Master of Arts in Political Science

The Master of Arts in Political Science is an online degree program designed for both recent college graduates and individuals seeking to advance their professional or academic careers. The program serves students preparing for doctoral studies or law school, high school teachers seeking to improve their professional credentials, individuals wanting to teach in the community colleges, and individuals preparing for careers or advancement in nonprofit organizations (international and domestic) and the public sector. 

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Students are admitted to the graduate program for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, with the following application deadlines: 

Fall semester enrollment: August 1
Spring semester enrollment: December 1
Summer enrollment: May 15

Admission into the program is based on the listed requirements and faculty/student ratios. The following are required for admissions consideration:

  1. Graduate Studies Application: The Graduate Studies Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.*
  4. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0: Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree from an accredited institution are expected to have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. However, applicants who possess neither a graduate degree nor a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 may submit additional information as evidence of their academic and professional potential. Such additional information may include, but is not limited to: GRE scores, an academic writing sample, a narrative that provides an explanation for the applicant’s low GPA and for why the GPA is not indicative of the applicant’s academic and professional potential, etc.
  5. Statement of Intent: Applicants should submit a written statement that specifically addresses at least the following three elements: a) why they are applying to the program; b) how their experience (academic, work, etc.) has prepared them to enter the program; and c) what they plan to do – professionally – with the degree.
  6. A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  7. Names and contact information for at least two individuals who can speak to applicant’s academic and professional potential.

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

Applicants must submit all application materials directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the relevant deadline. A holistic review of each applicant’s file will then be completed, with admission to the MA Program offered to applicants on a competitive basis.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

The program entails 36 hours of coursework and a portfolio of written work.
All students are required to take four overview courses on (1) Political Science as an academic discipline and its main subfields of (2) American Politics, (3) Comparative Politics, and (4) International Relations. Alongside those four requirements, which account for twelve credit hours, students can choose any eight other non-thesis POLS graduate courses as electives that best suit their academic interests and professional goals. With graduate advisor approval, students may satisfy some of their elective credit hours by pursuing an informal concentration in a relevant area from one or more other departments or graduate programs.
All students must complete and submit a portfolio of written work in their last semester of coursework. The portfolio can be structured as a teaching portfolio or a research portfolio, depending on the student's academic interests and professional goals. Students are required to be enrolled in the University during the semester or summer session in which the portfolio is submitted.

Master of Arts in Political Science
Specified Courses
POLS 5301Scope & Methods of Political Science3
POLS 5330American Politics3
POLS 5371Comparative Politics3
POLS 5373International Relations3
Prescribed Electives: POLS
Select eight additional non-thesis POLS graduate courses24
Total Hours36

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The MA in Political Science is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Analytical and writing skills.
  • Incorporate technology to solve problems and accomplish goals.
  • Prepare students for professional careers in the 21st century.
  • Prepare students to make meaningful contributions to local, state, national, and global communities.