Political Science - Graduate Programs
The program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Political Science emphasizes preparation for service in many areas of our national life, both public and private. Students interested in careers in teaching and research or in leadership roles in the public or private sectors may pursue programs adapted to their individual objectives. The Department of Political Science endeavors to equip students with the research techniques and substantive background for coursework undertaken beyond the master’s level. Particular attention is given to newer methodologies and approaches employed by scholars in the field.
Admissions and Fellowship Criteria
The program is committed to a holistic admissions approach. As a result, decisions on whether to admit or deny an application include: grade point averages, letters of recommendation, personal statements, advanced degrees, graduate courses taken as a degreed student or in another program, and professional work experience. The major purpose of the admissions criteria is to promote access to our program, but maintain standards that will enable the department to determine if the applicant demonstrates the requisite skill level to master the requirements of the program.
Admission to the M.A. program in political science is based upon the completion of the general admission requirements of the Graduate School. Applicants are required to submit all official transcripts, a personal statement, and three (3) letters of recommendation. The department will review the application package in its entirety. The package is evaluated to determine if a student has achieved a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate work as calculated by the Graduate School, and meets other admission requirements. If a student has already earned an advanced degree, the department will evaluate the student’s academic performance in obtaining that degree equally with the undergraduate performance. International students must meet or exceed the minimum university standard on the TOEFL (550 for paper examination, 213 for computer examination), TOEFL iBT (total score of 79 with sectional scores that meet or exceed 22 for the writing section, 21 for the speaking section, 20 for the reading section, and 16 for the listening section), TSE (40), or the IELTS (6.5).
Several factors matter for a decision to accept or deny an applicant. To this end the department has three categories of acceptance: unconditional admission, probationary admission, and provisional admission.
All applications must include the following four components. All four will be considered, without specific weights, in the decision to accept or deny.
1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited general or specific program. A bachelor’s degree in political science, however, is not required.
2. A copy of all university and college transcripts.
3. A written personal statement (200 words) explaining the applicant's interest and motivation in studying for a graduate degree in political science.
4. Three letters of recommendation (including at least two from university/college faculty) that favorably assess the applicant’s potential success in a graduate program and in the field of political science. Letters must be mailed directly from the recommenders to the Graduate Advisor of political science.
An applicant may be accepted for unconditional admission if all of the above components of the application package are properly submitted, and all three of the following criteria are met and all three give strong indication of likely success in the program.
1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or greater (as calculated by the Graduate School) in the last 60 credit hours of completing an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution (verified by the Graduate School from official transcripts from each college or university previously attended).
2. Adequate preparation and satisfactory performance in political science courses or courses in related disciplines.
3. Three letters of recommendation (including at least two from university/college faculty) that indicate satisfaction with the applicant's work and demonstrate a strong likelihood for success in the program and in the field of political science.
Students who do not qualify for unconditional admission may be considered for probationary admission if they satisfy any two of the three requirements for unconditional admission listed above as well as demonstrate potential for success in line with the necessary application materials. Students with a reported grade point average below 2.70, however, will not be eligible for probationary admission. Being admitted on probationary status means that the student will be able to take graduate level classes, but the student must earn a B or better in the first 12 hours of graduate coursework at UT Arlington. This regulation will be strictly enforced.
An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but otherwise appears to meet admission requirements, may be granted provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students must adequately satisfy any incomplete documentation by the end of the semester in which they are admitted. If the applicant fails to do so, the department may then reclassify the applicant’s admission status as probationary or ask the student to leave the program.
A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denial decision is not appropriate.
An application will be denied if it does not meet the criteria listed above, does not demonstrate potential for success, or the applicant’s grade point average is below 2.70.
Fellowships, when available, will be awarded on a competitive basis. Fellowships are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
- Candidates must be enrolled full time in the department of political science (at least 9 hours of courses per semester).
- A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00, as calculated by the Graduate School, plus a GPA of 3.0 for any graduate credit hours.
- Transcript of a completed bachelor’s degree in political science (or appropriate related field) from an accredited institution.
- Three letters of recommendation. These letters may be the same submitted for admission.
- A written statement explaining the applicant’s reasons for graduate study in political science.
