UMKC Catalog


Master of Arts: Political Science - Requirements for Graduation
The Master of Arts degree in political science requires the successful completion of either of the following sets of requirements:
  • Non-Thesis Option - 33 semester hours of approved coursework.
  • Thesis Option - 24 semester hours of approved coursework and 6 hours of thesis (POL-SCI 5599: Research and Thesis). Students must gain permission to write a thesis. Permission to do so depends on the quality of the thesis proposal, the student's writing skills, and the ability of the Department to supervise the student in the subject area of the proposed thesis. An oral defense of the thesis is required. Those who anticipate further graduate work toward the doctorate are advised to write a thesis.
All M.A. candidates must successfully complete POL-SCI 5501. Seminar in American Government; POL-SCI 5530, Seminar in International Relations; and POL-SCI 5580, Seminar in Comparative Politics. With permission of the principal M.A. adviser, students may transfer six credit hours of graduate work from other institutions, and may count no more than six credit hours of pre-approved graduate coursework in other UMKC departments.

Candidates also may take up to nine credit hours of 300- or 400-level coursework in political science at UMKC and count them toward the M.A. degree. For a 300- or 400-level course to be accepted for graduate credit, a student must arrange with the instructor to do supplementary work (such as additional reading, writing, and contact hours) and earn at least a B in the course. In addition, the student must not have taken previously an equivalent course at UMKC or elsewhere.

In either the 30-hour thesis option or the 33-hour non-thesis option, no more than six hours of readings, independent study or directed studies credit (other than thesis hours) may be counted toward the requirements for the M.A.

In all cases, students in the M.A. program must take at least 15 hours of graduate-level (5500-level) courses in political science at UMKC in fulfillment of their degree requirements. In addition, University of Missouri rules mandate that students in graduate programs must take at least 60% of their course work at the graduate level. Applied to the M.A. program in political science, this means that students taking the thesis option must complete at least 18 hours at the graduate level, and students in the non-thesis option must complete at least 21 graduate hours. Graduate courses taken at UMKC in political science and other programs, graduate transfer hours, and thesis hours all count toward fulfillment of this requirement.

Students should consult the principal master’s adviser in selecting approved courses to assure progress toward completion of the degree and to meet their needs and interests in graduate study.