2023-24 Catalogs

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Columbia, MO 65211
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MA in Political Science

Degree Requirements

All MA students must complete POL_SC 7000, POL_SC 7010, and POL_SC 9030. Each candidate must take one graduate seminar (8000 level or above) in each of two fields. Fields include: American political institutions and behavior, comparative politics and government, international relations, and public policy and administration.

The master’s degree program culminates in a comprehensive oral examination and defense of the research project. The Master of Arts degree may be earned by completing either the thesis or the non-thesis program.

Thesis/Non-Thesis Requirements

Thesis Option

Students wishing to advance from the master’s program to the PhD program at MU must take the thesis option. The thesis program requires 30 hours of academic credit (at least 18 in 8000-level or above Political Science seminars) and an acceptable thesis for which up to six semester hours of credit must be earned (POL_SC 8090).

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis program is a 30-hour generalist master of arts. It requires a student to take at least 30 hours of academic credit (at least 18 in 8000-level or above Political Science seminars) and to write a master’s paper for which up to three hours of credit must be earned (POL_SC 8085).

Satisfactory Progress

A master’s student should maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA after the first semester and a 3.4 cumulative GPA in subsequent semesters. The MA program must be completed within five years of the first semester of enrollment. Most students complete the master’s program within two years.

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Admission Contact Information

Graduate Studies Office
113 Professional Bldg.
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2062

Admission Criteria

Admission into the MA program is determined by the graduate committee’s consideration of the applicant’s academic record, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and the GRE general test.

Fall deadline: December 15

  • Minimum TOEFL scores for international applicants: 89
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 overall, in last 60 hours, and in political science courses.
  • 12 hours of upper-division course work in political science is recommended.
  • ​An undergraduate major in an area other than political science may be acceptable.

Required Application Materials

  • The Graduate School online application
  • One to two page statement of purpose, describing interests and goals in graduate study in Political Science
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts from all universities from which degrees were earned (official transcripts required upon admission)
  • Official results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Academic writing sample
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (for international students) 

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