May 28, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

Political Science - MA

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Degree Title and Name:  Master of Arts in Political Science

Program Name and Number:  Political Science – MA4201

Department/Unit:  Department of Political Science

Delivery Mode:  Athens Campus

Term(s) of Entry:  Fall, Spring

Program Overview:  The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science seeks to instill a lifelong commitment to learning, to advance diversity and human understanding, and empower students to meet their responsibilities as citizens, leaders, and professional political analysts in a democratic society and interdependent world. Students are trained in the theories and methodologies needed to evaluate and conduct research that is fundamental, theoretical, and applied.

The M.A. in political science offers students of a variety of goals and backgrounds a rigorous and flexible course of study, an accessible faculty with diverse interests and experiences, and excellent facilities for research and study. The department offers a variety of courses at the graduate level including seminars in the scope and theory of political science, research methods in the discipline, and seminars in five areas of concentration: American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Politics and Law. This breadth allows graduate students, in consultation with an advisor, to construct a program that fits their particular needs and provides students the opportunity to explore various post-graduate career options while strengthening their analytical, research, and writing skills. Through this combination of rigorous academic training, the flexibility to specialize and develop expertise in their areas of interest, and the opportunity to work closely with faculty known for the research and teaching excellence, the M.A. program in political science prepares students for entry to law schools and doctoral programs in political science; for working for political campaigns, interest groups, non-profits, and policy think tanks; and for entry-level local, state, and federal legislative and bureaucratic positions.

This is a full-time program. Normal time to completion is four semesters (two academic years).

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students will:

  • explain how a variety of political systems operate
  • identify honest and ethical research practices
  • identify, apply and interpret appropriate research methods and theories to investigate a variety of political and social phenomena
  • identify an area of concentration for in-depth study, and analyze a variety of political and social phenomena in their selected area
  • evaluate, critique, and synthesize scholarship in their selected area of concentration
  • conduct original research that investigates political or social phenomena in their area of concentration using appropriate methodologies and theories
  • communicate their original research effectively to the scholarly community

Opportunities for Graduates:

The M.A. program prepares students for entry to law schools and doctoral programs in political science; for working with political campaigns, interest groups, non-profit organizations and policy think tanks; and for positions in local, state, and federal legislative and bureaucratic offices. A number of our graduates have gone on to attend leading law schools and graduate programs in political science, and others have secured professional positions in government public affairs, and the private sector.

Link to Program:

Graduation Requirements:  

  • 58 minimum semester hours
  • 26 credit hours of required courses including POLS 6000, POLS 6010, three seminars in areas of concentration from POLS 6100, 6300, 6500, 6600, or 6700; ELIP 5140 and 5160
  • An M.A. thesis or comprehensive exam and significant research paper
  • No more than 8 credit hours of Independent Study, 4 credit hours of Internship, and 8 Thesis credit hours can be counted toward fulfillment of MA degree requirements. No more than 16 credit hours of non-classroom courses can be counted toward fulfillment of the M.A. degree (this includes Research, Thesis, Internship, and Independent Study hours).

Culminating Experience:  Students can choose one of two options to complete their degrees, the M.A. thesis option or the comprehensive exam and significant research paper option. For the thesis option, students work with faculty members to complete an original thesis, which is then discussed and evaluated during an oral defense before a committee made up of tenured and tenure track faculty chosen by the student. For the exam and paper option, students must pass a written comprehensive exam in one selected subfield in the department (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Law and Politics, or Political Theory) and work with faculty to develop and revise a significant research paper, which is then approved by the student’s exam committee. Both options provide students the opportunity to evaluate and synthesize literature in an area of political science, conduct original research that investigates and analyses political phenomena using appropriate methods and theories, and communicate their work to the scholarly or policy community.

Admission Requirements:  Program applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume or curriculum vita, and are strongly encouraged to submit a writing sample. Applicants are expected to have some academic training in Political Science. Generally, a minimum of 18 semester hours of undergraduate work in political science (approximately six courses) or the equivalent is expected, although exceptions can be made for those with coursework in closely related fields or with practical political or administrative experience. The GRE is required for students with below a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

International Students:  This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

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