************************************************************************************

Employment of political scientists is projected to grow faster than average, reflecting the growing importance of public policy and research. Job opportunities should be best for job seekers with a master's degree in a social science and with strong quantitative skills.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition 

Comprehensive Curriculum

The curriculum concentrates on American politics, justice studies, public policy formulation and evaluation, comparative politics and international relations. The 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 nonprofit sector, the federal bureaucracy, justice related fields, or organizations that monitor political and social processes or influence the content of public policy. 

Choice of Careers

As a graduate, you will gain the academic foundation to seek a career in higher education, the legal profession, state or local governments, the nonprofit sector, the federal bureaucracy, justice related fields, or organizations that monitor political and social processes or influence public policy. 

Program Requirements/Options

You should have an undergraduate major or minor in political science, criminal justice, or a degree in one of the social sciences or humanities. To complete the master's program, you are required to choose a thesis/project, a directed readings option, or an internship project and paper option.

Program Fact Sheet 

Required Preparation

Admission Requirements and Recommended Preparation

In addition to the university admissions requirements, students must submit:

  • official transcripts showing successful completion of a bachelor's degree. Applicants will be expected to have a 2.75 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • 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 by June 1 for fall admission and Nov. 1 for spring admission.
  • additional 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 as requested by the program admissions committee or submitted voluntarily by the student for admission consideration

Students seeking admission to the Political and Justice Studies master's program with a GPA lower than 2.75, but who have a strong personal interest in the program may petition to the graduate program admissions committee for admission.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree.

I.    Required Courses (15 Hours)

POJS 6100 Political and Justice Studies (3)

POJS 6120 Research Methods (3)

POJS 8200 Presidency, Congress and Courts (3)

POJS 8210 Public Policy and Politics (3)

POJS 8300 Comparative Politics and Justice Systems I (3) 

II.   Selectives (15 Hours)

In consultation with an advisor, students select at least 15 hours from the areas below. Courses must be taken in at least two areas. 

A.   American Politics and Public Policy

POJS 8240 Intergovernmental Relations (3)

POJS 7035 Topics in American Politics and Public Policy (3)

B.   Social Justice and Public Policy

ICS 5100    Introduction to Gender Studies (3)

POJS 6100  Race, Class, Politics and Justice (3)

POJS 6150  Civil and Human Rights (3)

POJS 6250  Community Justice (3)

POJS 7037  Topics in Social Justice and Public Policy (3)

POJS 7101  Constitutional Law: Process and Change (3)

POJS 7150  Law, Society and Public Policy (3)

POJS 7190  Gender, Political Culture and the Law (3)

POJS 7220  Global and U.S. Justice Movements (3)

POJS 7300  Social Origins of Violence (3)

POJS 7400  Sexual Politics (3)

POJS 8100  Labor, Workforce and Social Change (3)

POJS 8110  Wealth, Power and Inequality (3)

POJS 8150  Contemporary Theories of Social Justice (3)

POJS 8500  Victimology (3) 

C.   Comparative and Global Politics

ECON 7200 Current Global Economic Problems (3)

HIST 5115 Modern African History (3)

HIST 5300 Modern Middle Eastern History (3)

HIST 5470 Latin American History (3)

HIST 5650 Europe in the 20th Century (3)

ICS 5320 African Politics (3)

POLS 5360 Problems in International Politics (3)

POLS 5480 Politics of Latin America (3)

POJS 6150  Civil and Human Rights (3)

POJS 6200  Theories of Conflict Resolution (3)

POJS 7036  Topics in Comparative and Global Politics (3)

POJS 7220  Global and U.S. Justice Movement (3)

POJS 7330  U.S. Foreign Policy (3)

POJS 7350  Third World in Global Development (3)

POJS 8390  Challenges of Globalization (3)

POJS 8450  International Law and Organization (3) 

III.  Thesis/Internship Paper/Practicum/Directed

Readings Options (3 or 6 Hours) 

  1. Thesis/Project (3 Hours)
  2. Directed Readings (6 Hours)
  3. Internship/Practicum Project and Paper (6 Hours)
  4. Directed Scholarship I 

IV. Total with Thesis/Project (33 Hours)

Total with Directed Readings/Internship/Practicum Project - 36 Hours

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the university requirements for a master's degree found in the GSU Catalog. Please meet with your faculty advisor during the first semester to complete your study plan.

Advisor Information

Larry Levinson

Professor, Political and Justice Studies
Academic Program Coordinator
708.534.4578
llevinson@govst.edu