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Political Science

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 science.


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.

American politics

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 science.

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.

International affairs

Choose from a general international affairs track or a track that focuses on security and cooperation.

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.

Political theory

This concentration provides substantive grounding in the history of Western political thought, as well as the opportunity to explore issues in contemporary political theory and philosophy.

Public policy

This concentration is designed for students interested in gaining a practical understanding of how political and social policies are developed.

Dual-Degree Programs

The Department of Political Science also offers dual-degree programs for students interested in acquiring additional areas of expertise. Possible combinations include:

  • Public administration (Master of Arts in political science and Master of Public Administration)
  • Law (Master of Arts in political science and Juris Doctor)
Program Highlights

The SLU M.A. in political science provides students with:

  • Broad theoretical understanding of the political and social environments that shape possibilities for change
  • Advanced skills in political and social analysis, including marketable skills in empirical data analysis and Geographic Information Systems
  • Opportunities to grapple with some of the most important social justice problems of our time, from racism and poverty at home to persistent underdevelopment and oppression abroad
  • Expertise in national politics and policy, in comparative and international politics, or in political theory and analysis
  • Internships that provide the skills needed to effect change in local communities or the world
  • Opportunities to engage in independent research or to assist faculty in leading-edge projects that address pressing national and international issues
Curriculum and Program Details

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 or thesis
  • 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 thesis
  • 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.

Faculty
  • J.D. Bowen, Ph.D.
  • Ellen Carnaghan, Ph.D.
  • Robert Cropf, Ph.D.
  • James Gilsinan, Ph.D.
  • Ruth Groff, Ph.D.
  • Morgan Hazelton, Ph.D.
  • Nori Katagiri, Ph.D.
  • Amber Knight, Ph.D.
  • Chryl Laird, Ph.D.
  • Michelle Lorenzini, Ph.D.
  • Wynne Moskop, Ph.D.
  • Steven Rogers, Ph.D.
  • Robert Strikwerda, Ph.D.
  • Emmanuel Uwalaka, Ph.D.
  • Ann Wainscott, Ph.D.
  • Kenneth Warren, Ph.D.
  • Penny Weiss, Ph.D.
  • Jason Windett, Ph.D.
Careers
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.  
Scholarships and Financial Aid

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. 

Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.


Applicant Criteria

Successful applicants possess a GPA of 3.4 (overall and in political science courses), sufficient GRE scores and sufficient TOEFL score (for international applicants).

You’ll need the following items to apply:

 

Application Requirements

Online application and fee
Three letters of recommendation
National board score test results
Transcript(s)
A statement of purpose
A writing sample
Curriculum vitae or résumé

Requirements for International Students

Assistantship Application Deadline

Students want to be to be considered for an assistantship must submit their application by Jan. 30.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by a committee of political science department faculty members.