2011 - 2012 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Political Science, M.A.



Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Spring:  October 15

Applications are evaluated as they arrive.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Minimum scores of 550 verbal and 600 quantitative are expected.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be no more than 25 pages and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual.

Transfer Credit:

Graduate coursework in Political Science may be transferred from outside the university, provided that the credits were obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades are "B" or better. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

PS 8001:  Political Statistics I

PS 8101:  The Role of Government in American Society

PS 8201:  Comparative Politics

PS 8301:  International Politics

PS 8501:  Symposium in Political Science

Electives: At least three other courses in American Politics and at least two other courses in Comparative Politics or International Relations or some combination of the two.

Students should consult with their faculty advisors on course selection and exam preparation.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

The comprehensive examination is a 4-hour, in-class essay examination. Students should take the comprehensive examination upon the completion of 30 s.h. They are expected to demonstrate mastery of the basic theories, concepts, and issues in each of the two fields by drawing on the specific empirical, historical, and theoretical material examined in their particular coursework and readings.

The subject areas and major components of the comprehensive examinations are American Politics and Comparative Politics/International Relations. Exam questions are written by a committee of graduate faculty in the relevant fields. A committee of graduate faculty then evaluates each comprehensive exam.

The deadline for applying to take the exam and the dates of the examinations are posted early in each semester. Students may apply by obtaining a form from the Graduate Secretary. The Graduate Chair and Secretary check the application to make sure the student meets the requirements to take the exams.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Political Science

409 Gladfelter Hall
1115 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Tanya Taylor


Graduate Chair:

Michael Hagen , Ph.D.



Kevin Arceneaux, Ph.D.


About the Program

The primary mission of the Political Science Department's graduate program is to prepare students for careers in academia. The Department gives equal emphasis to training students for both the research and teaching sides of such a career. Many of our graduates also successfully apply their political science training to nonacademic careers. The M.A. program offers study in two broadly defined fields: American Politics and International Studies (focusing on our particular strengths in Comparative Politics and International Relations). The M.A. program is structured to give students a comprehensive grounding in the methods, theories, and major sub-fields of Political Science as preparation for the Ph.D. program.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Political Science

409 Gladfelter Hall
1115 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The American Politics faculty teach and conduct research on political institutions, public policy, urban politics, and political economy. The International Studies faculty teach and conduct research in the areas of international organization and security; international political economy; international ethics; international identity; the comparative politics of advanced industrial societies, particularly Western Europe; the comparative politics of developing nations, particularly Latin America, China, and East Asia; and the politics of democratization.

Job Placement:

Most students in the M.A. program intend to pursue a Ph.D. immediately after graduation or after a few years of employment. Some M.A. students use the degree to establish or strengthen credentials in teaching or for private/public sector positions; a few M.A. students want to strengthen their background for applications to other professional degree programs.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Students wishing to enroll in courses as a non-matriculated student must first consult with the Graduate Chair. An applicant who has taken Political Science courses as a non-matriculated student at Temple University can apply up to 9 semester hours toward the M.A. course requirements, as long as the courses taken satisfy the degree requirements. Students considering applying to the M.A. program while taking courses on a non-matriculated basis should discuss their plans with the Graduate Chair.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistants begin by aiding a faculty member, including (running discussion groups, grading, and the like. Experienced graduate student teachers often teach introductory undergraduate courses by themselves. Undergraduate teaching complements graduate study and helps graduate students integrate their studies and prepare for examinations. Teaching Assistantships carry a stipend, 6 s.h. tuition remission per semester, and health benefits. In applications for an assistantship, students who have had prior teaching experience, either at Temple or elsewhere, should include syllabi of courses they have taught as well as any student assessments that have been made. Applications can be obtained in the Graduate Secretary's office and must be returned by the deadline.

Updated 8.24.10