College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2021-2022

Department of Politics and International Affairs

Political Science, Master of Arts

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Master of Arts in Political Science degree provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and participate in the political systems of the United States and the world.  This degree provides a broad perspective on experiences, international and domestic, from both theory and practice.
This degree builds a strong foundation in the advanced knowledge of the political world, and enables students to be able to use key concepts and analytical approaches from Public Policy, American Politics, Public Administration, Comparative Politics and International relations.
Building upon this fundamental knowledge, our curriculum ensures that students can define, design, and implement effective scholarly research projects in political science.  In addition, they will be able to make clear and effective demonstrations of their work in writing and in public presentations, including scholarly presentations to academics at professional political science conferences.  Students will also leave this program ready to work in government, non-academic research institutions, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Our goal is to train students to be active, engaged, and informed participants in the global system who can not only understand the world around them but also shape and influence it. 

Student Learning Outcomes

All students in the MA Political Science program will achieve the following learning objectives:
1.  Conceptual and Analytical:  Students should have an advanced knowledge of the political world, including contemporary political thought, and public policies, and be able to use key concepts and analytical approaches from political science.

  • Identify and use salient political science concepts and analytical method to evaluate current public policies, political actors’ behavior, political events, and institutional arrangements within a diverse world.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of a variety of significant analytical approaches used in political science.
  • Analyze, synthesize and evaluate the interconnectedness and interdependence of the human experience on a global scale.
  • Engage in original research making a contribution to the larger field.
2.  Inquiry and Research:  Students will define, design, and implement effective research projects in political science.
  • Devise an advanced research design.
  • Test hypotheses with basic empirical data.
  • Write findings in scholarly publishable-quality original research papers.
3.  Communication:  Students should be able to make clear and effective demonstrations of their work in writing and in public presentations.
  • Students will demonstrate advanced writing skills and be able to summarize and explain scholarly political science articles.
  • Analyze and critique the material read /discussed.
  • Suggest and discuss alternative possibilities and outcomes.
  • Speak in public settings, including oral defense of thesis (thesis option) or an oral exam (non-thesis option).
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply the discussion to policy and “real world” applications.
  • Students will be able to communicate at an advanced level with other academics in the field of political science, including presenting their own research work at academic conferences.
4.  Professional and Citizenship:  Students should know, understand, and be able to meet the expectations of professionalism and citizenship.
Demonstrate professional behavior in terms of demeanor, personal presentation, ethics, and
  • civic participation in experiential learning, classrooms settings and at professional conferences.
  • Acquire the skills and knowledge base to understand the importance of and options for environmental sustainability and its tenuous relationship to economic development in local and global terms.
  • Critically reflect upon the nature and consequences of diversity (e.g. race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, culture, nation), and develop an understanding of how this diversity both alters and is altered in a world characterized by increasing global interaction.


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