Jul 21, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, M.A.

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(Major Code: 22071) (SIMS Code: 115501)

In addition to meeting the requirements for classified graduate standing and the basic requirements for the master’s degree as described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees , the student will complete a program of study of 31 units of upper division and graduate courses as approved by the departmental graduate adviser. The program must include a minimum of 25 units in political science selected from courses listed below as acceptable for master’s degree programs. Sixteen of these units are required of all students, including POL S 615 , three courses for substantive breadth (listed in numbers 2-4 below), a one-unit course for those preparing for the culminating experience (thesis or exams), and three units for that culminating experience. In addition, the MA degree requires 6 units of 600-level electives in Political Science, 3 units of specialized coursework at the 500-level in Political Science, and 6 units of other electives. Students are encouraged to develop a plan of study that meets their individual preferences and goals, while meeting these degree requirements. In some instances, it may be possible to petition for exceptions to requirements, with the approval of the graduate adviser.

Students may choose either Plan A or Plan B as the culminating experience for the degree. Plan A requires the writing of a thesis and enrollment in POL S 799A , Thesis (3 units). The process that follows is outlined in the Requirements for Master’s Degrees . Plan B requires the completion of a comprehensive written and oral examination and enrollment in POL S 798  (3 units). In consultation with the graduate adviser, a student electing the Plan B option will form an examining committee consisting of a chairperson and one additional member from the political science faculty. The examination committee will prepare, administer, and grade the written examination testing the student’s general knowledge in the program of study. The oral portion of the examination will follow the committee’s review of the written examination.

Advancement to Candidacy

All students must satisfy the general requirements for advancement to candidacy as stated in Requirements for Master’s Degrees .

Specific Requirements

One Graduate Course

One graduate course (3 units) chosen from among 500-level courses in Political Science, with the approval of the graduate adviser.

Six Additional Units

Six additional units of Political Science coursework at the 500-700 level, courses from other departments, or transfer courses. Any elective other than 600-level Political Science courses must be pre-approved by the graduate adviser. Only one 3-unit 795, 797, or 798 may be included in the Program of Study: This limit does not include the 1-unit preparation for culminating experience. Plan B students may not take additional Special Studies beyond the 798 to prepare for exams.

Plan A

POL S 799A , Thesis (3 units)


Plan B

Comprehensive written and oral examination, with POL S 798  (3 units) dedicated to preparation.

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