Students beginning graduate work in the department should have completed an undergraduate major in political science--approximately 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 24 graduate hours of course work and a thesis. Six 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 graduate semester hours with a grade of a C (or lower) on their post-undergraduate transcript will not be retained in the department.
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
Each candidate must complete a minimum of 30 graduate semester hours beyond the master's degree. Twelve additional semester hours of credit are given upon completion of the dissertation.
Before being admitted to candidacy students must pass the following courses:
- Scope and Method of Political Inquiry
- Blacks and the American Political System
- Government and Politics of Modern Africa
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.
The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation.