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Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  Graduate School-New Brunswick 2017 Programs, Faculty, and Courses Political Science 790 Programs  
Graduate School-New Brunswick

The graduate program in political science is designed for students who are seeking a master of arts (M.A.) in political science--concentration in the United Nations and global policy studies (UNMA)--or a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.

M.A. Program

The M.A. program is structured for students and professionals who seek to enhance their understanding of global affairs. It may also serve as a complement to professional degrees in fields of law, social work, gender studies, public health, labor studies, and international relations. All applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or a comparable institution in another country. The application package must include: a personal statement specifying past experiences, the applicant's reasons for applying, and areas of interest; a résumé listing academic background, work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, and/or language ability; two letters of recommendation; an unofficial transcript from each postsecondary institution attended. A minimum Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or B average equivalency is required; Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required and international students are required to present TOEFL test results. All candidates are required to have an interview with the program director. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

To complete the UNMA program, students must complete 36 credits (12 courses). These courses include three mandatory courses in addition to 27 credits of supplemental courses from a desired concentration. The mandatory courses are:

  • 16:790:518  Theory and Methods in the Study of Global Affairs (3)
  • 16:790:525  Introduction to the United Nations: Theory, Institutions, Policy, and Processes (3)
  • 16:790:546:02  Capstone Seminar in United Nations and Global Policy Studies (3)

A full description of the program may be found on the M.A. program's webpage.

Ph.D. Program

While some students enter the program after receiving a master's degree, exceptional students can obtain admittance directly after obtaining a bachelor's degree. Each case is considered individually, but applicants are more likely to gain admittance to the program if they have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or better, particularly in the social sciences. Applicants also should have high scores on the GRE and strong letters of recommendation.

Applications for September admission should be submitted no later than January 10 by students seeking financial assistance. For everyone else, the deadline is February 1. Transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample are required.

The graduate program offers seven areas of concentration: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public law, women and politics, and research methodology. Candidates for the Ph.D. select a major area of study from among the first six concentrations. To qualify in the major area of study, a student must first pass a written and an oral examination. Prior to taking a major or minor field examination, the student must first meet with the graduate director. The written examination is a take-home, open-book examination that each student has 12 hours to complete.

In addition to the major field, Ph.D. students must work in two minor fields. The first minor field must also be chosen from among the seven concentrations. To qualify in the first minor field, a candidate must pass a written exam. The second minor can be chosen from among the department's seven areas of concentration, or it can be from another social science (e.g., anthropology, communication, economics, psychology), or some other specialty that accords with a particular student's research interests (e.g., political economy). Having successfully passed all examinations, the candidate must submit a dissertation proposal within six months. Each student is given two opportunities to pass their major and minor field examinations.

Typically, students take proseminars in their major and minor areas. Ph.D. candidates must take a two-semester methods sequence: 16:790:532 Research Design in Political Science and 16:790:533 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Political Science. These courses include elements of research design, epistemology of the social sciences, and qualitative and quantitative methods. Before students take their qualifying Ph.D. examinations, they must complete a total of 48 credits of coursework. Students in their second year are required to submit a significant research paper and participate in the Second Year Graduate Student Conference to present that paper.

A full description of the program may be found in the brochure Graduate Program in Political Science, which is available from the department.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 732-932-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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