Graduate Studies

The MA program in Political Science trains students as analytical social scientists and broadens their understanding of domestic and international politics. With over twenty full-time faculty, the Department offers a wide range of courses and provides opportunities for students work one-on-one with faculty members, developing original research projects or working as co-authors on conference papers or journal article manuscripts.  Our recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in government and politics, the nonprofit sector, law, and education.  Other graduates have used their enhanced academic credentials to gain admission to top ranked PhD programs. 

For more information on our MA program in Political Science, please contact Dr. Melissa Merry, the program’s Director of Graduate Studies, at (502) 852-3301 or

Areas of Concentration

Students have two options in designing their programs of study. First, in the traditional MA program, students take courses covering the range of subfields in political science, including American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Public Policy.  They also learn to conduct political science research and take electives tailored to their interests.

Second, in the MA with a concentration in Digital Politics, students not only get broad training in the discipline, but also take courses focusing on the intersection of information technology and politics.  This concentration is particularly suited to students seeking to gain hands-on, practical skills and experiences in areas such as online campaigns and e-government.

Faculty Areas of Expertise

Comparative and International Politics

The International Politics field includes the comparative study of various regions and nations throughout the world. Members of the Department faculty have expertise in the study of Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia, and the Former Soviet Union. Specific issues of faculty interest include: political economy, authoritarianism and democratization, political Islam, religion and politics, conflict management, international organizations, international law, defense and security, the global environment, and women in developing nations.

Faculty: Jason Abbott, Steven Brooke, David Buckley, Julie Bunck, Michael Fowler, Kris Grady, Tricia Gray, Shiping Hua, Susan Matarese, Rodger Payne, Charles Ziegler

American Politics

The field of American Politics involves the study of the American governmental institutions (executive, legislative, and judicial) and extra-governmental actors—e.g., citizens, interest groups, political parties, and members of the media. Specific areas of faculty expertise include: Congress, constitutional law, judicial politics, LGBTQ politics, public opinion, political psychology, and race politics.

Faculty:  Anne CaldwellDewey Clayton, Jasmine FarrierDavid Imbroscio, Melissa Merry, Laura Moyer, Sherri Wallace

Digital Politics

Information technology is increasingly being recognized as essential to the functioning of government and to political advocacy. The study of digital politics is a fast-moving and fast-growing field, to which faculty in our department actively contribute.  Specific areas of faculty expertise include: interest groups’ use of blogs and social media; elected officials’ use of social media; and the impact of the internet on politics in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Faculty: Jason AbbottAdam Enders, Jason Gainous, Tricia Gray, Melissa Merry, Rodger Payne