2018-2019 Bulletin 
    Jun 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Politics, MA

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The Master of Arts in Politics (MAP) offers students the opportunity to focus study in one of two areas of concentration.

The American Politics concentration prepares the political professional for work in American politics.  A practical program focuses on the development of the knowledge base and skill set essential for an individual seeking to shape the future of American society through political action.  Seminars survey the broad spectrum of American political life, examining current research and scholarship on institutions and social behavior.  Students learn the analytical and communication skills vital for effective participation in the political arena.  Courses in statistical analysis and applied research projects prepare students for engagement in political campaigns, legislative office, and political advocacy.

The Political Philosophy concentration grounds students in the interrelationship of ideas, principles, and institutions within a historical context in order to draw insights for contemporary issues and problems.  Students delve beyond current events and operations to understand the character and foundation of regimes and political processes.  Political philosophy has always proceeded as a dialogue with the past, teaching students to understand and argue with the positions and value systems of the philosophers of the past, becoming familiar with the institutional structures that embody and sustain those values.  Developing a skill for critical and theoretical thinking, students learn to appreciate and to evaluate the key assumptions that underlie beliefs and arguments about institutions and regimes–and the values that animate them.  Focus is on philosophers of the Euro-American tradition and, to some extent, on the non-Western traditions that include the Chinese, Indian, and Islamic.

The Master of Arts in Politics trains graduates in broad theoretical concerns about politics, government, and political values.

CGU’s Department of Politics & Economics educates future scholars of politics, government, and policy to make better decisions through rigorous research and sophisticated understanding of political systems and policy analysis. Our MA in Politics offers a broad-ranging, substantive understanding of American politics with an intensive focus on the intersection of politics and political philosophy—its implications, applications, and impact on the national political culture. Working alongside faculty who are experts in the field, you’ll conduct high-quality interdisciplinary research on the most pressing political and governmental issues of our time. The program offers built-in flexibility that enables you to customize your curriculum to fit your goals and interests. Upon graduating, you will join the long line of highly successful program graduates who are making their mark in an impressive range of careers.

Program Highlights

This MA program offers concentrations in American Politics and Political Philosophy.

The degree requires completion of nine four-unit courses and a research paper or 12 four-unit courses. Students normally complete coursework in three to four semesters.

Our graduate Political Science program was ranked No. 2 in the nation among graduate Political Science programs for “faculty responsiveness and support outside of the classroom.”

Admission requirements are detailed in the Admission  section of the Bulletin.

Degree Requirements

Generally completed in three to four semesters, degree requirements for the degree depend upon the area of concentration selected by the student.

Program Options.  Two programmatic options are available to the student.

  • Completion of 48 units.
  • Completion of 36 units and a Master’s Research paper.

Final Paper Portfolio.  All students are required to submit two papers to the program office.  One paper must be written during the student’s first semester in the program.  A second paper should represent the student’s best work and may come from any subsequent semester that the student is enrolled in the program.  Papers are used for accreditation review of the program.

University Policies.  University policies detailed in the Academic Policies section of the Bulletin apply.


American Politics

Core Courses (4 units)

  • PP 300 - American Politics and Institutions

Tracks (20 units)

Choose five classes from oneany of the following tracks:

Political Thought & Development
  • PP 301 - American Political Development
  • PP 310 - The Presidency and the Constitution
  • PP 312 - Perspectives in Judicial Power
  • PP 315 - Deliberative Democracy
  • PP 321 - Judicial Review, Democracy, and the Constitution
  • PP 451 - The Federalist
  • PP 457 - The Political Philosophy of John Locke
National Institutions
  • PP 305 - Executive-Congressional Relations
  • PP 306 - The Legislative Process and Public Policy
  • PP 307 - Modern Presidency
  • PP 311 - American Presidency
  • PP 315 - Deliberative Democracy
  • PP 316 - Administrative State
  • PP 326 - American Constitutional Law I: Civil Liberties
  • PP 327 - American Constitutional Law II: National Powers
Individual & Collective Behavior
  • PP 301 - American Political Development
  • PP 302 - American Political Behavior
  • PP 308 - Political Psychology
  • PP 309 - Women and Politics
  • PP 313 - Representation and Elections
  • PP 314 - Political Parties in the United States
  • PP 323 - Racial, Ethnic, and Social Minorities in American Politics
  • PP 329 - Public Opinion
  • PP 341 - US Immigration Policy

Other Requirements

Research Tools.  (8 units)

Two tools are required: PP481 Quantitative Research Methods is required, along with one of the following:

  • PP 482 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  • PP 483 - Legal Research Methods
  • PP 484 - Experimental and Qualitative Methods
  • SP&E 315 - Game Theory
  • 4 Units of electives are required for the Thesis option
  • 16 units of electives are required for the non-Thesis optionElective courses totaling 4-16 units.

Political Philosophy


Core Courses (4 units)


PP 450 - Major Works in Political Philosophy

Other Requirements


Subfield Requirement (12 units).  One course must be completed in each of the three sub-fields below.

  • Ancient & Medieval Theory
  • Contemporary Theory
  • Modern Theory

Expertise in Depth (8 units).  Two additional courses are required in one of the subfields to provide expertise in depth.  Students are recommended to select one thematic or issues course and one course which provides immersion in the work of one theorist.

Research Tool (4 units).  Students may select either TNDY 401i - The Nature of Inquiry: Transdisciplinary Perspectives or PP 483 - Legal Research Methods.

Electives (8-20 units).  Two to five courses should be completed.

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