Requirements for successful completion of the MA program are threefold.
- Course Work
All students are required to complete a minimum of 30 (thirty) semester hours of course work. All course offerings are three credit hours. A minimum of 24 (twenty-four) credits must be in Congressional and Presidential Studies and include the two introductory courses (CPOL 671: The Modern Congress, and CPOL 626: The Modern Presidency). The remaining six hours may be in another area of politics (e.g., in the International Affairs Program), or a relevant field of study. A maximum of two on-campus courses may be taken only with prior approval from the Director of the Capitol Hill Programs Programs.
A maximum number of six (6) credit hours from other accredited universities or colleges may be transferred and count as part of the course work requirement. In order to apply for transfer credit, a student must have successfully completed at least four courses in the Congressional and Presidential Studies program. Application may then be made through the Director of the Capitol Hill Programs, with final approval by the academic dean.
- Thesis/Seminar Papers
Students are required to complete either a thesis or two seminar level research papers on an approved topic; both options require approval by the Program Director and the instructor.
The thesis is a substantial original research paper prepared under the direction of a member of the faculty; successful completion generally earns 6 (six) credit hours (two sequential three (3) credit seminar courses).
The second option is to complete two research papers of seminar length and quality; these papers are to be completed, approved and signed by a faculty member, and deposited with the Director no later than one month prior to taking the comprehensive exam.
- Comprehensive Examination
For degree completion, students must pass a comprehensive written examination in the field of Congressional and Presidential studies. Students who have essentially satisfied the course work requirements with at least a B average and have completed the thesis/seminar papers are then eligible to take the comprehensive examinations. Comprehensive examinations are scheduled in the fall and spring semesters.