Political Science, MA
Director: Michael Berry
Please click here to see Political Science department information.
The Political Science Department offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Political Science with an emphasis on building academic and practical skills in key areas of the discipline. Research and teaching in the department centers on the major fields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory and public policy. The department also offers more specialized training in community organizing, human rights, legal studies, gender politics, race and ethnic politics, European studies, indigenous politics and urban politics. Students pursuing the MA have the option of completing the traditional track or an "alternative" track centered on public, non-profit and community leadership. Students completing the alternative "public, non-profit and community leadership" track take most courses in weekend, off-campus locations. Students completing either track have gone on to PhD programs across the country and work in a variety of areas, including: state and local elected office, government service, community organizing and development work, nongovernmental organizations, legislative analysts, UN affiliates, lobbyists, teachers, media analysis and political consulting.
These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their Political Science faculty advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.
Alternative Political Science Master's Program: The New Directions Program
In addition to its traditional, on-campus Master's degree, the Political Science Department offers a Public, Non-Profit and Community Leadership MA program through the Center for New Directions. The Center for New Directions offers an MA program focused on 1) public leadership; 2) community and labor organizing; and/or 3) political and social economy innovations. These options are carried out in collaboration with local government jurisdictions, community and labor organizations, and advocacy groups across Colorado. The program develops public leadership & community organizing competencies for addressing social, economic, and political challenges within Colorado communities and regions.
Plan II is available both under the traditional MA track offered on the Denver campus, as well as through an alternative track offered off-campus through the Center for New Directions in Politics and Public Policy. For details about this off-campus track in politics and public policy, see New Directions, MA in Political Science.
The Political Science graduate program offers two transcripted certificates, allowing students to focus their studies within a specific track (Public, Non-Profit, and Community Leadership; Labor Leadership; and Political and Social Economy and Innovation) and an option to have the track courses listed on their transcript. Students do not need to be seeking a full Master’s degree to earn a certificate of completion through the Graduate Certificate program. These Graduate Certificates can be obtained in one of three areas: 1) Public, Non-Profit and Community Leadership; and 2) Labor Leadership.
For more information on these graduate certificates, click the links above.
Graduate Education Policies and Procedures apply to this program
- Students must complete 33 PSCI credit hours.
- Students must complete a minimum of 33 graduate (5000-level or higher) PSCI credit hours.
- Students must earn a minimum grade of B- (2.7) in all masters courses taken at CU Denver and must achieve a minimum cumulative masters GPA of 3.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the masters GPA. Students cannot complete masters or ancillary course requirements as P+/P/F or S/U.
- Students must complete a minimum of 16 credits with CU Denver Political Science faculty.
Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations
- Students who are on probation must meet regularly with the graduate advisor and must secure approval from the advisor for all course work while on probation.
- In addition to the requirements for admission and details of the program spelled out here, graduate students in political science must also abide by department rules and procedures specified in the Graduate Education Policies and Procedures. Failure to meet these policies may result in a student being dropped from the program.
- The total combination of independent study, graduate course work in related disciplines and internships cannot exceed 9 semester hours.
- Under the On-Campus MA program in political science, two degree plans are available:
- Plan I requires the completion of nine graduate courses (27 semester hours) and a 6-credit thesis
- Plan II requires the completion of ten graduate courses (30 semester hours) and a 3-credit project or portfolio.
|Complete the following program requirements:|
|Complete the following required courses:||6|
|State of the Discipline|
|Research Methods in Political Science|
|Complete 7 graduate (5000-level or higher) PSCI courses (21 credit hours). Elective courses must include at least one graduate seminar in each of the following three areas: American Politics, Comparative Politics/International Relations, and Political Theory. 1||21|
|Complete a Thesis or Project:||6|
|Plan I: In addition to completing 27 credit hours of required and elective courses, students complete a six credit hour thesis.|
|Plan II: In addition to completing 27 credit hours of required and elective courses, students complete three additional elective credit hours and a three credit hour project/portfolio.|
Please see the Department graduate director, if you have questions as to which category a course might fit under.
In addition to taking regularly offered graduate seminars in the program, students may meet their elective requirements by taking independent study, internships, or graduate courses in related disciplines. These courses all require approval from the Graduate program director, or from a sponsoring faculty member in the Department. The total combination of independent study, graduate course work in related disciplines and internships cannot exceed 9 semester hours.
To learn more about the Student Learning Outcomes for this program, please visit our website.