Admission Criteria and Degree Requirements
The JMU graduate school requires that prospective students submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work. International students must achieve a TOEFL score of at least 570 for the paper-based version and 88 for the electronic version. The Department of Political Science requires that students submit a written statement of educational and professional goals, a writing sample that demonstrates an ability to carry out academic and/or policy-relevant research or GRE examination scores, curriculum vita or resume, and two current letters of recommendation from professors, employers and other professionals qualified to judge the applicant's ability to complete graduate studies. Students must also submit a statement of language proficiency and a statement of policy interest.
Once admitted to the program, to remain in good academic standing students must comply with the requirements of the JMU graduate school and those imposed by the political science program. Students must complete the EU Policy Studies (EUPS) concentration in a consecutive 11-month period. Students withdrawing from the EUPS concentration may be permitted to re-enter the program at the same point in subsequent years. Students must meet The Graduate School requirement of a 3.0 GPA or higher to qualify for graduation.
The Master of Arts in Political Science program focuses on comparative and international politics. This program is designed to directly engage students in comparative and international politics via studies abroad and practical experience.
When students complete the Master of Arts in Political Science program, they should have:
- Comprehensive knowledge of the relevant subfields of political science that pertain to their area of concentration in the program.
- Comprehensive knowledge of the processes that shape politics and policies and the complex interrelationships of political, economic, cultural and ideological interests that influence them in their concentration area.
- Expertise in contemporary policy issues in political science in their concentration area including international security, immigration, human rights, environmental protection, welfare provision, health and human services, and information technology and their underlying political philosophies.
- Analytic and language skills, the ability to express themselves in written and verbal form, the ability to formulate and execute a final in-depth project or apply their learning and skills in a practical situation, and broad intercultural competence.
European Union Policy Studies Concentration
This concentration involves an intellectually rigorous program with a theoretical and practical orientation. It provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the political science literature on the European Union in general (its historical development, current institutions, and practices and future prospects).
The European Union policy studies concentration also places particular emphasis on public policy in two domains: economic and social policy, and foreign policy and internal security. Students will focus their studies on one of these policy areas. The concentration is designed as a one-year residential program based in Florence, Italy.
This concentration is intended:
- to improve understanding of the European Union as a system of governance and as a multinational actor;
- to promote awareness and understanding of the growing importance and expanding scope of the transatlantic partnership between the European Union and the United States; and
- to train students to be effective future participants in this partnership.