Mar 25, 2023  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Political Science, M.A.

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The department offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in political science and the Master of Arts degree in public administration. For more information about the Master of Arts degree in public administration, refer to the public administration program in this section of the catalog. Course offerings in political science cover the following general topics: American politics, public policy, public administration, public law, political theory, research methods, and comparative politics.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the college graduate admission requirements, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the Master of Arts in Political Science program:

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, at least a 3.00 grade point average (A=4.00) in the most recent 60 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate courses and have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).


A satisfactory score of 550 on the TOEFL paper-based exam or 213 for the computer-based exam or 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) is generally acceptable proof of English proficiency for international students. Applicants should prepare a one-to two-page statement of purpose and should also submit three letters of recommendation, preferable from professors directly familiar with their academic work. Go to and click on graduate then admissions for more information on admissions requirements.
Political Science students are generally admitted only in the Fall semester. However, Spring and Summer admissions are decided on a space available basis. The deadlines for submitting applications are February 15 for the Fall semester and October 1 for the Spring semester. Applications are judged on a competitive basis by the Department’s Graduate Committee.


The program offers two MA options as follows:

M.A. degrees are awarded to students in one of the following categories:

  1. Those whose educational objective is a Master’s degree and do not wish to proceed to the degree of Ph.D.;
  2. Those who do not meet the requirements for the degree of Ph.D. and who are advised to obtain a terminal Master’s degree;
  3. Those who are proceeding towards a Ph.D. but wish the Master’s credential for professional purposes.

Thirty to thirty-six semester hours of approved course work, at least 24 semester hours of which must be at the 6000 level or above, is required. Also, at least 27 hours of credit for the Master’s degree must be earned in residence at the University of Houston campus. No more than 6 semester hours of transferred course work may be applied to the Master of Arts degree. Determination of course equivalency of transferred work resides with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee. Credit for post baccalaureate courses will not be given. A degree plan should be completed, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, within the first 12 hours of course work and filed with the Graduate Office. A Master’s degree program must be completed within five years of the date of enrollment at the University of Houston.

There are 3 plans under which graduate students can earn a Master of Arts degree:

  1. M.A. Plan I: 30 hours of coursework and 6 hours of Master’s thesis hours;
  2. M.A. Plan II (Terminal Degree): 33 hours of coursework and 3 hours of Bibilographic Essay hours;
  3. M.A. by Examination: This program is designed to provide an interim professional qualification for candidates who are in the process of working towards a Ph.D. Candidates who pass the Comprehensive Examinations for the Ph.D. degree may petition to have this pass recognized as fulfilling the requirements for a Master of Arts degree.

For more information on the degree requirements and types of degrees, please refer to the Graduate Programs page.

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