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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Political Science (POL)

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Master of Arts (M.A.)
CIP Code: 45.1001
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 36

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
Government and International Affairs Department (GIA)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue SOC107
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Bernd Reiter
Phone: 813-974-7569


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

The graduate program leading to the M.A. in Political Science is designed to offer advanced general instruction in Political Science. It prepares its graduates for positions of responsibility in the public and private sectors, as well as in research, teaching, and study at the doctoral level.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: June 1
Spring: October 15
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: May 1
Spring: September 15
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

Same as university plus:

  • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • GRE required
  • three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from an academic source
  • a 500 word statement of academic interest
  • official transcripts
  • minimum GPA of 3.00
  • must have an undergraduate background in political science.

Admissions Status: Apply (Direct Receipt)


Program Degree Requirements

A minimum of 36 hours of graduate level course work is required.

For instructional purposes, the graduate curriculum in Political Science has been divided into four fields:
Field 1 Comparative Politics (courses with a CPO prefix)
Field 2 International Relations (courses with an INR prefix)
Field 3 American Government (Courses with a PUP, POS, or URP prefix)
Field 4 Political Theory (courses with a POT prefix)

Students must take the core seminar in each of these four fields and then select one field as a major area in which to concentrate.They must consult with the graduate coordinator to map out a course plan.

Required Research Methods Sequence



Foundations of Political Inquiry
Research Design


Core Seminar Requirements (12 hours)
POS 6045     Seminar in American Government      (3)
POT 6007     Seminar in Political Theory      (3)
INR 6007     Seminar in International Relations      (3)
CPO 6091     Seminar in Comparative Politics      (3)

Major Field


In addition to the core course in major area, three additional courses in the core area are chosen from American Government, Political Theory, International Relations, or Comparative Politics.
Electives 3 hours
Students may take three additional hours either in methods or in their major field

Thesis/Non-Thesis (minimum)



Thesis: Master's


Thesis: Students must provide new insight into a relevant topic in political science or international studies. As students approach the thesis stage, they need to compose a thesis committee consisting of a major professor, who must be a member of the Department of Government and International Affairs, and two readers. One of the two readers can be from another department, but that person must first be approved by the program director. The tesis committee must approve proposals before students embark on their projects. Students must prepare a written thesis and defend their work in a formal oral presentation before their committee.


Non-thesis option: Elective structured class approved by the Graduate Program Director 3 hours
Independent Research Literature Review of approximately 50 pages 3 hours

Students who choose a non-thesis option will be required to complete an additional 6 hours of course work at the 6000 level in place of the thesis. (Choose 1 of the below courses to fulfill 3 of your required non-thesis option. Other courses may satisfy this requirement and must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

The second course determines competency and serves as the equivalent of a comprehensive examination. The student is required to demonstrate competency by successfully completing a substantial literature review in his or her major field. The student will enroll in:

  • POS 6909 Independent Study 3

Comprehensive Examination
For students in the thesis program, successful completion of the Thesis serves in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam. For students in the non-thesis program, the second course determines competency and serves as the equivalent of a comprehensive examination. The student is required to demonstrate competency by successfully completing a substantial literature review in his or her major field.

Course Listings-
CPO 5934Selected Topics in Comparative Politics3
CPO 6091Seminar in Comparative Politics3
INR 5086Issues in International Relations3
INR 6007 Seminar in International Relations3
INR 6036 Seminar in International Political Economy3
INR 6107American Foreign Policy3
POS 6045 Seminar in American Government and Politics3
POS 6127 Issues in State Government and Politics3
POS 6455Political Parties and Interest Groups3
POT 6007Seminar in Political Theory3
PUP 5607 Public Policy and Health Care3
PUP 6007Seminar in Public Policy3
URP 6056City and Regional Planning3
Students may take a maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study (POS 6909) and 3 hours maximum of Directed Research (POS 6919)

MINIMUM TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS (beyond baccalaureate degree)




College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

POS6735, POS6736, CPO6091, INR6007, PUP6007, CPO6091, INR6007, PUP6007, POS6909, POS6919, CPO5934, CPO6036, CPO6091, INR5012, INR5086, INR6007, INR6036, INR6107, PAD6060, PAD6275, PAD6307, PAD6338, PAD6339, PAD6355, POS5094, POS5155, POS6045, POS6095, POS6127, POS6157, POS6415, POS6427,