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Master of Arts in Political Science

Major: POLS
Degree Awarded: MA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/politicalscience/


Program Information

The Department of Political Science, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers graduate training leading to the Master of Arts degree. In addition, the Department participates in a joint degree program with the Brandeis School of Law.

The MA is designed to allow a student to pursue a degree either full or part time. Most graduate-level courses are offered in the evening. The MA is oriented toward those who wish to pursue advanced training in political science or a position in the public, private, or non-profit sector.

The Department of Political Science offers a joint MA/JD program in partnership with the Brandeis School of Law. This program allows the student to obtain the MA and JD degrees in a four-year course of study. For additional information, see the law school website.

The Department of Political Science also offers its undergraduate majors an opportunity to earn both a BA (or BS) degree and an MA degree in five years of study. This program allows students to earn an MA degree at an accelerated pace (approximately one calendar year).

Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and must submit an application to the Department of Political Science. Applicants should have an undergraduate major or minor in a social science or have sufficient alternative preparation in the social sciences.

Program admission procedure:

Admission into the MA program is competitive. The procedures for admission into the MA program are as follows:

  1. Submit a completed graduate application to the Office of Graduate Admissions.  There is a $60 application fee. Application for admission must be made by July 15 for the Fall semester and November 15 for the Spring semester.
  2. Forward official transcripts verifying the receipt of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution to the Office of Graduate Admissions. An applicant must hold a BA or BS (or foreign equivalent) before admission to the program can be granted. Applicants selected for the program have generally earned a 3.0 undergraduate GPA overall or a 3.2 undergraduate GPA in the last 60 semester hours or the equivalent.
  3. Send scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) to the Office of Graduate Admissions.  The GRE is designed to measure general aptitude for graduate study. Applicants selected for the program generally present a Verbal score of at least 153, Quantitative score of at least 144, and an Analytical score of at least 4.0.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic performance.  Professional letters from employers are acceptable only when substantial time has elapsed since the applicant has attended an academic institution.
  5. A written personal statement is required.  This statement should detail the applicant's educational and professional experiences and goals and relate these goals to the pursuit of graduate study in political science at the University of Louisville. The statement should be approximately 400-500 words in length.
  6. International applicants are required to take the TOEFL examination if English is not the native language.  Applicants who have not scored 550 or higher on the TOEFL may choose to apply to the Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL) Program.  Successful completion of this program or passing the Exit Examination in the advanced level of IESL will be considered adequate proof of the English proficiency required for course work in the MA program.  Acceptance to the Intensive English Program does not constitute acceptance to the MA program.  For information and application forms, write to IESL, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY  40292.

The Department may accept applicants who do not meet these requirements on a conditional basis if sufficient additional evidence of promise of success in the graduate program can be shown. No student will be admitted unconditionally until all materials listed above have been received.

You may apply to the graduate admission’s office at the university on-line at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply.



Curriculum


Students are encouraged to take advantage of the unique strengths of the Department of Political Science when planning their course of study. In particular, the Department enjoys strong complements of faculty in two broad areas: International Studies and American Politics.

The International Studies field includes the comparative study of various regions and nations throughout the world as well as the study of relations among nations and other global actors. Areas of faculty expertise include: the politics of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, and the former Soviet Union, development, political economy, revolution, leadership, environment, civil-military relations, foreign policy, defense and security, international organizations, and international law.

The American Politics field includes the study of the American governmental institutions that formulate public policy and the study of the administration of public policy. Areas of faculty expertise include: the presidency, Congress, the judiciary, federalism, public administration, public law, the electoral process, social policy, housing policy, urban policy, environmental policy, and economic development policy.

There are two options for earning an MA in Political Science: Thesis (30 hours) and Non-thesis (36 hours).
CoursesDescriptionCredit Hours
Thesis Option (6 hours total) 
POLS 670Scope of Political Science3
POLS 671Methods of Political Research3
Three of the following six courses (9 hours total) 
POLS 619Seminar in Public Policy3
POLS 625Seminar in Public Administration3
POLS 629Seminar in American Politics3
POLS 630Seminar in Political Theory3
POLS 639Seminar in International Relations3
POLS 649Seminar in Comparative Politics3
Electives* (9 hours total, from Political Science or other departments)
POLS 699Thesis6
   
Non-thesis Option
 
Core Courses (6 hours total) 
POLS 670Scope of Political Science3
POLS 671Methods of Political Research3
Three of the following six courses (9 hours total) 
POLS 619Seminar in Public Policy3
POLS 625Seminar in Public Administration3
POLS 629Seminar in American Politics3
POLS 630Seminar in Political Theory3
POLS 639Seminar in International Relations3
POLS 649Seminar in Comparative Politics3
Political Science electives6 or more
Electives from other departmentsup to 12
POLS 695Directed Research3

*Up to nine elective hours may be at the 500-level. Up to six hours may be independent study credit.


Departmental Faculty


Jason Abbott
Associate Professor
Aung San Suu Kyi Endowed Chair in Asian Democracy
 
David Buckley
Assistant Professor 
 
Julie M. Bunck
Professor
 
Anne I. Caldwell
Associate Professor
 
Dewey M. Clayton
Professor
 
Jasmine I. Farrier 
Associate Professor
 
Michael R. Fowler
Professor
 
Jason Gainous
Associate Professor
 
Kristopher Grady
Assistant Professor Term
 
Tricia J. Gray
Assistant Professor
  
Shiping Hua
Professor
Calvin and Helen Lang Distinguished Chair in Asian Studies
 
David L. Imbroscio
Professor
 
Tasha Lavey
Instructor, Term
 
Susan M. Matarese
Professor
 
Melissa K. Merry 
Assistant Professor
Graduate Advisor
 
Laura P. Moyer
Assistant Professor
 
Rodger A. Payne
Professor
Department Chair
 
Laurie A. Rhodebeck
Associate Professor
 
Sherri L. Wallace
Associate Professor
 
Tim Weaver
Assistant Professor
 
Okbazghi Yohannes
Professor
 
Charles E. Ziegler
Professor
Director, Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order


Contact Information

Political Science - MA

Graduate Advisor
Department of Political Science
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
(502)852-6831
(502)852-1009
 

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