Master of Arts in Political Science

Website: https://twu.edu/history-political-science/graduate-programs/master-of-arts-in-political-science/

The Department of History and Political Science’s mission is to provide global citizens with a multicultural view of politics, law, and public policy that resonates with graduate course offerings and emphasizes the diverse experiences of women, men, and children of varied races, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.  In addition, the department’s graduate program in political science challenges students to further develop critical and analytical thinking skills through close interaction with primary source materials.  

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Solid writing and compositional skills. The M.A. in Political Science develops this skill by requiring students to engage in clear, persuasive, grammatically, and stylistically correct writing projects (primarily although not exclusively research papers).
  2. ​Work independently on projects. The M.A. in Political Science develops this skill by requiring all students to complete an independent, original piece of scholarship in the form of a Master's thesis or professional paper.
  3. ​Synthesize large concepts into succinct language. The M.A. in Political Science develops these skills by requiring students to take a required course in research methods which involves reading the extensive literature on a topic in politics (e.g., voting behavior or literature on democratization), synthesizing the concepts presented, analyzing data and arguments, and discussing this orally in a public forum and/or in written form (reaction papers, summaries, literature reviews, etc.).

Admissions

All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

This academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

30-39 semester credit hours (SCH) minimum with at least 21 SCH of course work in the major.

Students must take the course in Professional Practices, in addition to the four-course distribution requirement, with at least one course in U.S. politics, law, and government; global/comparative politics; political theory; and public policy.

Thesis Option

Minimum of 30 semester credit hours, including 6 SCH for the thesis.

Global/comparative politics3
Choose one of the following
Comparative Politics
American International Relations
Political theory3
Seminar in Political Theory
Public policy3
Choose one of the following
American National Defense Policy
The Presidency and Public Policy
Rights, Race, and Social Justice
U.S. politics, law, and government3
Choose one of the following
Issues in Constitutional Law
Law, Gender, and Sexuality
Leadership and Women
Women in Politics
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Problems in the Legislative Process
Vietnam War: Culture, History, and Law
Women As Citizens
Electives9
9 SCH can be chosen from any of the classes listed above plus
Special Topics (Can be used for any category depending on the subject)
Independent Study
Independent Study
Internship
Internship
Required Courses
POLS 5033Research Methods in Government3
POLS 5983Thesis3
POLS 5993Thesis3
Total SCHs30

Professional Paper Option

Minimum of 36 semester credit hours, including 3 SCH for the professional paper.

Global/comparative politics3
Choose one of the following
Comparative Politics
American International Relations
Political theory3
Seminar in Political Theory
Public policy3
Choose one of the following
American National Defense Policy
The Presidency and Public Policy
Rights, Race, and Social Justice
U.S. politics, law, and government3
Choose one of the following
Issues in Constitutional Law
Law, Gender, and Sexuality
Leadership and Women
Women in Politics
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Problems in the Legislative Process
Vietnam War: Culture, History, and Law
Women As Citizens
Electives18
18 SCH can be chosen from any of the classes listed above plus
Special Topics (Can be used for any category depending on the subject.)
Independent Study
Independent Study
Internship
Internship
Required Courses
POLS 5033Research Methods in Government3
POLS 5973Professional Paper3
Total SCHs36

Public Affairs Option

Minimum of 36 semester credit hours including 3 SCH for the professional paper.

Global/comparative politics3
Choose one of the following
Comparative Politics
American International Relations
Political theory3
Seminar in Political Theory
Public policy3
Choose one of the following
American National Defense Policy
The Presidency and Public Policy
Rights, Race, and Social Justice
U.S. politics, law, and government3
Choose one of the following
Issues in Constitutional Law
Law, Gender, and Sexuality
Leadership and Women
Women in Politics
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Problems in the Legislative Process
Vietnam War: Culture, History, and Law
Women As Citizens
Electives12
12 SCH can be chosen from any of the classes listed above plus
Special Topics (Can be used for any category depending on the subject)
Independent Study
Independent Study
Required Courses
POLS 5033Research Methods in Government3
POLS 5936Internship6
POLS 5973Professional Paper3
Total SCHs36

M.A. in Political Science with Graduate Certificate in History

Couples 21 semester credit hours of graduate study in Political Science with 18 SCH of graduate study in History. Graduates of the certificate program write a professional paper and receive an M.A. in Political Science but earn a certificate in History and have enough graduate hours to teach in both History and Political Science in Texas community colleges.  

Minimum of 39 semester credit hours, including 3 SCH for the professional paper.

Global/comparative politics3
Choose one of the following
Comparative Politics
American International Relations
Political theory3
Seminar in Political Theory
Public policy3
Choose one of the following
American National Defense Policy
The Presidency and Public Policy
Rights, Race, and Social Justice
U.S. politics, law, and government3
Choose one of the following
Issues in Constitutional Law
Law, Gender, and Sexuality
Leadership and Women
Women in Politics
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Problems in the Legislative Process
Vietnam War: Culture, History, and Law
Women As Citizens
Electives
3 SCH can be chosen from any of the classes listed plus3
Special Topics (Can be used for any category depending on the subject.)
Independent Study
Independent Study
Internship
Required Courses
POLS 5033Research Methods in Government3
POLS 5973Professional Paper3
Plus the Graduate Certificate in History
HIST 5033Research Methods in History3
U.S. History9
Choose 9 SCH from the following
Studies in 19th Century U.S
Women in Early America
Religion in an Atlantic World, 1450-1776
Early National Period
Jefferson to Jackson
Progressives
The Gilded Age
American Experience in World War II
Between the Wars
U.S. Since 1945
Non-US History3
Choose 3 SCH from the following
Renaissance and Reformations
History of France
Seminar in European History
Electives3
Choose 3 SCH from any of the classes listed plus
Oral History Methodology
Methods in Public History
Special Topics
Independent Study
Independent Study
Internship
Internship
Capstone written portfolio and oral defense
Total SCHs39

Minor

Optional. All minors must be approved by the student’s graduate committee and must include at least 6 semester credit hours.

Special Requirement

No grade lower than B can be counted toward meeting the minimum number of semester credit hours required.  Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in History will complete and defend a portfolio that describes their course work and research in history.

Final Examination

An oral defense of the thesis or professional paper is required.