Master's Degree Requirements
The thesis degree plan requires 24 hours of coursework including three hours of methods in political science for those who have not had POLS 3310 RESEARCH METHODS AND POLITICAL ANALYSIS or its equivalent. Of the remaining 21 hours, at least one course must be taken from each of four of the following five areas:
|Political Behavior and Processes|
|POLS 5300||AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS||3|
|POLS 5311||CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS||3|
|POLS 5315||PUBLIC OPINION||3|
|POLS 5316||PUBLIC LEADERSHIP: RACE, ETHNICITY, & GENDER||3|
|POLS 5317||ETHNIC GROUPS AND THE NATION STATE||3|
|POLS 5318||WOMEN IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS||3|
|POLS 5319||CONGRESSIONAL BEHAVIOR||3|
|POLS 5320||THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY||3|
|POLS 5321||THE PRESIDENCY AND DOMESTIC POLICY||3|
|POLS 5322||SEPARATION OF POWERS IN AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT||3|
|POLS 5380||TOPICS IN U.S. POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS, PROCESS AND BEHAVIOR||3|
|POLS 5303||COMPARATIVE POLITICAL SYSTEMS||3|
|POLS 5331||POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF EAST ASIA||3|
|POLS 5333||IDENTITY AND POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST||3|
|POLS 5335||LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS||3|
|POLS 5336||REPRESSION AND REVOLUTION IN LATIN AMERICAN||3|
|POLS 5337||POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE||3|
|POLS 5381||TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS||3|
|International Politics and Organization|
|POLS 5332||PARADIGMS AND PROBLEMS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS||3|
|POLS 5334||VIOLENCE AND DEPRIVATION IN WORLD POLITICS||3|
|POLS 5338||AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY||3|
|POLS 5339||ISRAELI IDENTITY AND THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT||3|
|POLS 5341||COGNITION, EMOTION, AND EVOLUTION IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS||3|
|POLS 5342||INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS||3|
|POLS 5384||TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS||3|
|Public Law and Jurisprudence|
|POLS 5301||JUDICIAL POLITICS AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT||3|
|POLS 5323||STATE COURT SYSTEMS||3|
|POLS 5382||TOPICS IN PUBLIC LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE||3|
|Public Administration and Policy Studies|
|POLS 5302||BUREAUCRATIC LEADERSHIP: TRENDS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY MANAGEMENT||3|
|POLS 5324||PUBLIC POLICY: ISSUES AND ANALYSIS||3|
|POLS 5325||STATE POLITICS||3|
|POLS 5326||STATE/LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICYMAKING||3|
|POLS 5327||URBAN POLICYMAKING AND ADMINISTRATION||3|
|POLS 5328||PUBLIC POLICY AND MEXICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES||3|
|POLS 5329||PUBLIC BUDGETING||3|
|POLS 5330||ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT||3|
|POLS 5368||Health Politics and Policy||3|
|POLS 5369||SOCIAL POLICY||3|
|POLS 5383||TOPICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY MAKING||3|
Additional courses may also be taken in the area of political theory, but other than the methods requirement (POLS 5310 ANALYZING POLITICS: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS) that area is not required for the thesis or non-thesis degree plans. Elective courses in political theory include:
- POLS 5305 TOPICS IN POLITICAL THEORY.
Students should consult the Political Science Graduate Student Handbook for regulations on transfer courses, undergraduate courses, conferences, internships, and special courses. It is recommended that students complete at least one general field seminar (POLS 5300 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS, POLS 5301 JUDICIAL POLITICS AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, POLS 5302 BUREAUCRATIC LEADERSHIP: TRENDS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY MANAGEMENT, POLS 5303 COMPARATIVE POLITICAL SYSTEMS, POLS 5332 PARADIGMS AND PROBLEMS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS) prior to taking the topics courses. See the Graduate Advisor for more detail.
The non-thesis degree plan requires a minimum of 36 hours, including three hours of methodology, and courses from four of the five areas.
All candidates for the degree of Master of Arts with a major in political science must pass a final comprehensive examination, written, oral, or both written and oral. The scope, content, and form of the examination will be determined by the student’s supervising committee. In the event of failure of the final comprehensive examination, the student may petition the Committee on Graduate Studies to retake the examination on a date no sooner than 60 days after the first examination. Students will not be permitted more than one reexamination after failure of the initial examination.
International Studies Option
The International Studies option of the Master of Arts program in political science emphasizes the study of comparative politics and international relations within the framework of political science. This option requires courses from three of six areas of political science and 12 hours in comparative politics and/or international politics. Students must have three hours of a methods course. Upon satisfying the requirements for this option, students will receive a letter of completion. Completion will not be reflected on student transcripts.
U.S. Political Institutions and Processes Option
The U.S. Political Institutions and Processes option of the Master of Arts program in political science emphasizes political behavior and processes and public law and jurisprudence within the framework of political science. This option requires courses from three of six areas of political science and 12 hours in political behavior and processes and/or public law and jurisprudence. Students must have three hours of a methods course. Upon satisfying the requirements for this option, students will receive a letter of completion. Completion will not be reflected on student transcripts.
Dual Degree Program
Students in political science may participate in a dual degree program whereby they can earn a Master of Arts in political science and a Master of Arts in another program, such as criminal justice or sociology. By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply a number of semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from nine to 18 hours, subject to the approval of Graduate Advisors from both programs. To participate in the dual degree program, students must make separate application to each program and must submit a separate program of work for each degree. Those interested in a dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor(s) for further information on course requirements. See also the statement on "Dual Degree Programs" in the general information section of this catalog.