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Political Science Department|College of Arts & Sciences

The Master of Political Science Degree

Overview of the Program

The M.A. in Political Science program provides students with an understanding of the theories and methods necessary for success in (1) research or college-level teaching in political science, (2) high school social science teaching, or (3) careers in policy analysis or administration in government or non-governmental organizations.

The undergraduate degree provides students with a broad knowledge of political science; graduate education is an opportunity for more focused study. Masters students will earn most of their credits in courses sharing a common theme, such as a subfield of the discipline (American Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, Public Law or Methodology), a world region, a particular policy issue area or a phase of political development.

The requirements of the degree include a set of four core classes and an additional minimum number of remaining hours that may focus in the student's area(s) of interest and should help to contribute to the basis of the thesis project. The department offers a variety coursework in several sub-fields that may be found here, and students may also choose to take courses in related fields as well.   

How to Apply

Why the University of Wyoming?

Our students enjoy the benefits of earning a graduate degree on a smaller campus with direct access to faculty who teach courses and the ability to build long-lasting professional relationships with their faculty chair/mentor, committee members and fellow graduate student colleagues. The Political Science Department is also able to offer Graduate Assistantship positions that provide funding for our Masters students including tuition and fees, student insurance and a monthly stipend while giving them teaching experience as a part of their assistantship duties. The community of Laramie and UW offers year-round activities from concerts to farmer's markets and is a popular access point for all kinds of outdoor adventures including climbing, hiking, fishing and skiing.   

Student Profiles

John RaderJohn Rader is a second year graduate student in Political Science and over the summer, he conducted research on political centralization and economic privatization in Chilean Patagonia through a case study of the HidroAysén development project (a proposed build of 5 megadams). Citizens across the country fought the project for nearly a decade due to a lack of transparency and the potentially devastating environmental and social repercussions. The conflict escalated until 2012, when the project was put on hold due to massive protests.

“I interviewed political officials in the regional capital of Coyhaique, NGO representatives, members of the press, scientists and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry to get a clearer picture of the political and economic forces underlying this conflict. During my final year at UW, I’ll focus on finalizing my thesis based on my research findings. After graduation, I intend to pursue either a PhD or a JD in International Law. Political Science is a supportive environment for my academic endeavors, with encouraging faculty, ample funding for research and engaged colleagues.”

Hanneke DerksenHanneke Derksen received her MA in Political Science from the University of Wyoming in 2007. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School Leadership Institute focusing on International Relations and American Politics. While at UW, she completed an internship at the United Nations Headquarter in New York, which fit well with her interest of pursuing a career in the United States State Department.

“Throughout my coursework here in NY as well as with my research, I appreciate the solid background I received at UW. In addition, the personal interest professors at UW take in their students has helped me develop my academic interests and gave me the tools I need to reach my academic goals. During my studies I had the chance to work closely with the professors and received much support from the department and the Milward Simpson fund to attend conferences and seminars."

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

a) Acquire a specialized knowledge and understanding of politics, government and/or public policy through a
    coherent program of study.
b) Acquire a knowledge of the theories and methodology necessary to evaluate conflicting arguments,
    assemble and present empirical evidence and make reasoned conclusions from the evidence available.
c) Communicate effectively, both orally and in written form.

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