Graduate Degree Requirements

M.A. Degree Requirements

Most full-time students will be able to complete the M.A. Degree Requirements in four semesters. To complete an M.A. in International Affairs or Political Science, students must fulfill the following requirements:

Complete 30 Graduate Credits

An M.A. in Political Science or International Affairs requires 30 hours of coursework or, in other words, 30 credits. Graduate courses are 3 credits each, so this is the equivalent of 10 courses. There are some restrictions on which courses will fulfill these requirements:

  1. At least 18 credits of the 30 credits must come from graduate-level courses. The other 12 credits may come from upper division undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit, though students are discouraged from taking more than one or two such courses during their time in the program. Students taking an upper-division undergraduate course for graduate credit must meet with the professor and arrange additional readings, writing assignments, and/or face-to-face sessions to justify the awarding of graduate credit. Please note that not all upper-division undergraduate courses are available for graduate credit. The timetable for each semester will indicate those courses that are available for graduate credit. Graduate students will not receive credit for lower division undergraduate courses. If students select the thesis option, up to 6 of their 30 hours may be thesis credits (POSC 6999). In that case, at least 15 the remaining credits must come from graduate-level courses.
  2. Students may complete up to 9 hours of courses outside the political science department. Under special circumstances they may petition the department to complete another 3 hours outside the department. This includes both graduate classes taken in other departments at Marquette and courses taken at other universities. In either case, the courses must be cognate to the major focus of their studies in the department. For example, an International Affairs student specializing in political economy would be encouraged to take a graduate course in international trade, but would not receive credit for a graduate course in American history.

Complete Required Courses

All Political Science and International Affairs graduate students must complete POSC 6101, Contemporary Political Research. This course helps students understand how to conduct and interpret research in their fields.

All Political Science and International Affairs graduate students must complete core seminars in their fields of study. These courses introduce students to the fields of political science and international affairs. International Affairs and Political Science graduate students take somewhat different core seminars. International Affairs students complete the following two core seminars: POSC 6401, Comparative Politics and POSC 6601, International Politics. Political Science students chose three of the following four core seminars: POSC 6201, American Politics; POSC 6401, Comparative Politics; POSC 6601, International Politics; and POSC 6801, Political Philosophy.

These required courses count as part of the 30 hours of credits required for an M.A. in Political Science or International Affairs, and they count toward the required 18 hours of graduate-level courses.

For International Affairs M.A. students, additional courses taken to complete the 30 credit requirement must come from a combination of comparative politics and international politics graduate seminars and their cognate courses.


Additional Information

For more information on these requirements, please see the Graduate Bulletin, or consult with your academic advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies.