College or School: 
College of Liberal Arts
Master of Arts
Program Type: 
Political Science
Program Description: 

The Master of Arts in International and Comparative Politics prepares students who intend to continue their education in a Ph.D. program in international relations, comparative politics, or a related field. The program also provides continuing international education opportunities for those working in the public or private sector. Graduate seminars, education abroad, and practicum opportunities enable students to explore the scholarship in their field and its applications. Students may select from among three specialized Major Fields: Peace and Security Studies, International Organizations, and Area Studies. Students are required to complete or demonstrate proficiency either in quantitative research methods or modern foreign language. The degree culminates in either a traditional thesis or a project developed in consultation with a committee of program advisors. The program offers a dual degree option with the Master of Public Administration.  (Students intending to pursue the dual degree must apply separately to both degree programs.)

Admissions Requirements: 

Applicants to the International and Comparative Politics M.A. degree program must meet the graduate school’s admission criteria, and should additionally demonstrate in their letter of application how their undergraduate and/or professional record will be enhanced by participation in the program. Candidates should also prepare an essay that discusses a current issue or policy related to international affairs or comparative politics. The essay should be approximately 500 words and should use secondary sources.  Once all application materials have been received, students will be contacted by the Program Director to conduct an admissions interview.

Program Requirements: 
I. Core Requirements Hours
PLS 7030: Research Design 3
PLS 7200: Theories of International Relations 3
PLS 7300: Theories of Comparative Politics 3
II. Methodology   
Quantitative Analysis Option:  
PLS 7010: ICP Statistics I 3
PLS 7020: ICP Statistics II 3
Foreign Language Option:*  
Demonstrate or achieve proficiency through first semester course of the third level of a modern language (example: CHI, FR, GER, SPN, RUS 3110)  
III. Major Field** 15
Students select 15 semester hours (5 courses) in a related field to help develop expertise in their intended area of research.  
Major Fields of Concentration: Area Studies; Peace and Security Studies; or International Organizations.  
IV. Thesis or Project 8
Thesis Research: PLS 7990  
Project Research: PLS 7980  
*Students may demonstrate proficiency in a modern language and complete the methodology requirement by submitting evidence of an undergraduate major in a modern language (within the last 5 years) or by completing the language proficiency testing offered through the Department of Modern Languages. Students may only count graduate-level courses (5000-level and above) toward the final credit hour count to complete the program.  
**Students are not permitted to count “Independent Readings” courses (PLS 6910) toward this total.  
Total Credits 32-38




Liam Anderson, Europe, Central Asia, Russia, weapons of mass destruction, Iraq

John Feldmeier, comparative constitutions, politics and ethics

Edward Fitzgerald, international law, natural resource law

Charles Funderburk, political corruption

December Green, Africa, human rights, gender violence, developing world

Donna M. Schlagheck, American foreign policy, terrorism, United Nations

Associate Professors

Laura Luehrmann, China, social movements, ideologies, democratization, developing world

Pramod Kantha, South Asia, developing world, democratization, nationalism

Vaugh Shannon, Arab-Israeli conflict, international security, foreign policy decision-making

Mark Sirkin (emeritus), Middle East, Israeli-Palestinian relations

Tracy Snipe, Africa, France, radical black thought

Assistant Professors

Carlos Costa, Latin America, electoral studies, political economy, quantitative methods

Sean Wilson, law, language and politics


Rashida Hussain, international Law, theory, American foreign policy