Political Science, MA

Mai'a K. Davis Cross, PhD
Graduate Program Director
m.cross@northeastern.edu


Rosy Trovato, Graduate Program Administrator, 617.373.4404, r.trovato@northeastern.edu

CSSH Graduate Programs General Regulations

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 32 semester hours (typically eight courses) of credit. Full-time students can expect to complete the degree within two academic years. Course work consists of 4 semester hours in a required statistics course, 12 semester hours within a chosen concentration, and 16 semester hours of electives (including the experiential education requirement). 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. Students register for the relevant course with a minimum of 4 semester hours and maximum of 8 semester hours to satisfy the experiential education requirement. 

An optional cooperative education experience (co-op) can also satisfy the experiential education requirement. Cooperative education is central to both the Northeastern experience and to the College of Social Sciences and Humanities Experiential Liberal Arts framework. Northeastern’s signature co-op ecosystem provides qualified master's students with six-month work experiences in businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies in Boston and across the United States. Graduate students take their work from campus learning spaces, apply their knowledge outside of the classroom, and then bring knowledge and skills gained in community learning spaces back to our campus learning spaces during the cocurricular experiential integration course. 

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirement

Quantitative Techniques
POLS 7202Quantitative Techniques4

Concentrations

American Government Concentration

Seminar
POLS 7205Seminar in American Government and Politics4
American Government Courses
Complete 8 semester hours from the following:8
Congress and Policy
State Government
Security and Resilience Policy
Economic Institutions and Analysis
Public Budgeting and Financial Management
State and Local Public Finance
Health Policy and Politics
Education Policy in the United States

International Relations Concentration

Seminar
POLS 7207Seminar in International Relations4
International Relations Courses
Complete 8 semester hours from the following:8
Contemporary Issues in Third World Development
Security and Resilience Policy
International Security
Government and Politics of the Middle East
Topical Seminar in International Relations
International Development Administration and Planning
Comparative Public Policy and Administration

Comparative Politics Concentration 

Seminar
POLS 7206Seminar in Comparative Politics4
Comparative Politics Courses
Complete 8 semester hours from the following:8
Contemporary Issues in Third World Development
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Democratization: Basic Approaches
Nationalism
Genocide in a Comparative Perspective
Europe and European Union Governance
Comparative Public Policy and Administration

Public Policy Concentration 

Seminar
POLS 7204Seminar in Public Policy4
or PPUA 6506 Techniques of Policy Analysis
Public Policy Courses
Complete 8 semester hours from the following:8
Congress and Policy
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Security and Resilience Policy
Nationalism
Techniques of Policy Analysis
Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager
Techniques of Program Evaluation
The Nonprofit Sector in Civil Society and Public Affairs
Problems in Metropolitan Policymaking
Health Policy and Politics
Comparative Public Policy and Administration
Education Policy in the United States

Security Studies Concentration 

Seminar
POLS 7341Security and Resilience Policy4
Security Studies Courses
Complete 8 semester hours from the following:8
POLS 7343 to POLS 7349
International Security

Electives

Complete 16 semester hours in the following range: 116
POLS 5100 to POLS 7990

Optional Co-op Experience

Complete two consecutive semesters of Co-op Work Experience and Experiential Integration:2
Co-op Work Experience
and Experiential Integration

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

32 total semester hours required (34 with optional co-op)
Minimum 3.000 GPA required