Master of Arts in Politics


Course of Study

Foreign Language Requirement

Concentration in Political Economy Analysis

Concentration in International Politics and International Business


Admission to the M.A. program in politics is granted for the fall semester only.  Admission is limited to students whose academic records and letters of recommendation indicate exceptional promise of success in the advanced study of political science.  For more detailed information of admissions requirements, please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Science Application Resource Center.

Course of Study:

Four departmental fields of study are offered: political philosophy and theory, political economy, international affairs, and comparative politics.  Students are required to complete a total of 36 points consisting of the following: eight courses (32 points), of which at least six must be in the department and four must be in one departmental field; an internship and corresponding supervision course (2 points); and a master's thesis and corresponding seminar (2 points). 

Courses in the major field must include the field core course.  This core course and one additional core course are required and are usually the first courses taken in the department. 

As noted above, students must also complete a master's thesis.  Students will complete the thesis as part of the Master's Thesis Seminar course.  The thesis will be a heavily researched academic work consisting of 10,000-15,000 words dealing with an important an timely topic in politics related to a student's chosen concentration.  The thesis should demonstrate that a student has sufficient command of literatures and arguments pertaining to the chosen topic.  Students are required to notify the thesis seminar course instructor at the initiation of research for the master's thesis and register for the M.A. thesis course.  In conjunction with the M.A. program director and the thesis seminar instructor, students will choose a faculty thesis supervisor.  Once a thesis topic and supervisor are designated, the director of M.A. programs must approve changes to them.

Students are expected to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in work for the master's degree.  Each student should meet with the M.A. program adviser every semester to discuss and agree on a course of study.  The director of the M.A. program will assign an adviser prior to the start of the student's first semester.

Foreign Language Requirement:

Students must demonstrate proficiency in one language other than English or, with permission of the director of M.A. programs, in intermediate of advanced statistics.  Students demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by passing the GSAS foreign language proficiency examination or by completing an intermediate-level foreign language course with a grade of B or better.  Students demonstrate proficiency in statistics by completing Quantitative Analysis II (G53.2127) with a grade of B or better.

Concentration in Political Economy Analysis:

Students fulfill the concentration requirements by completing 16 points.  The curriculum consists of a required course, Political Economy (G53.1400) designed to introduce students to literature and debates in the field of political economy, as well as an approved political economy topics course.  In addition, two other 4-point approved economics courses must be completed. 

Additionally, students in this concentration must write their master's thesis on a topic that deals with analyzing political economy and must also undertake at least one approved internship with a professional organization or agency specializing in political economy analysis. 

Concentration in International Politics and International Business:

Students complete uo to nine courses, four of which must be in the international relations field, including the international relations core course; in addition, they must register for the Master's Thesis Seminar and the Internship Seminar.  The other courses are taken from a designated group in other disciplines in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and in the Department of Politics.  Each student is expected to write a master's thesis on a topic related to his or her program work.

Students in this concentration also register for a 1-point reading and research course (G53.3991), in which they produce a paper detailing how they will apply the methods, skills, or knowledge they obtain in their business courses to political science.

For additional information, please see the FAQ page for the concentration.