Political Science (MA)

Political Science (MA)

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The primary objective of the Master of Arts in Political Science is to provide graduates with training and expertise in selective subfields such as Governance and Policy Process, World and Borderland Politics, and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Class. The degree will

  • Enhance student competence in the content, principles, and methods of political science;
  • Prepare students for entry into jobs requiring a sound knowledge of statistical and other research methods; and
  • Equip students with the skills necessary for jobs in secondary and community college education, governmental and quasi‐governmental agencies at all levels of government, non‐profit organizations, and the media.
  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. There is no application fee.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

     

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Have completed at least 12 hours of undergraduate courses in Political Science and/or Public Policy, including POLS 2370 (Introduction to Political Science Research, with a statistics lab).
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 hours completed in major coursework, and a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate political science coursework.
    • GRE scores in verbal and quantitative sections.
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who are qualified to judge the student’s academic and professional potential.
    • Statement of Purpose (1 or 2 pages) describing the applicant’s interest in political science, major field of study, and career goals.
    • Curriculum vitae/resume of educational background, including any volunteer and/or work experience.

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Monica Clua-Losada

    Phone: 956-665-8060

    Office: ELABN 221

    E-Mail: monica.clualosada@utrgv.edu

  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    *Note: This program only admits applicants during Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II semesters.

  • Tuition Estimate

    Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
    Texas Resident $1,359.29 $3,563.87 $16,311.48
    Non-Resident/International $2,625.29 $7,361.87 $31,503.48


    *We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

  • Course Requirements

     
    Required Courses 9
    POLS 6330: Public Institutions and the Policy Process 3
    POLS 6340: Political Theory 3
    POLS 6370: Research Methods and Applied Statistics 3
     
    Prescribed Electives 9
    Choose 3 hours from EACH of the following subfields:
     
    World and Borderland Politics
    POLS 6320: Theories and Concepts of World Politics 3
    POLS 6321: Global Political Economy 3
    POLS 6322: Nationalism and Borderland Politics 3
     
    Governance and Policy Process
    POLS 6331: Agenda and Information Control 3
    POLS 6332: Theories of Policy Formulation 3
    POLS 6333: Policy Analysis 3
     
    Politics of Race, Gender and Class
    POLS 6310: U.S. Race and Ethnic Politics 3
    POLS 6323: Gender Theory in World Politics 3 3
    POLS 6336: Inequality and the Welfare State 3
     
    Subfield Concentration 12
    All 12 hours must be chosen from ONE subfield.
    (3 hours may be taken outside of political science with permission from the Graduate Coordinator)
     
    World and Borderland Politics
    POLS 6320: Theories and Concepts of World Politics* 3
    POLS 6321: Global Political Economy* 3
    POLS 6322: Nationalism and Borderland Politics* 3
    POLS 6323: Gender Theory in World Politics* 3
    POLS 6325: Global Social Movements 3
    POLS 6392: Special Topics in World and Borderland Politics** 3
     
    Governance and Policy Process
    POLS 6310: U.S. Race and Ethnic Politics* 3
    POLS 6331: Agenda and Information Control* 3
    POLS 6332: Theories of Policy Formulation* 3
    POLS 6333: Policy Analysis* 3
    POLS 6336: Inequality and the Welfare State* 3
    POLS 6338: Applied Policy Research 3
    POLS 6393: Special Topics in Governance and Policy Process** 3
     
    * These classes will be counted only once, either towards the subfield concentration OR as a prescribed elective.
    ** Students may repeat these courses more than once for credit as long as the course topic varies.
     
    Capstone Requirement 6
    Choose one of the following options:
     
    Thesis Option
    POLS 7300: Thesis I 3
    POLS 7301: Thesis II 3
     
    Non‐Thesis Option
    (A petition must be made to the Graduate Coordinator to pursue this option)
    Choose 6 hours from the subfield not selected as the primary subfield above.
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 36

    Course Descriptions:

    POLS 6310: U.S. Race and Ethnic Politics: Anthropology of Borders               [3‐0]

    This course analyzes the political experiences of racial and ethnic groups in U.S. politics. Both traditional (e.g. voting) and non‐traditional (e.g. protest movements) strategies of political empowerment are explored.


