College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2014-2015

Department of Politics and International Affairs

Political Science - Nonthesis, Master of Arts

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2016

This non-thesis program provides students with a breadth of training that includes research and rich topical choices. The degree is suitable for those who wish to pursue doctoral work—or for those who are looking for applied settings, such as government, teaching, politics, international relations, policy-making, etc. Students choose a primary field of study from one of three emphases: American Politics and Public Administration, Comparative Politics and International Relations, or Public Policy.


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Political Science - Nonthesis?

Pursuing a master's degree in political science at Northern Arizona University will allow you to explore personal interests as well as study traditional subject areas like American politics, public administration, public policy, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Graduate students can specialize in environmental politics, political development, and diversity politics, as well. Enjoy small classes that foster a collaborative experience with faculty and peers. In the Political Science-Nonthesis program, you will be required to pass an oral final exam with a faculty committee instead of completing and defending a thesis.

Political science students have interned with legislators in the U.S. Congress and Arizona Legislature; federal agencies including the National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and FBI; foreign and international bodies such as the United Nations and the German Parliament; and interest groups that include the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Trust, and Friends of Flagstaff 's Future.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Diplomat
  • Educator
  • Journalist
  • Civil servant

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study


Additional Admission Requirements
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • A bachelor’s degree in a closely related discipline
    • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above or  6 units of subsequent coursework at the graduate level with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
    • GRE® revised General Test
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Writing sample
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:

    Politics and International Affairs core courses (6 units):

    Core coursework in your field (6 units):

    • American Politics and Public Administration
      Select two courses from the following:Comparative Politics and International Relations
      Select one group from the following:
    • Additional POS courses related to your field (12-15 units)
    • An interdisciplinary concentration, selected from anthropology, economics, environmental politics, history, psychology, public administration, sociology, or an appropriate area or cognate approved by your plan advisor (9-12 units)
    • A final oral exam, with satisfactory performance
  • Please note that you choose all courses in consultation with your plan advisor.

    You may count up to two 400-level courses toward this academic plan if they haven't previously been counted toward a bachelor's degree.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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