This program provides an integration of disciplines and areas of interest in political science and international affairs. The MA in Political Science aims to give students a well- rounded education and understanding of the dynamic changes currently taking place in the international community. The degree requires the successful completion of 33 credits. 12 credits compose the required courses that every student must take. The remaining 21 credits are elective depending on the student’s area of interest.

Program Outcomes

  • Research and Analytic Method: Quantitative- including statistics- and qualitative, methods for conducting an analyzing political science and international studies research in a manner appropriate for graduate students
  • Critical Thinking: Students will learn and demonstrate critical thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to problem solving by selecting and organizing information, identifying assumptions and causal relationships, distinguish between verifiable facts and value claims, determine the credibility of sources, distinguish between warranted or unwarranted reasons or conclusions, detect biases, and evaluate appropriate problem solving strategies, their feasibility and efficacy.
  • Effective Communication: Students will be able to communicate effectively, in writing and verbally, the conventions of the English language in a clear, concise, articulate, literate, and professional manner consistent with those of college writing and those specific to the discipline international relations and political science.
  • Information and Technological Literacy: Students will be able to demonstrate information literacy and technological competency utilizing the most current computer-based library computer systems and academic databases, governmental resources, and other bona-fide informational resources to facilitate the study of political science.
  • Ethical and Professional Behavior: Students will learn to identify, evaluate, assess, and employ appropriate legal, ethical, and professional behaviors and practices within all aspects of their life, including, but not limited to an academic and political science environment.

Admission requirements

Admission to the program is based on an applicant’s demonstrated interest, aptitude, and motivation to successfully undertake and complete Master’s level studies.  This will be determined by the following minimal requirements and indicators:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended
  • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Performance on the Graduate Record Examination, which may be waived
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s interest and ability to undertake graduate level studies
  • Personalized interviews may be considered by the Department’s Admission Committee.
  • Applicants under consideration may be required to complete an abbreviated research paper that demonstrate their ability for effective writing

NOTE: Waivers for applicants who do not meet the grade point average (GPA) or standardized test scores (GRE scores) will be considered on an individual basis.

Degree Plan

The Master’s in Political Science requires successful completion of 33 credits. Students will either research and write a Master’s thesis or pass a comprehensive exam (POLS 6800).

Required major courses (12 credits)

The following four (4) courses (12 credits) represent the core curriculum for the Master’s in Political Science and are required of all students in the program.

  • CRIM6025 Social Science Research Methods
  • POLS6800 Master’s Research or Comprehensive Examination: Selected Studies in Political Science
  • POLS7820 Models of Political Systems
  • POLS7826 Politics of Public Policy

Elective courses (21 credits)

Students can choose from any of the following courses in fulfilling their remaining 21 credits. All elective course selections must be made in consultation with an academic advisor. Courses are interdisciplinary, consisting of the political science, history and criminal justice fields respectively.

Course Descriptions

  • CRIM6010 This course examines emerging issues as they influence the U.S. Constitution, public policy, and the criminal justice system. Topics such as criminal procedure, individual rights, gun control, decriminalization of drugs, social justice, crime prevention, juvenile justice, sentencing policies, incarceration, and capital punishment will be addressed.

  • CRIM6015 This advanced course in social research exposes students to the methods and techniques associated with identifying and defining problems and developing hypotheses, experimental design, surveys, testing instruments, gathering and analyzing data, and preparation of reports.

  • CRIM6020 This course addresses the basic concepts and methods of statistics applied within criminal justice and social science research. Topics covered include basic statistical methodology, exploratory data techniques, experimental design, sample distributions, interval estimation, inference, comparative analysis by parametric, nonparametric, and robust procedures, analysis of variance (one-way), linear and nonlinear regression, analysis of covariance, correlation and regression, and an introduction to statistical analysis using SPSS.

  • CRIM6025 This course will emphasize the conceptual foundations and methodological approaches used in social science research. This course introduces tools of quantative reasoning and statistics that can be used to address problems in basic research and policy within social sciences, particularly in the criminal justice field. The primary objectives of the course are to build familiarity with the fundamentals of probability and statistical analysis, central concepts of research design and norms of ethical behavior in research.

  • CRIM7020 This course examines classical and contemporary theories and philosophies relevant to ethical thought and behavior in relationship to the administration of justice. Ethical issues confronting criminal justice practitioners, to include the role and influence of politics, are explored through the use of case studies and critical incidents, and examining appropriate and applicable strategies.

  • CRIM7025 This course will conduct a comparative analysis between the criminal justice system of the United States with those of other major countries throughout the world. The similarities and differences between the policing, adjudication and penal systems will be discussed. Issues such as alternatives to incarceration, technologies utilized and legal mandates will be examined.

  • CRIM7030 The objective of this course will be to examine the principles, practices, and complexities of effective leadership. The course will examine the skills and competencies needed to be an effective leader. The benefits of effective leadership and the consequences of ineffective leadership in an organization will be studied.

