Political Science M.A.

Political science professor giving a lecture
Political Science M.A.

Program Overview

The M.A. Program in Political Science is suitable for enterprising students seeking careers from teaching to research, electoral politics, and government work. Additionally, many students choose to pursue a Ph.D. after graduating.

Political Science Department
312 Horton Social Science Center
20 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

Phone (603) 862-1750
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
Fax (603) 862-0178

 

  • Political Science M.A. | Survey Programmer for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner
    Richard Barney's academic concentrations in the UNH Political Science MA program were international politics, Latin American politics, and public opinion. As a graduate assistant for the UNH Political Science Department Richard worked for Professor Mary Malone conducting research on Latin American...
    Political Science M.A. | Survey Programmer for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner
    Richard Barney's academic concentrations in the UNH Political Science MA program were international politics, Latin American politics, and public opinion. As a graduate assistant for the UNH Political Science Department Richard worked for Professor Mary Malone conducting research on Latin American...

Curriculum & Requirements

Degree Requirements

M.A. with Thesis Option

Master's degree students must complete a minimum of 30 credits for the degree: eight courses and a 6-credit master's thesis (POLT 899 Master's Thesis). Of the eight courses, two are required seminars: Pro Seminar (POLT 900 Political Science Pro-Seminar) and Introduction to Statistical Analysis (POLT 905 Introduction to Statistical Analysisor PPOL 908), and are to be taken during the student's first year. Students are also required to take electives totaling 9 credits.

Nine credits must be completed at the 800 or 900 level from political science courses or courses offered in related disciplines. Students are encouraged to work with the MA program director to identify relevant courses of interest across the College of Liberal Arts graduate offerings.  The MA program director must provide course approval for elective courses offered outside the department. Successful completion and defense of a 6-credit master's thesis is required.

POLT 900Political Science Pro-Seminar 13
POLT 905Introduction to Statistical Analysis 13
Select 6 additional courses
POLT 899Master's Thesis6
Select 9 credits of electives 29

M.A. Non-Thesis Option

Master's degree students must complete ten courses totaling a minimum of 30 credits for the degree. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam. Of the ten courses, two are required, Pro Seminar (POLT 900 Political Science Pro-Seminar) and Introduction to Statistical Analysis (POLT 905 Introduction to Statistical Analysis or PPOL 908), and are to be taken during the student's first year. Students are also required to take electives totaling 9 credits. This must include two courses in the student's major subfield (Comparative Politics, International Politics, and American Politics/Public Administration). One course in a minor subfield is also required for this degree option.

Fifteen credits must be completed at the 800 or 900 level from political science courses or a related discipline. Students are encouraged to work with the MA program director to identify relevant courses of interest across the College of Liberal Arts graduate offerings. The MA program director must provide course approval for elective courses offered outside the department.

The comprehensive examination must be successfully completed in the student's final year of study.

POLT 900Political Science Pro-Seminar 13
POLT 905Introduction to Statistical Analysis 13
Select 9 credits of electives 29
Select one course in a minor subfield

Explore Program Details

The master's degree program in Political Science is suitable for enterprising students seeking careers from teaching to research, electoral politics, and government work. Additionally, many students choose to pursue Ph.D.s after graduating. The M.A. program allows full or part-time students to tailor a curriculum that best suits their interests and professional needs by choosing seminars from quantitative methodology to ancient political thought — and all points in between. When appropriate, students may enhance their graduate experience with coursework in related departments. The M.A. degree program culminates in a research thesis of the student's choosing, overseen by his/her thesis director and thesis committee. The M.A. degree also allows for a non-thesis option, where students take an additional two courses instead of the thesis, and successfully complete a comprehensive examination. Students should work with their faculty advisors and the graduate program coordinator and master's program director to determine which option is best suited for their career and academic goals.

Our graduate program works closely with faculty and staff and promotes the benefits of the University of New Hampshire main campus in Durham. Students are encouraged to take advantage of frequent lectures, speaking engagements, and presentations by faculty and experts, high-profile national and international guest speakers, candidates in and observers of the unique New Hampshire presidential primary and state electoral campaigns.

International relations are a strength of the program. Award-winning faculty members engage in teaching and research in the areas of international organizations, Asian politics, international environmental politics and organizations, and emerging democracies.

For more information, see our brochure:

Political Science Degree: MA

Courses

Each semester, the Department offers a selection of graduate seminars and required courses that include at least one course in each of our four subfields (American/PA; international relations, comparative, and political theory). The required courses for the M.A. (POLT 900 Pro-Seminar and POLT 905 Introduction to Statistical Analysis ) should both be taken during the student's first two semesters. Summer course offerings are more limited.

Faculty

UNH political science faculty specialize in a range of teaching and research areas such that graduate students have valuable resources and potential mentors throughout the M.A. program. In addition to teaching cognate areas, faculty teach research techniques from close readings of primary texts to quantitative methods and polling research.

Students

Current and recent students in the M.A. program have a range of backgrounds from government work and teaching to recent graduates in the social sciences. They are available to answer questions about the M.A. program and life as a UNH graduate student.

Comprehensive Exam

Students may choose to take a comprehensive exam to complete their master's degree requirements. The comprehensive exam is administered once each fall and spring semester. All students planning to take the comprehensive exam must complete the Comprehensive Exam Application Form at least 30 days prior to the scheduled examination dates. Students complete one essay in a three-hour morning session covering research design and methodology from POLT 900 and POLT 905. Students complete a second three-hour essay focused on their chosen subfield in Political Science and other coursework in the afternoon.

What are the career opportunities for graduates with the M.A. in Political Science degree?

Graduates of our M.A. program have gone on to work in management-level positions for government agencies at all levels; political science professors at post-secondary institutions throughout the U.S.; elected government officials; research positions; and public opinion survey and polling management.

What type of institutions do M.A. graduates go on to complete Ph.D. programs?

In the recent past, our graduates have entered or have completed Ph.D. programs at Brandeis, Boston University, Michigan State and University of Arizona

How long will it take me to complete the degree requirements?

Full-time students generally take 18 months to complete their degree requirements. Part-time student completion times vary. Full and part-time students have 6 years to complete their graduate degree program.

How important is the GRE for admission to the M.A. program?

Students are required to submit scores for the GRE general test. These scores are considered in the context of the whole application.

Does the Department offer financial assistance for graduate students?

The department's graduate program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships and tuition scholarship to full-time students each year. These opportunities are awarded on a competitive basis. For more information go to the Graduate School website.

For information on other financial assistance options, visit the Financial Aid website.

What opportunities exist to assist faculty research?

Opportunities exist for students to present papers and research findings at professional conferences with the assistance of faculty mentors. Graduate assistants occasionally help faculty with research as part of their work duties. Faculty advise students on their own research, which often dovetails with faculty research.

What is the deadline for admission?

The graduate program works on a rolling admission basis. Applications should be received by Feb. 15 for financial assistance, July 1 for non-aid fall semester matriculation, and Dec. 1 for spring semester matriculation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to send their completed applications as early as possible for timely response.

Can I transfer credits into the master's program?

The program allows a limited transfer of credits pending the approval of the department and the Graduate School. Students may, with the approvals, transfer up to eight credits, or two courses of related graduate work completed at an accredited institution toward their degree. If you have specific questions about transfer credit into our M.A. program, please contact the graduate program coordinator. For general information, go to the Graduate School website.

Are there special application procedures for international students?

Financial aid information can be found on the department Financial Aid page.

Application information can be found on the department How to Apply page.

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