Saint Louis University’s Master of Arts in political science program offers five concentrations,
each of which will help you to advance your knowledge and analytical skills by focusing
on an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented area within the broad field of political
About the Program
For each of the five concentrations offered in the Master of Arts in political science,
you’ll collaborate with your faculty adviser and the director of graduate studies
on a curriculum plan.
Choose from a general American politics track or public law.
The American politics track provides a substantive grounding in the academic study
of American politics, strong methodological skills and options to concentrate on particular
areas of interest. This track is appropriate for many purposes and is particularly
recommended for students who are interested in preparing for a Ph.D. program in political
The public law track is appropriate for students who are interested in law and its
broader role in the American political system. Students who are contemplating law
school might be particularly interested in this track.
Choose from a general international affairs track or a track that focuses on security
The general international affairs track provides an overall theoretical and substantive
grounding in international relations and comparative politics. Some of the topics
covered are the process of democratization, warfare, diplomacy and human rights. This
track is particularly appropriate for students who are interested in preparing for
a doctoral program.
The security and cooperation track provides a theoretical and substantive grounding
in international relations and comparative politics, with a particular focus on international
security. Courses focus on terrorism, asymmetric warfare and international organization.
Students also gain skills in geographic information systems.
Gender and politics
This concentration explores the social and political ramifications of gender in U.S.
and world politics.
This concentration provides substantive grounding in the history of Western political
thought, as well as the opportunity to explore issues in contemporary political theory
This concentration is designed for students interested in gaining a practical understanding
of how political and social policies are developed.
The Department of Political Science also offers dual-degree programs for students
interested in acquiring additional areas of expertise. Possible combinations include:
The M.A. in political science requires 30 credit hours. Some of the courses for the
various tracks are below:
American politics, general track: Seminar in American Politics; American Political Thought; Advanced Topics in Research
Methods; American Race Relations; Seminar: American State Politics; possible internship
American politics, public law track: Seminar in American Politics; American Political Thought; Advanced Topics in Research
Methods; Law, Politics, and Regulatory Policy; Law, Policy, and Society; Judicial
Policy Making; possible internship or thesis
International affairs, general track: Democratization; Politics of Economic Development; Theories of World Politics; Authoritarianism;
Gender and Islam; Advanced Topics in Research Methods; possible internship or thesis
International affairs, security and cooperation: Democratization; Politics of Economic Development; Theories of World Politics; Advanced
Topics in Research Methods; Policy Process; War, Peace, and Politics; Introduction
to Geographic Information Systems; possible internship or thesis
Gender and politics: Feminist Theory; Feminist Epistemology; Gender and American Politics; Cultural Methods:
Gender, Politics, and Power; Advanced Topics in Research Methods; American Race Relations;
Gender and Islam; Citizenship and Social Difference; Leadership and Culture; possible
internship or thesis
Political theory: History of Political Thought; Cultural Methods: Gender, Politics, and Power; Citizenship
and Social Difference; Contemporary Political Ideologies; Marx’s Capital; American
Political Thought; Feminist Theory; Leadership and Culture; possible internship or
Public Policy: Policy Process; Urban Economic Development; Introduction to Public Sector Budgeting;
Seminar in American Politics; possible internship or thesis
Students who choose to write master's theses will work closely with a faculty director
and a committee of two other faculty members chosen with the director's guidance.
The M.A. thesis is a two-semester project. Students will complete a thesis proposal
in the first semester and the thesis itself during the second semester. Students who
are not able to defend their proposal successfully during the first semester will
not be allowed to continue to the second semester of thesis work. The length of the
thesis varies according to the nature of the project, but most theses fall between
40 and 75 pages.
You may complete an internship for up to six hours of credit as part of the M.A. in
political science. You’ll work under the direction of a preceptor at the internship
location and a faculty member in the department. Your internship should involve about
200 hours of work central to the organization you are working with, and you’ll also
need to write an extensive paper related to the work.
All students in the political science M.A. program must sit for a field exam during
their last semester of coursework. All students must pass the written portion of the
exam. An additional oral exam will be required at the discretion of the exam committee.
The SLU M.A. in political science prepares students careers in government, foreign
service, national or international business, nonprofit organizations and NGOs, as
well as future graduate study. Possible careers include campaign aide, diplomat and
labor relations specialist.
SLU’s Department of Political Science offers a limited number of graduate assistantships.
Most assistantships provide tuition and a stipend in exchange for work done for individual
professors or the department. In some cases, health insurance is also provided. Assistantships
are awarded on a competitive basis; apply by Jan. 30 to be considered.