Effective Spring 2017 - The Master of Arts in Political and Justice Studies is not accepting any new students. This program is undergoing a revision to an Interdisciplinary Political and Social Justice M.A. Program. Check with College of Arts and Sciences for its availability in 2018.
The College of Arts and Sciences graduate major in Political and Justice Studies is designed to develop the conceptual abilities and substantive knowledge needed to acquire an understanding of political behavior, current policy issues, problems, and changes in government and society. The curriculum addresses the areas of American politics, justice studies, public policy formulation and evaluation, comparative politics, and international relations. The major and its related course offerings provide individuals with the opportunity to study areas such as American government and public policy, justice studies, comparative politics, and international affairs. The graduate program provides an academic foundation for students seeking careers in higher education, the legal profession, state or local governments, the non-profit sector, the federal bureaucracy, justice related fields, or organizations that monitor political and social processes or influence the content of public policy.
Admission Requirements and Recommended Preparation
In addition to the university admissions requirements, students applying to the Political and Justice Studies MA program must submit:
- Official transcripts showing successful completion of a bachelor’s degree. Applicants will be expected to have a 2.75 cumulative G.P. A. (on a 4.0 scale);
- Submit a letter of application explaining a statement of personal interest in pursuing a master’s degree in the Political and Justice Studies program. This statement should be specific and include information about the applicant’s short- and long-term goals, and how enrolling in the program may help achieve them.
- Completed applications must be submitted by June 1st for fall admission and November 1st for spring admission.
- Addition material such as confidential letters of recommendation from professional references (e. g. current or former college faculty member, current or former work supervisor, or community leader) and written work may be requested by the program admissions committee or submitted voluntarily by the student for admission consideration.
Students seeking admission to the Political and Justice Studies MA program with a GPA lower than 2.75, but have a strong personal interest in the program may petition to the graduate program admissions committee for admission. The admissions committee takes into consideration strong letters of recommendation from professional references that attest to the student’s abilities in writing and communication skills and concrete examples of the student’s leadership abilities.
An undergraduate major or minor in political science, or a major in one of the social sciences or humanities, including anthropology, economics, sociology, history, philosophy, international studies, black studies, or area studies is recommended. Students may be required to demonstrate competency for graduate work by satisfying the following undergraduate preparatory courses at Governors State University or another accredited university: Foundations of U.S. Democracy (POLS-2100 ) and a research methods course such as SOSC-4500 . These courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or better and are required in addition to the degree requirements listed below.
It is also highly recommended that students enroll in POJS - 6100 Theoretical Foundation of Political and Justice Studies (3) and POJS - 6120 Research Methods (3) , as well as attend a program orientation at the earliest opportunity.
Providing that University policies regarding transfer of graduate credits are met, transfer credit will only be allowed for courses taken in a graduate social science or related graduate programs at accredited institutions. A limit of nine hours of transferable credits can be awarded for the Political and Justice Studies master’s degree program.
Admission to Candidacy
After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student also must apply for candidacy. Application for candidacy should be made at the beginning of the term in which the student expects to fulfill the candidacy requirements. Application forms are available in the college office. To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:
- complete each of the core courses listed below with a grade of “B” or better;
- complete the selectives course work with a grade average of “B” or better, and;
- with approval of a committee comprised of at least two Political and Justice Studies faculty, complete a proposal for either a thesis topic, internship project, or directed readings and obtain the committee’s approval to study for the comprehensive examination.
More detailed candidacy information is available through the division office or the student’s advisor.