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M.A. and Ph.D. Programs

The MA/PhD program in Political Science is designed for individuals who seek careers in academia, as well as in government, business, and the non-profit sector. The goal of the program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields. Students in the MA/PhD specialize in two of three areas: American Politics and Policy, Conflict Analysis and Management, and Transnational and Comparative Politics and Policy. MA students have the option of two paths to the degree: (1) writing a thesis in combination with a 27-credit hours curriculum; or (2) completing the 36-credit hours curriculum required of PhD students.

Given the primary goal of the PhD program is to train the next generation of scholars, the program focuses on providing students with rigorous training in quantitative and qualitative methods. We also focus on preparing individuals to be successful teachers. Our PhD students have the opportunity to participate in the Teaching Fellows Program, which includes a course on college-level instruction followed by the opportunity to assist faculty in their classroom instruction. After the completion of the teaching course and serving as a teaching assistant, PhD students are provided the opportunity to teach their own courses.

A central goal of the faculty is to conduct research and the graduate students play a key role in this endeavor, serving as research assistants and engaging in collaborative projects with faculty members.  This activity has been evident in the large number of conference papers and scholarly publications authored and co-authored by our graduate students in recent years. 

To facilitate this collaboration, the Political Science Department offers financial support to students in the form of tuition waivers and/or graduate assistantships. The department also offers funding for students to present papers at professional conferences around the country each year.

The graduate program in Political Science has several features and advantages:

  • Low student-to-faculty ratio that allows for individual attention and mentoring
  • Diverse methodological training that prepares students for careers in research
  • A unique specialization in Conflict Analysis and Management that draws on the expertise and resources of the  Center for Applied Conflict Management
  • Mentoring from high quality teachers, including several faculty who been recognized for their excellence in teaching    
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