    POLS 6320: Theories and Concepts of World Politics               [3‐0]

    A survey into the theoretical approaches and methodologies of the international relations subfield.


    POLS 6321: Global Political Economy               [3‐0]

    This course focuses on the study of global economic power relations from the 16th century to the present, with specific focus on how state‐market‐society relations transformed after the second world war, and then again in the 1970s with the advent and consolidation of a neoliberal world order. Students will learn about the policymaking process surrounding free trade agreements and the role of transnational corporations, labor unions, social movements, and local governments in crafting and responding to these global agreements.


    POLS 6322: Nationalism and Borderland Politics               [3‐0]

    A comparative study of the various theoretical and empirical conditions of selected international borders in their multifaceted transnational, local, regional, and national complexities. Concepts explored can include bilateral cooperation, geopolitics, territoriality, culture, demographic migrations, and economic/capital flows across borders.


    POLS 6323: Gender Theory in World Politics               [3‐0]

    This course analyzes women’s social and political movements in a global context. Through a combination of textual and visual media, students will be introduced to a variety of theories pertaining to gender. We will explore how those theories are relevant today. Topics of study may include feminist empowerment, human trafficking, political rape, sexual harassment, pornography, female genitalia mutilation, and gender equality.


    POLS 6325: Global Social Movements               [3‐0]

    examination of social movements in a global context, which includes how political‐economic globalization is changing the nature of political activism and contention; the various local, national, and transnational social movements that have developed in response to injustice; and, the alternative visions of politics and society that are emerging from these global social movements. Topics can include the human rights movement, Islamist movements, the women's movement, environmental justice, labor and peasant movements.


    POLS 6330: Public Institutions and the Policy Process               [3‐0]

    An examination of the basic activities in policymaking, including agenda control, policy formulation,policy design, implementation, policy evaluation, and the institutions that channel conflict.

    Prerequisite:GEOL 5301.


    POLS 6331: Agenda and Information Control               [3‐0]

    An examination of the political economy of knowledge, with special attention paid to the power and struggle over agenda setting, problem definition, and selection of alternatives in policy making.

    Prerequisite:GEOL 5301.


    POLS 6332: Theories of Policy Formulation               [3‐0]

    This course explores the different theoretical approaches to the politics of creating solutions, or policy designs. These theoretical approaches differ along dimensions of power, political economy, knowledge generation, and information utilization.

    POLS 6333: Policy Analysis               [3‐0]

    An exploration of how practitioners and academics analyze existing and proposed policy designs. Topics can range from cost‐benefit analysis to participatory policy analysis.


    POLS 6336: Inequality and the Welfare State               [3‐0]

    This course addresses the rise of the welfare state and political conflict over inequality, economic stagnation, and the role of government in advanced industrial societies.


    POLS 6338: Applied Policy Research               [3‐0]

    The methods, techniques, and data sources for conducting applied policy research and the preparation of analytic reports designed to influence decision‐making in government, business, education, and other organizational settings. The nature of policy research, the process of preparing to conduct applied research, how to conceptualize a research project, how to conduct technical analysis and best practices research, and how to communicate research findings to an appropriate audience through briefing papers, press releases, newspaper editorials, and formal testimony.


    POLS 6340: Political Theory               [3‐0]

    This course examines some of the core concepts in the field of political science including democracy, power, justice, freedom, order, ideology, equality, the state, violence, gender, race and others. Thinkers may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Arendt, Rawls, Du Bois, and others.


    POLS 6370: Research Methods and Applied Statistics               [3‐0]

    An introduction to investigation and analysis in Political Science. A major objective is for students to learn how to frame a question, formulate a hypothesis, and review and apply the relevant literature. The course provides and introduction to questions in the philosophy of science, research design, as well as working knowledge of the empirical, quantitative approaches/techniques social scientists use in understanding social/political phenomena.


    POLS 6392: Special Topics in World and Borderland Politics               [3‐0]

    Topics vary by instructor.


    POLS 6393: Special Topics in Governance and Policy Process               [3‐0]

    Topics vary by instructor.


    POLS 7300: Thesis I               [3‐0]

    The first three hours of a six credit hour requirement for fulfilling a Master's thesis


    POLS 7301: Thesis II               [3‐0]

    The second three hours of a six credit hour requirement for fulfilling a Master's thesis

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