UNIVERSITY CATALOG: 2020-2021

Program: M.A., Political Science

American Politics

Program Description

The graduate program in Political Science is a liberal arts program based upon superior undergraduate preparation. It requires a higher level of achievement and places greater emphasis on independent study and research than does the baccalaureate program. Department evaluation and approval are required for admission to either classified or unclassified graduate standing. Please see additional information regarding classification standing in the program requirements listed below and in the Graduate Programs section of this Catalog.

Areas of specialization offered are as follows:

American Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Methodology, Political Theory, Public Policy and Administration, and Public Law.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements for Classified Status

  1. Completion of University requirements for admission to graduate standing.
  2. Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science or completion of “minimum equivalency*.”
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. GPA of at least 3.25 in all undergraduate courses.
  5. GPA of at least 3.25 in last 60 units of all coursework.
  6. Written statement by applicant indicating career objectives.

B. For Conditional Status

  1. Completion of minimum University requirement for admission to graduate standing.
  2. Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science or completion of “minimum equivalency*.”
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. GPA of at least 3.0 in all undergraduate courses.
  5. GPA of at least 3.0 in last 60 units of all coursework.
  6. Written statement by applicant indicating career objectives. Exceptional cases that may not meet all the given requirements for minimum equivalency will be considered by the graduate committee on petition by the applicant. Specific reasons for the waiver of minimum equivalent requirement must be offered.

*Minimum Equivalency in Lieu of Political Science Major

  1. Completion of all lower division requirements in Political Science required of the major at CSUN.
  2. Completion of a course in research methods.
  3. Completion of an upper division course in political theory (POLS 411, POLS 412 or POLS 414).
  4. Completion of an upper division course in three additional areas of political science (i.e., American government, comparative government, international relations, public law, public administration).
  5. Completion of an upper division proseminar in one of the three areas selected above.

Courses Acceptable for the Master’s Degree

  • The 400-level courses listed in American Politics Option Courses below carry credit for the master’s degree.
  • All 500-level graduate seminars in Political Science carry credit for the master’s degree.

(Note: The 300-level courses in Political Science do not carry credit for the master’s degree in Political Science.)

C. Reclassification from Conditional to Classified Status

  1. Completion of at least 9 units in Political Science at CSUN with at least 6 units in 500-level courses.
    1. No credit or consideration will be given during the reclassification period for any courses that are not listed in the Degree Requirements section.
    2. GPA of at least 3.25 in these 9 units.
  2. Units taken beyond the 9 units will not count toward the master’s degree program until the student formally petitions to be reclassified and is given classified status.
  3. Completion of minimum University requirements for admission to graduate standing.

Students denied conditional classified status by the department, if granted admission by the University, may attempt to make up deficiencies and reapply for admission.

D. Degree Requirements

1. Core Requirements (18 units)

POLS 570 Seminar in Political Theory (3)
POLS 571 Seminar in Methodology (3)

Seminar in American Politics (6 units)
Choose two of the following seminars:

POLS 540B-J Seminar in American Government and Politics (3)**

Seminar in International Relations and/or Comparative Politics (6 units)
Choose two of the following seminars:

POLS 522A-G Seminar in International Relations (3)
POLS 530A-J Seminar in Comparative Government (3)

**Courses taken in the core curriculum must not overlap with courses in the American Politics option.

2. American Politics Option Courses (12 units)

Choose four additional courses (12 units) from POLS 540A-J Seminar in American Politics.

A maximum of two courses (6 units) can be substituted with the following 400-level courses: POLS 403, POLS 404, POLS 405, POLS 406, POLS 407, POLS 440, POLS 441, POLS 441A, POLS 443, POLS 444, POLS 445, POLS 446, POLS 447APOLS 448, POLS 450, POLS 455, POLS 457A, POLS 457BPOLS 460, POLS 461, POLS 462, POLS 463, POLS 465, POLS 466, POLS 467, POLS 469/L, POLS 471A, POLS 471E, POLS 471F, POLS 494I/A, 494J/A.

3. Culminating Experience (3 units)

POLS 698D Graduate Culminating Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 33

Contact

Department of Political Science
Chair: Tom Hogen-Esch
Sierra Hall (SH) 210
(818) 677-3488

Graduate Coordinator: Keiko Hirata
Sierra Tower (ST) 226
(818) 677-7233

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of the arguments of some of the defining figures of political theory, both ancient and modern, as well as exposure to theoretical models in political and social research based on the interpretations of these philosophers.
  2. Familiarity with the breadth and diversity of the literature, models, approaches, theories and intellectual traditions within at least two chosen subfields of the discipline.
  3. Competency in research skills appropriate to the political science discipline. This includes a broad range of methodologies both quantitative and qualitative.
  4. Ability to analyze and critique the research of others and evaluate competing methods of inquiry.
  5. Written communication skills including: (a) appropriate use of grammar, style and structure; (b) ability to marshal evidence and argue a central thesis effectively; (c) ability to present ideas and arguments clearly and logically; and (d) ability to assimilate, incorporate and document source materials.