About the Graduate Program

The Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science prepares students to find or advance in academic and non-academic employment. It does so in two ways: (1) By providing detailed knowledge of a range of issue-areas and regions of the world; and (2) By training students in enhanced critical analysis of information, creative thinking, effective communication and presentation skills, and how to conduct research. Applicants must have completed a Bachelor of Arts from an accredited university or college.

The decision to enroll in an MA program is a complex decision in that there are several things you want to consider. Begin by asking yourself: Why do I want to go to grad school? What do I hope to gain from it?

Other questions include:

  • Do I like research? Writing? Speaking? Graduate work is based on these things. 
  • Do I have time? The POLS MA can be done in 2 years, if you take a full time load (three courses). That is on top of the three or four years put into your BA.
  • Can I afford it? The UT Arlington Political Science MA is not overly expensive [Cost Estimation Tool], but there are still tuition costs and, if you are coming from outside the Metroplex, there are other cost-of-living considerations, such as housing, food, and transportation.
  • Do I manage my time well? The MA program focuses on reading, writing, and research. Whether you’re working full time or have other responsibilities or not, you need to be able to manage time effectively.

Most MA classes are offered in the evening, 7:00 – 9:50PM, which creates space for students to meet other family or work responsibilities. All graduate courses are seminars (discussion-based).

Students may take up to three courses per semester, though many will take one or two depending on their other commitments and responsibilities.

Students enrolled in the Political Science MA degree must select a non-thesis or a thesis track. The non-thesis track is 36 course credit hours plus one-credit hour for the final degree exam. The thesis track is 24 course credit hours plus a six-hour thesis course.

Certification and Credentialing

The Department offers an 18-hour program for individuals who require graduate coursework for certification or credentialing. Applicants apply for non-degree seeking status. The same requirements for regular admission hold for this special program.

Dual Degree

Students in political science may participate in a dual degree program whereby they can earn a Master of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Arts in another program, such as Criminal Justice or Sociology. By participating in a dual degree program, students can apply a number of semester hours jointly to meet the requirements of both degrees, thus reducing the total number of hours which would be required to earn both degrees separately. The number of hours which may be jointly applied ranges from nine to 18 hours, subject to the approval of Graduate Advisers from both programs. To participate in the dual degree program, students must make separate application to each program and must submit a separate program of work for each degree. Those interested in a dual degree program should consult the appropriate Graduate Adviser(s) for further information on course requirements.

For full information on graduate work at UT Arlington, see the Office of Graduate Studies website.