The Political Science MA can be completed by three different fulltime program streams: a) course work and thesis; b) course work and internship; or, c) course work and research paper. Each program stream has different formal requirements. Options (a) and (c) are also open to part-time students.
A) M.A. with Thesis (one to two year program)
- Students choosing the M.A. with thesis must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 3 credit hours must be attained from either POSC 6000 or 6010.
- Each student choosing the thesis option will submit a thesis on a subject that has been approved by the supervisory committee of the Department.
- Students applying for the thesis option must submit a brief statement of their research interests with their application or when they request a change in program to the thesis stream.
B) M.A. with Internship (one year program)
- Students choosing the M.A. with internship must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 12 credit hours must be attained from POSC 6030, 6031, and 6790 and 3 credit hours must be attained from either POSC 6000 or 6010.
- Each student choosing this option will complete, normally in the Spring Semester, a one-semester, full-time internship (6030) with a political organization, government agency, or voluntary agency. Students registering for 6030 must also register for its co-requisite, 6031. The placement must normally be approved by the Department.
C) M.A. with Research Paper (one year program)
- Students choosing the M.A. with research paper must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 9 credit hours must be attained from either POSC 6999 and 3 credit hours must be attained from POSC 6000 or 6010.
- The selection of a topic for the research paper must be approved by a faculty supervisor who will be chosen in consultation with the Department Head. The paper will be graded by the supervisor and one other member of the faculty, either from within the Department or the Department of a cognate discipline.
Students may request a switch from one stream to another; however, transfers must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator. Transfers from the internship or thesis stream to the research paper stream are generally approved fairly automatically. Transfers from either of the research streams to the internship stream will be permitted only if placements are available. As transferring to the thesis stream from either the research paper or internship streams extends the length of the student’s program, such transfers will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and generally require the prior endorsement of the intended research supervisor. Finally, note that fellowship commitments can be affected by transfers between streams. In particular, students transferring from the thesis to either the research paper or internship stream will not be eligible for any second-year funding commitment they may have been promised in their letters of admission, as the former streams are one-year programs. Conversely, students transferring to the thesis stream should not expect to receive additional fellowship funding, beyond what may have been promised at admission. That said, as students in the second year of a two-year program, transfers to the thesis program will be eligible for other funding opportunities on campus as may be available (including graduate assistantships within the department).
While the Department does not have its own "in house" Ph.D. program, Memorial's interdisciplinary Ph.D. program does make it possible for students to pursue a doctorate, working with members of the Political Science Department under special arrangements. For information on this program, prospective students should contact the interdisciplinary program director.