Jun 12, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, M.A.

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(30 UNITS)

The Master of Arts in Political Science enlarges and deepens the competence of political science students. It is especially designed for the professional improvement and advancement of high school and community college teachers, government employees and military personnel. It further prepares students for entering a doctoral program in political science or law school. The program also provides training and preparation for journalists, special librarians and research staffers and for all people active in civic affairs and political life.


Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions  section in this catalog for complete information.

In addition, acceptance into the M.A. in the political science program requires a grade-point average of 3.0 in the major field and in all political science courses. If the major is not in one of the social sciences, the GPA requirement also applies to upper-division social science courses taken. If a student’s GPA does not meet these criteria, the student may appeal to the department’s graduate committee for a waiver.

Normally, admission to the master’s program requires that a student possess a bachelor’s degree in political science, a minor in political science or a major in an allied social science field with a minimum of 15 units of political science courses. For those without such a background, the M.A. Political Science Coordinator may require the applicant to take a group of upper-division political science courses at the 300 and/or 400 level (not more than nine units of which will be at the 300 level) prior to admission to the program. This requirement is to assure that the student will be prepared for graduate-level work in the discipline of political science.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants need to submit a writing sample to the M.A. Political Science Coordinator.

Degree Requirements

Each candidate for a degree should, in consultation with the M.A. Political Science Coordinator, arrange for the appointment of a graduate committee, composed of three faculty members, one of whom will serve as chair. This committee will approve the study plan, conduct the examination(s) and supervise the thesis if the student chooses that option. Refer to the “Graduate Regulations” section of this catalog for further information on general study plan requirements.

Required Seminar Work (18 units)

Students are required to take a minimum of one political science seminar each semester until completion of the entire sequence.

Electives (3-9 units)

The followiing may normally be in a chosen area of specialization and may include, where appropriate, POSC 599 (6 units maximum). Courses taken to satisfy other areas may not count toward the electives. Other courses may be chosen with Political Science graudate coordinator approval.

Culminating Experience (0-6 units)

The culminating experience marks the end of a graduate program. It demonstrates mastery of disciplinary materials and meets requirements from Section 40510 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Please consult the Culminating Experience  section in this catalog for more information.


* Includes oral defense. Intended for students interested in community college teaching or working in politics.

** May be desirable for students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree.

† Includes written and oral exams.

Total (30 units)

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