MA Curriculum

-The following is current as of Spring 2013 and is published for information purposes only.  Please see here for the official requirements of graduate programs at Northeastern University.


The MA in Political Science requires the completion of 30 semester hours (typically ten courses) of academic credit.  All MA students must satisfy the course distribution requirements outlined below.

Required Courses: All MA students must complete the following courses:

One of the following (which corresponds with your concentration area):

Field Requirements: All MA students must complete three additional courses (9 Semester hours of credit) in their chosen area of concentration.

Electives: The remaining credits to be used toward the MA degree are elective credits.  At least one must be outside the student’s field of study (focusing on Domestic politics or policy if the student is emphasizing international politics or policy, or vice versa).  The following section lists optional areas of focus that MA students might choose to pursue in completing elective credit requirements.

Research Courses

Though not required, we also strongly recommend that students interested in pursuing doctoral studies, whether at Northeastern or elsewhere, may also want to take the following doctoral program core courses,

In addition to these two courses, other research methodology courses both within the department as well as other departments in the college may help prepare students for Doctoral level work.

Courses in other programs

With prior written permission from both departments, MA students may take up to six semester hours in other graduate programs at Northeastern, as long as the courses are relevant to the student’s course of study.

Directed study

MA students may take up to six semester hours as “directed study” in specialized areas. All directed studies are subject to the prior approval of the Department and Graduate School, and are generally not approved for subjects in which courses are offered.


MA students, with prior approval, can earn academic credit through a supervised internship experience that carries an academic component. MA students are limited to three semester hours of internship credit. A petition with appropriate approvals is required for all internships.

MA Thesis

MA students may pursue, with prior approval, an optional thesis of three or six semester hours of total credit. Thesis proposals must be approved by a thesis committee comprised of two full-time members of the graduate faculty and the Academic Coordinator of Graduate Programs.  This process takes place early in the semester prior to when the student plans to pursue the thesis option.  Student pursuing this option are also required to follow all requirements outlined by the Graduate School.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory progress in the MA Program is defined as maintaining a grade point average of 3.000. Students who fall below this average in one semester will be places on academic probation and they must consult with their academic advisor. Students who fall below this average in two consecutive semesters are subject to dismissal from the program.