Political Science, MA

The Master of Arts program focuses on the core scholarly areas of political science. Students specialize in one of five concentration areas: American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, public policy, and security studies. Courses in the MA program serve as a foundation for work in a doctoral program or as preparation for careers in government, nonprofit organizations, or related work in the private sector.

To earn the Master of Arts in Political Science degree at Northeastern, you must successfully complete 30 semester hours (typically 10 courses) of credit. Full-time students can expect to complete the degree within two academic years. Course work consists of 3 semester hours in a required statistics course, 12 semester hours within a chosen concentration, 3 semester hours outside the student’s area of concentration, and a remaining 12 elective semester hours. To see the full breakdown, click the Program Requirements tab above. 

Academic Standing/Progress

Satisfactory progress in the MA program includes maintaining a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000 overall as well as in the student's concentration area.  A final cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 in all course work is required to qualify for the Master of Arts degree.  Any course in which a student earns lower than a C grade cannot be used to fulfill concentration area requirements. A student who fails to make satisfactory progress is placed on academic probation, which is a warning that the student may not be allowed to continue in the graduate program unless the deficiency is addressed.

Experiential Education Requirement

In addition to in-class course work, students are required to complete an experiential education component that advances their learning, research, and/or career objectives. Experiential education offers MA students a direct experience with focused reflection relevant to their academic studies. For students with research interests, the experience focuses on related activities, such as primary source analysis and data gathering. For other students, the experience involves engagement with areas of practice and policy, such as an internship. An experiential education opportunity will be satisfied with a minimum of 3 semester hours and a maximum of 6 semester hours.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

General Requirements

Quantitative Techniques
POLS 7202Quantitative Techniques3

Concentrations

Complete one of the following concentrations:

Electives

Complete 15 semester hours from the following range:15
POLS 5100 to POLS 7978

American Government Concentration

Seminar
POLS 7205Seminar in American Government and Politics3
American Government Courses
Complete 9 semester hours from the following:9
American Political Institutions and Processes
Congress and Policy
The American Presidency
American Constitutional History and Theory
Campaigns and Elections
American Political Parties and Elections
The U.S. Judicial Process
Interest Groups and Social Movements
Trends in American Political Thought
Public Budgeting and Financial Management
Economic Institutions and Analysis
Administrative Law and Politics
Intergovernmental Relations
State Government
Urban Government and Politics
State and Local Public Finance
Business/Government Relations
Health Policy and Politics
Education Policy in the United States
Environmental Policy and Politics
Gender and Politics
Security and Resilience Policy
U.S. National Security Policy
U.S. Foreign Policy

International Relations Concentration

Seminar
POLS 7207Seminar in International Relations3
International Relations Courses
Complete 9 semester hours from the following:9
Contemporary Issues in Third World Development
International Development Administration and Planning
Comparative Public Policy and Administration
Environmental Policy and Politics
Gender and Politics
Security and Resilience Policy
Democratization and Governance
International Political Economy
International Law
Ethnic Political Conflict
U.S. Foreign Policy
International Security
Government and Politics of the Middle East
Arab-Israeli Conflict
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
U.S.-East Asia Relations
Politics of Developing Nations
Transatlantic Relations
Topical Seminar in International Relations

Comparative Politics Concentration 

Seminar
POLS 7206Seminar in Comparative Politics3
Comparative Politics Courses
Complete 9 semester hours from the following:9
Interest Groups and Social Movements
Contemporary Issues in Third World Development
Comparative Public Policy and Administration
Gender and Politics
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Democratization and Governance
Democratization: Basic Approaches
Comparative Democracies
Comparative Political Parties and Electoral Systems
Comparative Constitutionalism
Comparative Political Economy
International Political Economy
Ethnic Political Conflict
Nationalism
Politics of Revolution and Change
Terrorism, Violence, and Politics
Totalitarianism and Oppressive Government
Genocide in a Comparative Perspective
Europe and European Union Governance
Arab-Israeli Conflict
U.S.-East Asia Relations
Politics of Developing Nations
Topical Seminar in Comparative Politics

Public Policy Concentration 

Seminar
POLS 7204Seminar in Public Policy3
Public Policy Courses
Complete 9 semester hours from the following:9
Techniques of Policy Analysis
American Political Institutions and Processes
Congress and Policy
The American Presidency
American Political Parties and Elections
Trends in American Political Thought
Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager
The Nonprofit Sector in Civil Society and Public Affairs
Administrative Law and Politics
Techniques of Program Evaluation
Business/Government Relations
Health Policy and Politics
Problems in Metropolitan Policymaking
Comparative Public Policy and Administration
Case Studies in Policy Analysis
Education Policy in the United States
Environmental Policy and Politics
Gender and Politics
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Security and Resilience Policy
U.S. National Security Policy
Nationalism
Politics of Revolution and Change
Terrorism, Violence, and Politics
Totalitarianism and Oppressive Government
U.S. Foreign Policy
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
Topical Seminar in Public Policy and Administration

Security Studies Concentration 

Seminar
POLS 7207Seminar in International Relations3
Security Studies Courses
POLS 7341Security and Resilience Policy3
Complete 6 semester hours from the following:6
Security and Resilience Policy
U.S. National Security Policy
Terrorism, Violence, and Politics
International Security

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

30 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required