Students may elect either a thesis or non-thesis option and may enroll either full-time or part-time. Full-time students typically complete the degree in 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 culminating project in their last semester. The culminating project may include:
- Option A: A directed research project conducted under supervision of a department faculty member.
- Option B: An internship outside of the university with associated writing under the supervision of a department faculty member.
- Option C: A applied project in which students, working with a department faculty member, draw on existing coursework to produce an original portfolio of career-relevant professional products. Applied projects could include (but are not limited to) policy proposals, grant proposals, and/or social media campaigns.
The accelerated BA/MA program allows students to get a head start on the MA degree while completing their BA or BS in Political Science. Students apply to the graduate program in the second semester of their junior year. In their senior year, they can take nine credit hours of graduate coursework. Those credits apply both to the BA/BS in Political Science and to the MA degree, and they are charged at the undergraduate tuition rate. This option allows students to finish the MA degree in three semesters after finishing their BA/BS in Political Science.
Joint J.D./M.A. Program
The Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and the Department of Political Science of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School have developed a program for interdisciplinary studies that will result in dual degrees in Law and Political Science.
Student participating in the dual degree program will be able to combine Law courses and Political Science courses to create well-defined concentrations of study. Examples include environmental law and politics, negotiations and dispute resolution, administrative law and politics, federalism, international law and politics, comparative law and politics, civil rights and liberties, constitutional law and politics, and race, law, and politics.
Students in the JD/MA program must complete 81 hours in the JD curriculum (instead of the normal 90 hours) and either 21 hours in the MA curriculum (instead of the normal 30 hours) for the Thesis Option or 27 hours in the MA curriculum (instead of the normal 36 hours) for the Non-thesis Option.