Political Science Master of Arts Degree Program

Requirements and Program of Study

The Master of Arts program may be pursued either as a terminal degree or as the first phase of a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Required Courses

To receive the degree Master of Arts, a student must successfully complete a minimum of thirty-two credits. Two field seminars are required out of those listed below. The student is free to select any two:

Pos 501 Field Seminar in Political Theory;
Pos 550 Field Seminar in Comparative Political Systems;
Pos 570 Field Seminar in International Relations
Pos 521 Field Seminar in American Political Systems;
Pos 541 Field Seminar in Public Law;
Pos 702 Politics and Administration
Pos 513 (Pad 526) Field Seminar in Public Policy

Additional graduate courses must be completed, up to the required 32 credits. No more than 12 credit hours toward the M.A. may be taken on an S/U basis without permission of the graduate coordinator or department chair.

Master's Essay

Students completing a terminal master's degree must complete Pos 698, master's essay; the master's essay is a major research project resulting in a finished written product completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Students pursuing a master's degree who have been admitted to the Ph.D. program at the University at Albany may substitute successful completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive examination (in both a major and second field) for the master's essay requirement. The major field comprehensive examination requires defense of a dissertation prospectus that itself constitutes a substantial research and writing project.

Each student is required to select a faculty advisor in the first semester of graduate study, and to register that choice with the department secretary, prior to pre-registration for the following semester's courses. There are no language, quantitative, or comprehensive examination requirements for the master's degree. Students intending to enter the Ph.D. program are advised to take Pos 516, The Discipline of Political Science, in their first year of graduate work, and to undertake efforts to satisfy the doctoral research tools requirement.