced track.

  1. Regular methods track:
    1. POLS 6800   Research Design and Applied Data Analysis (3)
  2. Advanced methods track:
    1. POLS 6800  /POLS 8800   Elements of Research Design (3)
    2. POLS 8805  Introduction to Quantitative Analysis (3)
    3. Either POLS 8810  Uses of Intermediate Statistical Methods in Political Science Research or POLS 8840   Qualitative Research Methods (3).


Experiential Learning Project (3, 6, or 9 hours)

  1. Students may elect to complete one internship or other experiential learning module for up to 9 credit hours.
  2. This experience is a core element of the professional politics concentration, but students in other concentrations may substitute it for two elective courses.
  3. Experiential learning projects must receive the advance permission of the departmental M.A. Director or the Director of Graduate Studies.
  4. Each three hour segment of Experiential Learning requires the equivalent of 10-15 hours per week of work for one semester.  This can be in the form of an internship or employment acquired by the student, a project through the Georgia Municipal Association, a study abroad program, or other relevant experience.
  5. Students should select a faculty advisor for their project and complete the required experiential learning form.  Faculty advisors will generally require students to keep a journal of the work that they are performing and/or to complete a paper.
  6. Students will register for POLS 8995  Administrative & Policy Internship the semester they complete this project.
  7. Students may also partially fulfill the requirement by taking PMAP 8900 , the project consulting-based capstone course in the Andrew Young School’s M.P.P. degree program.

M.A. Final Project (3 or 6 hours)

All M.A. students must complete a final project for their degree program, either in the form of a thesis or a capstone project.  The thesis is a larger project of original research which is worth 6 hours of credit, while the capstone is a smaller project - either of original research or of a more pre-professional orientation - worth 3 hours of credit. 

Thesis (6 hours)

A thesis project in which the student will complete a piece of original research under the supervision of three or more faculty members.  Thesis projects will require a formal defense of both the prospectus and the final paper.  This option is strongly recommended for students considering a Ph.D.

Capstone Project (3 hours)

A capstone project in which the student will complete a project under the supervision of two or more faculty members.  This project may constitute a research paper completed according to departmental guidelines, or it may be a more practical project such a the development of a new curriculum or a policy analysis paper.  This requirement is worth three hours of credit.  Student wishing to complete a full thesis are exempt.

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