Jun 16, 2021  
University Catalog 2011-2012 (“PRINTED”) 
University Catalog 2011-2012 (“PRINTED”) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, M.A.

The program is built on the foundation of an undergraduate government or political science major and is designed to provide systematic study in political science and related fields at an advanced level.

Departmental Requirements

In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants must have:

  • A grade point average in the last 90 quarter (60 semester) units of 3.00 or better and a major in political science. Majors with GPAs below 3.00 may be admitted at the discretion of the department’s graduate admissions committee after completing prerequisite or conditional courses, if necessary.
  • Non political science majors who have a GPA of 3.00 or better may be accepted on a conditional basis. They must first complete the following conditional prerequisite courses from the upper division foundation core: POLS 371 , 372 , 373  and 374  (minimum of three courses with earned GPA of 3.3 or above). Students will not receive graduate credit for these prerequisite courses. Non political science majors with GPAs below 3.00 may be admitted at the discretion of the department¡¦s graduate admissions committee after completing prerequisite or conditional courses.
  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must come from a professor or an individual capable of evaluating the applicant’s intellectual and academic qualifications.
  • A statement of purpose letter. A letter stating the applicant’s purpose in applying for graduate study, the particular area of specialization or interest (American politics, global politics, or political theory), any special research interests, plans for future occupation or profession and any additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating the applicant’s preparation and aptitude for graduate study at CSULA. The essay should be specific, well-organized, and well-thought out. The statement of purpose is considered an integral element of the application.
  • Applications will be considered for fall or spring admissions only. Students seeking admission to the program effective fall quarter must apply to the department by the preceding May 1 and those seeking admission spring quarter must apply to the department by the preceding January 15. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis.

Requirements for the Degree (45 units)

A minimum of 45 units is required, with at least 23 in 500-level courses.

II. Concentrations – Select one of the following concentrations (16 units)

C. Global Politics Concentration

III. Comprehensive Exam or Thesis (5 units)

Students choose either to take the comprehensive exam or to write a thesis, the latter subject to the approval of the thesis chair, the M.A. graduate advisor, and the department chair. Students who take the comprehensive exam have the choice of doing 5 units of graduate research (POLS 597 ) directed by a faculty member or 5 units for a practicum (POLS 592 ) where they will intern in a political office, non-profit organization, campaign management firm, survey research center, or a comparable placement. Thus, students take either POLS 597 graduate research (5) or POLS 592 political science practicum (5) and POLS 596  comprehensive exam (0) or POLS 599  thesis (5).

Students electing to take the comprehensive examinations (POLS 596) should expect to take the examinations after the quarter they complete all course work on their program and must comply with college and departmental requirements. Students will be allowed a maximum of two attempts to complete the comprehensive examinations successfully. Failure to pass the comprehensive examinations, or any portion thereof, will result in disqualification from the program.

Students who have made one attempt on the comprehensive examinations may not change to the thesis option; students who have taken POLS 599 thesis units may not change to the comprehensive examination option.