Aug 12, 2022  
University Catalog 2021-2022 
University Catalog 2021-2022 [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 60 semester (90 quarter) 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 3710, 3720, 3730 and 3740 (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 semester must apply to the department by the preceding April 1 and those seeking admission spring semester must apply to the department by the preceding November 1. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis.

Requirements for the Degree (30-33 units)

A minimum of 30 -33 units is required, with at least 18- 21 in 5000-level courses.

I. Required Courses (18-21 units)

Students electing the Comprehensive Exam option must complete 21 units of required courses. 
Students electing the Thesis Option must complete 18 units of required courses selected  in consultation  with their advisor.

II. Concentrations - Select one of the following concentrations (9 units)

C. Global Politics Concentration

III. Comprehensive Exam (0 units) or Thesis ( 3-6 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 are approved to write an MA thesis may, with the approval of the M.A. advisor, substitute 3.0 thesis units for one required seminar (listed in “I. Required Courses”) of their choosing. Students writing a thesis must enroll in a minimum of 3 units (POLS 5990), but may take an additional 3 units if they are unable to successfully complete their thesis within one semester.

Students electing to take the comprehensive examinations (POLS 5960) should expect to take the examinations after the semester they complete all but one required seminar;they must also 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 examination may not change to the thesis option; students who have taken POLS 5990 thesis units may not change to the comprehensive examination option.