Students may be admitted to the department provided they have graduated from an accredited college with an average of B or better. They should have completed fifteen (15) semester hours in the social sciences, nine of which must have been in political science. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required.

Course Requirements

For the master's degree, a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework is required. A 3.0 grade point average or better must be maintained. American Government and Political Theory students must take POL 651 and 652 (Political Theory I and Political Theory II). World Politics students may concentrate in either International Relations or Comparative Politics, and they must take POL 606 (Introduction to International Affairs) and 607 (Graduate Introduction to Comparative Politics). Students who concentrate in American Government are required to complete POL 625 (Graduate Introduction to American Government). Students who select Political Theory or World Politics as their fields of concentration must take at least six hours in the other fields offered by the department.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

Students may elect to write a master's thesis, for which they receive six hours of credit, on a topic approved by the department and the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Students who do not choose to write a thesis must demonstrate research competence by means of the papers prepared for their research seminars. Two such papers must be submitted to the department for review and approval.

Research Skill Requirements

All M.A. students must demonstrate basic competence in a research skill, which can be either a foreign language or a methodology. For students in Political Theory, only languages are acceptable. For students in World Politics, either languages or statistics are acceptable. For students in American Government, languages, statistics, historiography, and other qualitative methodologies, such as archival methods, are acceptable.

For the acceptable means of demonstrating basic competence in a foreign language, which may be a classical language, students should consult "General Requirements for Graduate Study" in the Graduate Studies Announcements.

With the approval of the department, a student may demonstrate basic competence in a methodology relevant to the discipline of politics. Normally, this is fulfilled by completion of an approved methodology course at Catholic University. The department maintains a list of courses that can be taken for that purpose. Among the methodologies that may be accepted are statistics and quantitative data analysis.

(NOTE: Research skill courses will not be counted as part of the thirty (30) minimum credits required for the MA degree. For more information, please visit

The department may approve course work done prior to graduate study in the department as demonstrating competence in a methodology. The department may require additional research skills if this is considered necessary for satisfactory completion of the student's program.

Comprehensive Examination

Students who have completed or are in the final semester of thirty (30) hours of course work must register for and take a written comprehensive examination in their field of concentration (American politics, world politics, or political theory). All appropriate research skill requirements and seminar paper requirements must be satisfied prior to this examination.

Joint J.D./MA. Program

The Department of Politics, in cooperation with the Columbus School of Law, offers a joint J.D./M.A. program. This program allows students to pursue the J.D. and politics M.A. degrees concurrently and to finish both programs more quickly than if each degree were pursued independently. In this program, students may apply nine semester credits earned in the School of Law toward the politics M.A. degree and may apply twelve (12) semester credits earned in the politics M.A. program toward the J.D. degree. Details of this program are available from the department.

Application for Admission

Applications for admission to the M.A. program may be obtained online, or by contacting the Office of Graduate Admissions:

Office of Graduate Admissions
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20064

Telephone number:



GRE test results, completed CUA application form, transcripts of all undergraduate work, any graduate work completed and three letters of recommendation (preferably ones commenting on the applicant's academic experience and ability) should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Information on Financial Aid for graduate students is available.