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Political Science - M.A. and Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College
College of Arts and Sciences

Department
Department of Political Science

302 Bowman Hall
Tel: 330-672-2060
Fax: 330-672-3362
Web: http://www.kent.edu/PoliSci/index.cfm
 

Description

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science consist of three concentrations: American Politics and Policy, Conflict Analysis and Management, and Transnational and Comparative Politics and Policy. Students take courses in two selected concentrations. Courses within each concentration can be found in the Political Science Department graduate handbook or on the Political Science Department web site: http://www.kent.edu/polisci/graduate/graduate-curriculum.cfm.

Political Science produces critical thinking about how the political process and government policy-making affect the lives of citizens, and how citizens influence those processes.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Political Science consists of three concentrations: American Politics and Policy, Conflict Analysis and Management, and Transnational and Comparative Politics and Policy. Students take courses in two selected concentrations. Courses within each concentration can be found in the Political Science Department graduate handbook or on the Political Science Department web site: http://www.kent.edu/polisci/graduate/graduate-curriculum.cfm.

Political Science prepares students for research and teaching careers in higher education and for research-based careers in other fields focused on political, economic and social issues.

Admission Requirements

Official transcript(s), 3.0 GPA, GRE, goal statement, three letters of recommendation and a writing sample. Please refer to the University policy for graduate admissions.

Graduation Requirements

The M.A. program is designed for students who do not anticipate continuing their education beyond the master’s degree, or who do not plan to continue their education at Kent State.

The M.A. curriculum includes four required core courses, plus several proseminars and electives. Proseminars and electives are organized into three areas of concentration: American Politics and Policy; Conflict Analysis and Management; and Transnational and Comparative Politics and Policy.

M.A. students complete the degree by fulfilling either the Non-Thesis or Thesis Option.

If the Non-Thesis Option is chosen, students earn an M.A. by completing coursework. Students take twelve courses (four core courses; one proseminar plus three electives in the student's first concentration; one proseminar plus two electives in student's second concentration; and one elective chosen in consultation with the student's advisor). Students do not have to write and defend a Thesis (36 credits).

If the Thesis Option is chosen, students earn an M.A. by completing coursework, plus writing and defending a thesis. Students must take nine courses (four core courses, two proseminars and three electives [one each from the first and second concentration, plus and additional course chosen in consultation with the student's advisor]). Students must write and defend a thesis in addition to completing the coursework.

Students may elect to complete a minor in a related discipline, which involves the successful completion of 9 credit hours of coursework in that discipline. Students not electing a minor in a related discipline are permitted to submit as many as 6 credits from related departments. Note that taking courses outside of political science will probably require additional coursework above the minimum hours required for an M.A. All credits from outside the department must be approved by the student’s M.A. committee.

Ph.D: The Doctor of Philosophy prepares students for research and teaching careers in higher education and for research-based careers in other fields. As with the Master of Arts degree, the doctoral curriculum includes four required core courses, plus two proseminars and electives. Proseminars and electives are organized into three areas of concentration: American Politics and Policy; Conflict Analysis and Management; and Transnational and Comparative Politics and policy. In addition to coursework, the program requires that students pass two field exams in their two areas of concentration, complete a research tool requirement, and write and defend both a dissertation prospectus and dissertation.

The normal program for full-time students is as follows:
 

  • Year 1—Students complete three core courses (Scope and Epistemology, Quantitative Methods I and II), two proseminars (one from each field of concentration) and one elective in the first area of concentration.
  • Years 2-3—Students complete advanced research methods course, four electives (two from first area of concentration; two from second area of concentration) and fulfill the research-tool requirement in consultation with their Ph.D. advisory committee. After completing the necessary coursework, students must pass two field exams. Field examinations are completed before the second semester of a student’s third year. After passing the examinations, the students must defend a prospectus, create a dissertation committee and begin preparatory work on the dissertation. Students are expected to defend a prospectus by the end of their third year.
  • Years 4-5—Students write a dissertation and present a public, oral defense.

All full-time Ph.D. student should take the teaching course (POL 71094, College Teaching in Political Science) in the spring of their first year. Part-time Ph.D. students take the teaching course in the first spring after they have completed 9 units.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

1. Understand the theoretical underpinnings of public policy and political science.

2. Analyze public policies and politics from a variety of perspectives.

3. Communicate an understanding of public policy and political phenomenon to several different audiences including scholars, practitioners, and citizens.

Thesis/ Dissertation

M.A.: Student must complete a non-thesis or thesis option.

Ph.D.: Dissertation required.
 

Residency

To meet the residency requirement, all Ph.D. students must spend two consecutive semesters pursuing doctoral studies.

Student Organizations

Political Science Graduate Student Association