Jan 29, 2020
Master's Degree Program
Requirements for Regular Admission to the Master's Program
The Department of Political Science utilizes the following criteria for evaluating applicants to the master's program:
- Students without an undergraduate degree in political science, if conditionally admitted, may be required to take up to nine hours of undergraduate political science coursework.
- The cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) from all institutions attended as well as the trend of grades over the course of the undergraduate degree program is considered. The department looks especially at the final two years of an applicant's undergraduate program. An overall GPA of at least 3.0 during the final two years of undergraduate study is preferred.
- Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit official scores to the Graduate School before they can be admitted to the master's program.
- Applicants must submit at least two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be from persons qualified to assess the applicant's academic acheivements and qualifications for graduate study and should be submitted to the graduate school, preferably from faculty members.
- Applicants must submit a letter of interest.
- Applicants are encouraged to submit a writing sample.
- Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.
- Applicants who do not meet the criteria for regular admission may, at the department's discretion, be given conditional admission to the program. The requirements for removing the conditional status will be stated at the time of admission.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
Master of Arts
Requirements for the Master of Arts degree include thirty-three (33) semester hours of coursework (21 hours of 600 level or higher), including PS 611 and PS 612 , and a comprehensive examination. SOC 564 (Qualitative Methods) may be substituted for PS 611 with permission of advisor. Students must select a major (comprising at least 9 hours, 3 of which must be 700 level) and two minors (comprising at least 6 hours, 3 of which must be 700 level) from the 6 fields of political science. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
Thesis option: Students must complete a thesis and an oral defense of the thesis. Students must register for 6 hours of PS 698 - Thesis . The thesis committee may, at its discretion, conduct exams concurrently with the thesis defense.
Non-thesis option: Students must also register for 3 hours of 692 as special project. They must also take 3 hours of PS 691 to complete their research paper under the supervision of a professor in their major area and produce a substantial research paper equal in quality but not in scope, to a thesis.
Fields of Political Science
Dual Master’s Degree in Political Science and Library and Information Science
The Department of Political Science and the School of Library and Information Science offer a dual master’s program leading to the Master of Arts in Political Science and the Master of Library and Information Science degrees. Students must be admitted separately to each program. The total number of hours required for both programs is 60, including 3 hours of thesis in each program - 30 hours for the M.L.I.S. and 30 hours for the M.A. in Political Science. Students must satisfy the requirements of both degrees before the degrees will be awarded. Comprehensive exams in political science will match the procedure for the Political Science MA.
Students in the combined program must complete the following requirements:
24 hours in political science, chosen in consultation with the graduate coordinator in three of the following areas:
American Government and Politics-
Comparative Government and Politics-
Library and Information Science
Two courses in LIS, 3 hours each, chosen in consultation with an academic adviser. Strongly recommended is at least one practicum