Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

The MA Program

Please note that applications for fall 2013 are no longer being accepted. Please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website after September, 2013 to apply for admission in fall 2014.

Applicants to the MA are expected to have a minimum of a 3.0 (B) average in an undergraduate political science major or in a cognate field.  Applicants for admission to the Political Science MA program must also take the GRE.

The MA in political science is designed for students seeking a firm foundation in all fields of the discipline:

Ten one-semester courses (30 credits) or eight one-semester courses (24 credits) and a Master's Thesis (six credits of thesis research) are required, with at least one course from three of the four fields; the remaining courses may be distributed across subfields as the student wishes. An average of 3.0 (B) must be maintained in the course work. A Master of Arts comprehensive examination in one field selected by the student is required.

The two-semester, 6 credit thesis project option is in addition to the comprehensive exam. Students can also take up to 6 credits in non-POSC courses, with departmental approval. These courses must have significant content related to Political Science and be deemed relevant and valuable to the degree.

The department offers a range of lecture courses annually, but students wishing to carry out independent study on topics not offered in the standard curriculum can arrange for tutorials with individual faculty members. Tutorials (1-3 credits) are designed to bridge the gap between lecture courses and the student's more specific interests.


  • In addition to your thesis director, a second faculty member is needed as a reader. Notify he graduate director who will help you enroll in Thesis I (POSC 8900) for credit and eventually Thesis II (POSC 8901).

  • Students need to submit a basic syllabus for what they will be doing during the semester, and a synopsis of the final project. Complete the form available on the GSAS forms website, and request approval from the faculty member and the graduate director, who will enroll you in POSC 8999.

Comprehensive exams:
  • Choose a subfield – preferably one in which you’ve taken all core courses (see the Political Science MA website). Notify the graduate director, who will then enroll you in POSC 0936.
  • Questions are written and graded by the faculty who teach in that subfield.

Further information on degree requirements is available from the department office or
Professor José Alemán, Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, (Office: Faber Hall 662,

For an application to our graduate program, forms and other relevant information please
visit the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Admissions Webpage

Subfields: I. American Politics

Core Courses

  • POSC 5100 - American Political Behavior (3)
    The nature and sources of mass political behavior, with a focus on questions of mass-elite linkages derived from democratic theory; political attitudes, their origin and measurement; mass participation - electoral and non-electoral - and its systemic consequences.    

  • POSC 5130 - Political Institutions and Processes (3)
    Legislative, executive, and judicial powers. The formation and implementation of public policy. Institutional norms and behavior in American national government.   

  • POSC 5135 - Public Policy (3) 
    An examination of theories of policy-making in America. Specific policy areas--regulatory policy and deregulation, economic management, industrial policy, and redistributional policies--will be analyzed and evaluated in accordance with contrasting theories.
  • POSC 5180 - American Democracy: Theory and Practice (3) 
    American political development, studied through an analysis of historical roots, current practice and likely future U.S. politics, especially the relation of political power to social structure in order to assess the viability of political democracy in a context of economic inequality in an era of market globalization. This course uses democratic theory, political economy and policy analysis to explain trends in American politics.

Following work in core courses, students who concentrate in American Politics may proceed to individual tutorial work with faculty on advanced topics.

   Subfields: II. Political Theory

Core Courses

  • POSC 5300 - Introduction to Political Theory (3)
    An introduction to Classical, Modern, Contemporary, American and Comparative political theory.  The course surveys both historical and present day figures.  The craft of political theory research and writing will also be considered. 

  •  POSC 5309 - Classical Political Thought(3)
    A close study of texts and themes in classical political thought, including Plato and Aristotle. Medieval thinkers may be included at the discretion of the instructor. 

  • POSC 5301 - Modern Political Thought (3)
    A close study of texts andthemes in modern political thought, beginning with Machiavelli and including the social contract theorists. Course may cover through the middle 19th century at the discretion of the instructor.    

  • POSC 5314 - Contemporary Political Thought (3)
    A close study of texts and themes in contemporary political thought, beginning with Nietzsche.

   Subfields: III. International Politics

Core Courses

  • POSC 5600 - Analysis of International Politics (3)
    Designed to stimulate and clarify our theorizing about foreign policy and global politics; also it presents a critical overview of many of the key perspectives and problems that characterize such analysis.
  • POSC 6640 - Politics of Global Economic Relations (3)
    Implications of growing intertwining of foreign and domestic policies, economic and political aspects of international relations. Special attention to the growth of dependency and interdependence, importance oftransnational actors (such as multinational corporations), and distribution of benefits and influence between poor and rich areas in the international order.


  • POSC 5560 - Conflict Resolution (3)
  • POSC 6530 - Political Economy of Development (3)
    The course will focus on an analysis of contending interpretations of the consequences of the economic interrelationship between industrially developed and developing states.

   Subfields: IV. Comparative Politics

Core Courses

  • POSC 5500 - Comparative Political Analysis (3)
    Problems of stability and change in the First, Second, and Third Worlds are examined with relation to socioeconomic factors that affect, and are affected by, institutions, processes, and policies.
  • POSC 6530 - Political Economy of Development (3)
    The course will focus on an analysis of contending interpretations of the consequences of the economic interrelationship between industrially developed and developing states.


  • POSC 6552 - Political Economy of the Middle East (3) 
    Comparative analysis of Middle Eastern actors, institutions, and processes since World War II, paying special attention to the role of international forces in shaping national development and to the role of the Middle East as a major international actor and arena. 
 Spring 2013 - Course Offerings 

POSC 5130
POSC 5135

POSC 5243
POSC 5245
POSC 5251
Monika McDermott

 POSC 5133
 William Baumgarth
POSC 6640 R01 POLITICS OF GLOBAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS Jonathan M. Crystal R 5:30-7:20pm    

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