The Graduate Program
The faculty of the MU Political Science Department conducts basic, theoretically-driven research that advances knowledge about governance and politics. Graduate study in the Department does not provide applied training for practical politics, but focuses on developing the research skills and disciplinary knowledge necessary for our students to be contributors in the next future generation of college and university teachers and researchers.
Students generally take nine to twelve hours of courses per regular (Fall and Spring) semester. Nine hours per semester is the minimum necessary to maintain full-time status. A student may opt for part-time status, but would still be obligated to maintain reasonable progress toward the degree. Part-time students are ineligible for Political Science assistantships.
Most courses in the program of study are graduate-level seminars. These small classes (from 4-15 students) allow intensive study of political science concepts and research, close interaction with faculty, and individual attention to student progress. Graduate study requires a student to be a participant in discussion and analysis rather than simply a spectator. Graduate faculty in Political Science at Missouri will advise and guide you in the transition from a passive learner to an active scholar capable of conducting independent analysis and research of political and social phenomena.
The Department of Political Science offers programs of study leading to a Master of Arts degree (M.A.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
Mizzou Political Science maintains a low graduate student to faculty ratio, a commitment to seeing all applicants perform as well as possible, and a high rate of retention and graduation. Most Missouri graduate students complete requirements for the master's degree within two years (three or four semesters) and most finish the doctoral degree within five years.
Political Science master's students must complete all requirements for the M.A. within four years from the first semester of the program. Doctoral students must pass the comprehensive examination within five years of the first semester of the program and successfully defend the doctoral dissertation within five years of the semester of the comprehensive examination. To maintain a reasonable rate of progress toward the degree, students are expected to meet all Department and Graduate School requirements for performance and maintain a GPA above the minimum requirement.