Clark Atlanta University Learn Lead Change

Graduate Information

    Department of Political Science
    Knowles Hall- 3rd Floor
    (404) 880-8718; Fax: (404) 880-8717


Graduate Study

The Department of Political Science brings together an undergraduate and graduate program in political science. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to learn the political dimensions of life in modern society. The purpose of the course of study is to provide a learning experience of basic politics in the context of a liberal arts education. Students will also study history and economics. The Department offers a wide range of courses covering international politics, comparative politics, U.S. government and politics, African Politics, public policy, political theory, the scope and methods of political science, urban politics, and public law. At the undergraduate level the Department shares in the teaching of the required course in social science for all students.

At the graduate level the Department's purpose is to provide graduate study for students who wish to become professional political scientists. The Department is especially pleased to have among its students many from abroad who have come here for study. The graduate curriculum begins with facts and knowledge of the political experience of black people in the U.S. and in the world, and expands toward a universal understanding of political experiences. The contradictions of the U.S. and other political-economic systems are analyzed from a multicultural perspective seeking understanding and alternatives which will produce desired social changes. Special attention is given to focus on the Third World. This program leads to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The Department seeks to carry out its program through a pattern of human relationships that stress openness, honesty, and a cooperative spirit.

Admission Requirements

Students beginning graduate work in the Department should have completed an undergraduate major in political science--approximately twenty-four (24) hours--with an overall "B" average. Consideration may be given to other applicants whose academic preparation in related social sciences suggests that they are capable of successfully pursuing the Master of Arts degree in Political Science. The above requirements are considered minimal for admission to the department. Fulfillment of these requirements does not assure admission.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Political Science

For the Master of Arts degree, the Department requires a minimum of twenty-four (24) graduate hours of course work and a thesis. Six (6) additional graduate hours are given upon completion of the thesis. A final oral examination, covering the thesis and courses taken by the student, is required. The courses, Blacks and the American Political System and Scope and Methods of Political Inquiry, are required of all students pursuing the Master of Arts degree in Political Science. Students pursuing a degree in political science who accumulate more than eight (8) graduate semester hours of Cs on their post undergraduate transcript will not be retained in the Department.

Research Tool

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must demonstrate proficiency in the use of one research tool from among the following: foreign language, statistical analysis, or computer science. Each student in consultation with the faculty will decide which research tool will best facilitate his or her program of study.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philpsophy Degree in Political Science

The prerequisites for this degree are a master's degree in political science and an overall academic average of "B" or better for work beyond the baccalaureate degree. Consideration may be given to other applicants who have earned a master's degree in one of the related social sciences. The above requirements are minimal for consideration for admission, and fulfillment of them does not assure admission.

Each candidate must complete a minimum of thirty (30) graduate semester hours beyond the master's degree. Twelve (12) additional semester hours of credit are given upon completion of the dissertation.

Research Tool

The School of Arts and Sciences requires that candidates for the Ph.D. degree demonstrate a reading knowledge in two foreign languages. The language requirement may be satisfied by passing a University Examination or a noncredit course in the language(s) chosen. Candidates may, upon the recommendation of the faculty, substitute courses in statistical analysis and/or computer science for the foreign languages.

Required Courses

Before being admitted to candidacy students must pass the following courses: Scope and Method of Political Inquiry, Blacks and the American Political System, and Government and Politics of Modern Africa.

Preliminary Examination

This examination must be passed prior to admission to candidacy. Students must take written and oral examinations in four subfields of their choice. The political science curriculum is divided into seven sub-fields:

  • U.S. Government and Politics,
  • African Politics,
  • Urban Politics,
  • International Politics,
  • Theory and Methodology,
  • Public Administration, and
  • Comparative Politics.

Students are permitted two attempts to pass their preliminary examination. Failure to pass the exam will result in dismissal from the Ph.D. Program.


This is a scholarly presentation of a research problem.

Final Examination

The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation.