Skip to content

Political Science Master's Degrees

The Political Science Department at the University of Utah seeks graduate students who are both motivated and able to succeed in political science study and research. Students with substantial preparation in political science or another social science are most likely to meet this standard, although the department has admitted applicants from other disciplines who can demonstrate, through relevant interests and experience, the abilities necessary for advanced work in political science. The fit between applicants' interests and the research expertise of our faculty is also an important consideration during the admissions process. Although there are no specific course prerequisites for our graduate program, applicants must have completed at least a bachelor's degree.

The department offers a variety of courses that effectively introduce students to major research issues, plus others that encourage advanced research. Graduate degrees promote career advancement for certain types of jobs and are the prerequisite for faculty appointments at the college and university levels. Students take classes (seminars) in different subfields of the discipline: International Relations, Comparative Politics, American Politics, Public Administration or Political Theory.

For complete information concerning the Master's Degree Program, consult the Master's Handbook.

General Information

Completion with at least a B average (3.0) of a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved graduate course work with a minimum of 21 hours of approved graduate work in political science. A minimum of 9 of these hours are taken in the student's major field, 6 hours in the minor field.

Graduate students are required to complete at least nine hours of elective course work either within or outside the department.

Completion of POLS 6003, Approaches to the Study of Politics, and POLS 6001, Quantitative Analysis in Political Science.

Successful completion of the University's requirement of one language at standard proficiency or better for MA candidates. MS candidates will be required to take additional course work in research methods as approved by the student's committee.

Successful completion of a master's thesis or master's essay. Students writing a thesis must take at least 6 semester hours of thesis research, while students writing a master's essay take additional hours of course work at the 6000- or 7000-level. The master's essay may be a seminar paper that has been substantially revised before being submitted to the supervisory committee.

Successful completion of the final oral defense of the thesis or essay.

Master's candidates are expected to complete the degree within two calendar years after admission to the program.

Last Updated: 8/3/23