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UTEP's location at the intersection of political systems, nationalities, and cultures provides many fascinating and unique opportunities to study American Politics, Border Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations. Our master's degree is useful for many different career paths. UTEP graduates have gone on to jobs in government service, teaching, business, and non-profit organizations. Some of our MA graduates have subsequently completed doctoral programs. We offer two degree plans in the MA program:

  1. Degree Plan I consists of 30 credit hours, including six (6) thesis credit hours, and is designed for students planning to pursue a doctoral degree or otherwise would like to develop an area of research expertise; and
  2. Degree Plan II requires 36 credit hours, including a final paper project.

Students in our MA program can apply for teaching and research assistantships. The deadline to apply for funding is March 31.

Requirements for Admission to the MA Program

Admission is based on the entire record of the applicant and not a single criterion.

  1. Completed application (available online) for the Graduate School.
  2. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or proof of equivalent education at a foreign institution in Political Science, or a related area. Transcripts are required from the bachelor's degree and any other graduate or professional degree programs, including law school.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from former professors in either the bachelor's degree program or previous graduate programs.
  4. A statement of purpose outlining one's interest in the program and career objectives. If the applicant's undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, any extenuating circumstances must be explained.
  5. The results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). For graduates of institutions outside of the United States where English is not the first language, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required. Official test scores from both GRE and TOEFL should be sent directly from the testing agency to the Graduate School.
  6. Other evidence of background and experience that might be available.

Additional Policies

  1. Independent studies are limited to three (3) hours of graduate coursework, taken with the permission of the instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies and justified with a proposal from the student outlining the objectives of the project by the end of the drop/add period.
  2. No more than six (6) credit hours of upper-division undergraduate classes can count toward the graduate degree. To use an undergraduate course for graduate credit, the following additional work is required: reading of original scholarly books and articles above and beyond textbooks; and additional written work, such as research on specific theories, literature reviews, or identification of issues in specific areas. Undergraduate courses can count for graduate credit only with the permission of the instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  3. No student can register for a graduate course in the Department of Political Science without the advice and signed approval of the Director of Graduate studies. This applies to the initial registration, and also to all subsequent enrollments.
  4. Satisfactory performance in the MA program is defined as maintaining a 3.0 GPA. A grade of B or better must be earned in all the mandatory courses required in both degree plans, including:
    POLS 5300Sem In Quant Rsrch Methods I3
    POLS 5301Sem in Qual Resrch Methods3
    POLS 5302Sem Quant Research Methods II3

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 30

MA in Political Science (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Seminar:
POLS 5301Sem in Qual Resrch Methods B3
or POLS 5302 Sem Quant Research Methods II
Required Courses:
POLS 5300Sem In Quant Rsrch Methods I B3
Political Science Subfields:
Select one course from three of the subfields below:9
American Institutions and Processes:
Seminar in Am. Pol. Behavior
Sem. In Am. Inst. & Proc.
Seminar In Public Law
Seminar-Public Policy Analysis
Border Politics:
Sem-Southwestern Border Politi
Seminar in Border Politics
Seminar in Border Theory
POLS 6303
Comparative Politics:
Seminar-Comparative Pol. Dev.
Sem. Comp. Pol. Institutions
Sem in Pol Econ of Developmt
Sem in Politics of Latin Amer
International Politics:
Seminar-International Politics
Semina-Intn'l Organ/Intn'l Law
Sem-Foreign Policy Dec Making
Sem. In Int. Pol. Econ.
Sem in International Security
Seminar in Conflict Analysis
Political Science Electives:
Select nine hours from the following:9
Sem in Qual Resrch Methods
Sem Quant Research Methods II
Seminar in Am. Pol. Behavior
Sem. In Am. Inst. & Proc.
Seminar In Public Law
Seminar-International Politics
Semina-Intn'l Organ/Intn'l Law
Sem-Foreign Policy Dec Making
Seminar-Comparative Pol. Dev.
Sem-Southwestern Border Politi
Sem. In Int. Pol. Econ.
Sem. Comp. Pol. Institutions
Seminar in Border Politics
Seminar in Border Theory
Sem in Pol Econ of Developmt
Sem in International Security
Sem in Politics of Latin Amer
Seminar in Political Thought
Seminar-Public Policy Analysis
Seminar in Conflict Analysis
Selected Problems-Government
Final Paper Project
POLS 6303
Thesis/Project Option:
Select one of the options6-12
Total Hours30-36
B

Course requires a grade of B or better.

Thesis Option

POLS 5398
POLS 5399
Thesis
and Thesis
6
Total Hours6

Project Option

POLS 5393Final Paper Project3
Select nine hours, with at least three in International Politics, from the following:9
Sem in Qual Resrch Methods
Sem Quant Research Methods II
Seminar in Am. Pol. Behavior
Sem. In Am. Inst. & Proc.
Seminar In Public Law
Seminar-International Politics
Semina-Intn'l Organ/Intn'l Law
Sem-Foreign Policy Dec Making
Seminar-Comparative Pol. Dev.
Sem-Southwestern Border Politi
Sem. In Int. Pol. Econ.
Sem. Comp. Pol. Institutions
Seminar in Border Politics
Seminar in Border Theory
Sem in Pol Econ of Developmt
Sem in International Security
Sem in Politics of Latin Amer
Seminar in Political Thought
Seminar-Public Policy Analysis
Seminar in Conflict Analysis
Selected Problems-Government
Final Paper Project
Thesis
Thesis
POLS 6303
Total Hours12