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Master of Arts in Political Science

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M.A. Degree Requirements

All candidates for the M.A. degree must complete, at a satisfactory level,

  1. 30 semester hours of graduate credit, 21 of which must be earned in courses at the 700 level or above;
  2. Research methods through POLS 706; and
  3. A comprehensive master’s oral examination.

The student selects a principal adviser from the Graduate Faculty by the end of the first year to choose courses and prepare for the comprehensive examination. The examination is administered by a 3-person M.A. committee that includes the student’s principal adviser and 2 other members of the KU Graduate Faculty selected by the student in consultation with the principal adviser. 1 member of the committee may be from another department (including Ad Hoc and Special members of the Graduate Faculty).

Directed readings courses in excess of 5 hours cannot be counted toward the 30 hours required for the degree. With prior written approval, candidates may count up to 6 graduate hours taken outside the department (either at KU or at another institution accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) toward the 30 hours required for the degree.

Applicants who have not completed at least 15 undergraduate credit hours in political science may be admitted with the provision that they complete additional hours of course work.

All candidates must fulfill the requirements of either the thesis or the nonthesis option for the Master of Arts degree.

Thesis Option

Upon completion and certification of an acceptable thesis, candidates may count 6 credit hours of thesis enrollment toward the 30 credit hours required for the M.A. degree.

Nonthesis Option

Candidates may substitute a minimum of two 800- or 900-level research courses plus satisfactory performance on a comprehensive written examination administered by the three-person M.A. committee before the oral examination.

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