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Department of Government

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    Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu

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MA in Political Science


 

Degree Requirements

  • 33 credit hours of approved graduate work
  • Written comprehensive examination in American politics, applied politics, or comparative politics, depending on track

 

Tracks

There are two tracks within the MA program: political science or applied politics.

Within the political science track, there are two concentrations: American politics and comparative politics.

 

Course Requirements

 

Political Science: American Politics

  • GOVT-610 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Political Science (3)
  • GOVT-650 Political Analysis (3)
  • 600-level course in comparative politics or political theory (3)
  • 15 credit hours in American politics including:

    GOVT-651 The Legislative Process (3) (or another course on Congress with permission of the student’s advisor)

    GOVT-652 The Presidency and the Executive Branch (3)

    approved courses on public opinion, political behavior, elections, parties, or interest groups

  • 9 credit hours selected from political science or other disciplines, which may include 3 credit hours of GOVT-691 Internship

 

Political Science: Comparative Politics

  • GOVT-610 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Political Science (3)
  • GOVT-632 Classics of Comparative Politics (3)
  • GOVT-650 Political Analysis (3)
  • One political theory course (3)
  • 600 level course in American politics (3)
  • 9 credit hours from the following:

    GOVT-633 Political Institutions in Comparative Perspective (3)

    GOVT-634 Democratization: Past, Present, Future (3)

    GOVT-635 Social and Political Movements, Ethnicity and Nationalism (3)

    SPA comparative politics courses

  • 9 credit hours selected from political science or other disciplines, which may include 3 credit hours of GOVT-691 Internship

 

Applied Politics

  • GOVT-610 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Political Science (3)
  • GOVT-620 Applied Politics and American Public Policy (3)
  • GOVT-650 Political Analysis (3)
  • One of the following:

    GOVT-520 Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (4)

    GOVT-523 The Art and Craft of Lobbying (4)

    GOVT-685 Topics in Women and Politics:

    Women, the Law and Litigating for Social Change (4)

  • Two one credit courses from the following:

    Campaign Management Institute (GOVT-520)

    Campaign Field (1)

    Strategy, Theme and Message (1)

    Political Writing (1)

    or other approved topics

    Public Affairs Institute (GOVT-523)

    Survey Research, Focus Groups, Media (1)

    Lobbying and the Internet (1)

    Grassroots Lobbying (1)

    or other approved topics

    Women and Politics Institute (GOVT-685)

    Women in Congress (1)

    Women’s Health Policy (1)

    Politics of Women and National Security (1)

    or other approved topics

  • 18 credit hours from the following:

    GOVT-520 Advanced Studies in Campaign Management (4) (if not taken to fulfill requirement above)

    GOVT-523 The Art and Craft of Lobbying (4) (if not taken to fulfill requirement above)

    GOVT-540 Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Lobbying (3)

    GOVT-541 The Politics of Mass Communication (3)

    GOVT-651 The Legislative Process (3)

    GOVT-652 The Presidency and the Executive Branch (3)

    GOVT-656 Voting Behavior, Elections and Campaigns (3)

    GOVT-674 Constitutional Law and Politics (3)

    GOVT-685 Topics in Women and Politics (1-4) (if not taken to fulfill requirement above)

    GOVT-691 Internship (1-6)

    PUAD-560 Intergovernmental Relations (3)

    or other SPA comparative politics course

 

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must earn a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). All applicants are evaluated on the basis of scholastic achievement in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate work, two letters of recommendation and an essay on career interest. Applicants who wish to be considered for departmental honor awards must apply for full-time status.

 

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