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Graduate Program

About the Program

The M.A. in Political Science is designed to meet the needs of students seeking careers in teaching, research, and public service, as well as those who anticipate continuing their studies on the doctoral level at a Ph.D. granting institution.

Areas of Concentration

Beyond the requirements listed below, the Master of Arts degree offered by the Department of Political Science is flexible to allow students to design their own program of study.

The Department of Political Science (and the larger University community) enjoys especially strong faculty and other resources in two fields of study: International Studies and American Public Policy Studies. Students are encouraged to concentrate their coursework in one of these fields.

The International Studies field includes the comparative study of various regions and nations throughout the world. Members of the Department faculty have expertise in the study of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, and the Former Soviet Union. Specific issues of faculty interest include: civil-military relations, women in developing nations, revolution, political economy, foreign policy, and executive leadership. The International Studies field also includes the study of the global relations among nations and other global actors. Areas of faculty expertise include: defense and security, international political economy, the global environment, development, international organizations, and international law.

The field of American Public Policy Studies involves the study of the American governmental institutions (executive, legislative, and judicial) that formulate public policy, and the study of the administration of public policy. Specific areas of faculty expertise include: social policy, housing policy, foreign policy, antipoverty policy, urban policy, environmental policy, feminist approaches to policy, and economic development policy. 

Graduate Handbook

Please click here to view the Graduate Handbook (PDF).

Program Options

Students may elect either a thesis or non-thesis option and may enroll either full-time or part-time. Full-time students can complete the degree in one-and-a-half to two years. Most graduate-level courses are offered in the evening.

Option 1
Candidates must complete 24 credit hours of class work and a six credit thesis, making a total of 30 credits required for the degree.

Option 2    
Candidates must complete 36 credit hours of class work including a three credit directed research project in their last semester.


For information on the M.A. in political science, please visit our contact us and submit a request for information. Also you can contact the Director of the M.A. Program directly by using the following:

Graduate Director
Dr. Melissa Merry

Program Assistant
Jessica Kincaid

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

Email the Political Science Graduate Program

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