  • CRIM7080 Topics will include the Constitution of the United States and how the safeguards in the Bill of Rights have evolved over time. The course will also focus on how laws and Criminal Justice policies are formulated, as well as why certain acts are considered serious crimes and other are not. Issues of how money and power affect policies in criminal justice will be examined. Topics of victims'rights police brutality, court process, sentencing, prisoner treatment and other policy matters in the criminal justice system will be reviewed.

  • CRIM7084 This course will examine the systemic problem of crime that transcends international borders that capitalizes on the use of violence and corruption in a technologically advancing global society. Transnational crime includes but is not limited to gambling, money laundering, human smuggling, prostitution, cyber-crime, terrorism and the trafficking of humans, drugs, weapons, endangered species, body parts and nuclear materials. The course will examine the legal,economic, tactical, technological and geopolitical dynamics to combat transnational crime with a specific focus on coordinating domestic and international public policy.

  • CRIM7085 The course provides individually designed internships within federal, state and local police/law enforcement agencies, courts and adjudication, corrections & probation, private security, juvenile justice, crime victims? advocacy and child protection. Students develop hands-on experience in all facets of the respective agency that they select. The internship provides the students with insight, experience and an available network of professional colleagues.

  • HIST6714 An analysis of the political and economic relationship of the United States with selected developing regions of the world in the context of growing global interdependence.

  • HIST7712 Analyzes the impact and process of change resulting from political, economic and social challenges to constitutional thought over the last century.

  • POLS6682 The course will consider the various stages of U.S. Diplomatic policies with an emphasis on the U.S. as a major world player.

  • POLS6711 Will examine the roots, the methods and the impact of Genocide on the Global community, from an American perspective. Will include selected case studies from Armenia to Dafur.

  • POLS6753 Examines political, economic and social themes and will emphasize dynamic encounters with ideas from other societies.

  • POLS6800 Independent Study in Political Science (POLS) at the first year graduate level.

  • POLS6871 This is a study of the modern relationship between the U.S. and specific Latin American Nations. It will stress the alliance for progress, NAFTA, etc.

  • POLS7810 Examines the modern roles of the president, the Congress and the Supreme Court in the conduct of foreign policy.

  • POLS7815 The political and social bases of Nationalism, its relation to culture identity, ethnicity, language, and ideological narrative manifesting movements for change. Selected contemporary and historical examples are examined, as well as their sub- cultural and subnational disidentifications.

  • POLS7820 Comparative analysis of modern democratic and totalitarian governments and institutions. With emphasis on the developing nations and their interpretations of these systems through a study of political culture, political parties and political crises.

  • POLS7821 Traces the main developments in modern political thought from Hobbes to Mao. Emphasizes problems regarding liberty, political obligation, the common good, etc.

  • POLS7822 An examination of selected revolutionary movements with emphasis on cause, organization and outcome.

  • POLS7825 Intensive analysis of the dynamics of world politics in the independent post-World War II era; the conceptions of world order among major actors, national and global interests, transnationalism, instrumentalities of foreign policy development and diplomatic processes.

  • POLS7826 Studies declared intentions and actions of elected officials in meeting human needs and resolving conflicts within society. Emphasizes agenda setting, policy-making models, policy formulation, implementation, evaluation and the role of ideology.

  • POLS7830 Typology of organizations: League of Nations to the United Nations, regional organizations, public and private international organizations and transnational organizations.

  • POLS7831 Origin of international law and its relationship to municipal law. Challenges and responses to current issues.

  • POLS7832 Causes and possible solutions to major international conflicts. Topics will include superpower relations and regional problems.

  • POLS7833 Impact of insurrection, nonconventional warfare and terrorism on the international community.

  • POLS7834 A study of the relationship between political motivations and economic actions on the international economy. With emphasis on the interplay between the free market and planned economies.

  • POLS7835 Examines the political ramifications of environmental decay, economic and environmental refugees and the utilization of finite resources.

  • POLS7851 Examines the trends and political forces at work in the region, past struggles, current issues and future aspirations.

  • POLS7853 The state system of Europe: integration and consolidation since World War II and global implications for East-West relations.

  • POLS7854 Examines the dissolution of the Communist Bloc and the movement toward new ideologies. Emphasizes nationalism, ethnicity and economic organization.

  • POLS7863 Examines diverse systems of government among selected Middle East states. Emphasizes historical development, current ideologies, institutions and practices.

  • POLS7867 Examines contemporary issues in Africa. Project trends in political development, human rights and environmental programs.

  • POLS7868 Examines the conditions that encourage intervention, clandestine political action, demonstration of force, unconventional warfare and terrorism. Discusses impact on the global community.

  • POLS7871 Examines the development of selected Asian states with an emphasis on historical influences, ideologies, institutions and economic philosophies.

  • POLS7874 Political responses to the economic and social challenges of modernization. Focuses on democratization efforts and economic cooperation.

  • POLS7875 Examines the growing interdependence of the North American nations. Emphasizes political, diplomatic and economic interaction and identifies future trends.