MA/MS Program Handbook:
Academic Information

Program Information
Advisement Information
Advisement Procedures & Registration

Program Information

MASTER OF ARTS (33 semester hours minimum)
General requirements for the M.A. degree include a minimum of 33 semester hours, although deficiencies or particular requirements may necessitate additional work. Requirements to meet deficiencies must be satisfied early in the student's program. Each student is assigned an advisor with whom he or she works in determining an academic program. All courses counted toward a degree must be approved by the student's academic advisor.

In general, one-half of the course work must be in courses numbered 600 or above.

Research: Original research and the writing of a thesis (699--6 hrs.) is considered to be an extremely important part of the requirements leading to the degree. The candidate, in addition to the general thesis requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, must satisfy all requirements set by the department as follows:

A. After completing 18 hours of graduate work, a student should select a thesis topic after consulting with his/her advisor and other appropriate faculty members.

B. Following the student's selection of a topic, the advisor will seek the appointment of a thesis committee.

C. The student, in consultation with the chairperson of the thesis committee, will prepare a thesis proposal for the committee's consideration.

D. Upon approval of the proposal, the student will proceed to research and write the thesis under the direction of the chairperson of the committee.

E. It is the responsibility of the student to see that all members of the committee are kept informed of the scope, plan, and progress of both the research and writing of the thesis.

Basic Coursework: At least 24 additional hours of political science course work, including 655--3 hrs.; 658--3 hrs.; and 18 hours, of which at least 9 hours are at the 600 level and which include 6 hours in American government, politics, and administration; 6 hours in international relations; and 6 hours in comparative politics. No more than 9 hours in 695, 697, and 698 combined can be included in the degree program. Only one reading course may be applied to the degree program. All course work must receive prior approval of the advisor for inclusion in the program.

Other Requirements:
3 hours of approved electives selected from inside or outside the department. Courses taken outside the department must be clearly related to the student's program.

Culminating Experience:
A copy of the thesis, in appropriate format, must be in the hands of the thesis committee at least two weeks before the final examination. Each M.A. candidate is required to pass a final oral examination over the thesis and related material, conducted by the committee and open to all faculty members.

MASTER OF SCIENCE (33 semester hours minimum)

General requirements for the M.S. degree are the same as those for the M.A., including a minimum of 33 semester hours. Deficiencies or particular requirements may necessitate additional work. Requirements to meet deficiencies must be satisfied early in the student's program. Each student is assigned an advisor with whom a program is planned. All courses in the degree program must be approved by the student's academic advisor.

In general, one-half of the course work must be in courses numbered 600 or above.

Research:
A candidate for the M.S. degree (paper option) will enroll in 698--3 hrs., or a one-semester seminar course in the candidate's field of concentration. This course will include the preparation of a special master's paper, preceded by a formal proposal outlining the purposes to be achieved and the method to be used in the study. Completion of the paper shall be accomplished under the direction of the chairperson of a faculty committee formed for this purpose. The department recommends strongly that the special master's paper be developed out of course work.

Basic Coursework: At least 24 hours of political science course work, including 655--3 hrs., 658--3 hrs., and 18 hours, of which at least 9 hours are at the 600 level and which include 6 hours in American government, politics, and administration; 6 hours in international relations; and 6 hours in comparative politics. No more than 9 hours in 695, 697, and 698 combined can be included in the degree program. Only one reading course may be applied to the degree program. All course work must receive prior approval of the advisor for inclusion in the program.

Paper Requirements:
At least 6 hours of approved electives selected from inside or outside the department. Courses taken outside the department must be clearly related to the student's program.

Culminating Experience:
A candidate for the M.S. degree (paper option) shall make a seminar appearance near the conclusion of his/her program, at which time he or she will undergo an oral examination by a committee of members of the political science faculty on the content of the master's paper and related material. A candidate for the M.S. degree (examination option) must pass comprehensive written examinations in three of the five subfields of political science. The candidate will choose the subfields; the questions will be formulated and evaluated by the appropriate area committees of the department.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES

Internships can be arranged which provide students with the opportunity to gain experience working in government agencies, public service organizations, and the private sector.

Indiana State University is vigorously pursuing exchange agreements with a number of foreign universities. It is anticipated that such arrangements will provide opportunities for graduate students to engage in overseas study and research. The Political Science Department strongly supports and is heavily involved in efforts to establish such programs.


Advisement Information
Academic advisement is the process through which you plan your program at ISU, in consultation with your academic advisor.

Academic Advisor

The Department graduate advisor is available to answer questions to help you plan your academic schedule and navigate through the procedures and deadlines leading to graduation. The advisor is also there to help you with any problems you may encounter along the way. Your advisor's signature is required when registering for or dropping or adding classes. The advisor may also provide information concerning career planning and further graduate education at the doctoral level.

The current graduate academic advisor:
Dr. H. Michael Erisman
HH 314, phone (812)237-2429

The Student's Responsibility

While your academic advisor is available to guide and advise, you are ultimately responsible for meeting the University and Departmental requirements for graduation.
The following six guidelines should help you in this respect.

Your first responsibility is to acquire the tools you will need to meet this responsibility. This Handbook provides much of the information you will need. Official information will be found in the Indiana State University Catalog: Graduate Catalog. The Catalog sets forth academic requirements and procedures. It also introduces you to campus organizations, both academic and recreational, including a variety of student services. Here you will find a complete list of courses offered by the University with a description of their content. At registration time, you will need the Indiana State University Catalog: Schedule of Classes. This publication appears about the middle of each semester and provides class scheduling information for the following semester regarding what courses are being offered and where and when they meet.

Second, you should check these sources when you have a question or problem. If you cannot find the answer or it is confusing or unsatisfactory, then see your advisor.

Third, see your advisor during office hours or call for an appointment.

Fourth, before seeing your advisor for registration prepare a trial schedule. Consider your requirements, progress and interests and jot down the courses that you would like to take in the following semester. It does not have to be compete, but getting something in writing will bring both you and your advisor up to speed for the discussion of your schedule.

Fifth, be aware of deadlines. Do not wait until the last minute. Leave yourself time to solve problems as they arise.

Sixth, you are responsible for keeping track of your progress toward your degree. The form found in "Appendix I" will be of help. You will also find it useful to keep your copies of "Form 1," "Drop and Add Forms" and "Grade Reports." Your advisor will also be tracking your progress. If you have questions, contact your advisor.

Advisement Procedures and Registration

Regular Registration

Regular advisement and registration take place about mid- semester (October and March). The exact dates may be found in the Schedule of Classes. Call or come to the Political Science office for an appointment with the academic advisor. Come to the appointment with your trial schedule in hand.

We will check your progress, your schedule for the forthcoming semester and, in the Spring, for Summer School if you choose to attend.

You will then fill out a "Form I," have the advisor sign it and take it to the School of Graduet Studies Office. Toward the end of the semester you will be mailed a confirmation of your registration together with a bill.

If for some reason you wish to change your schedule after you have registered, you may do so during the "Drop and Add" period.

Drop and Add

The drop-add period begins toward the end of the semester and extends into the first week of classes. (Specific dates will be found in the Schedule of Classes.) This provides an opportunity to change or fill out the schedule for which you had previously registered by dropping or adding courses.

Also, if you were unable to register early, you can register for the first time at this point.

The drop-add/telephone registration process is handled through a telephone-computer system that can be accessed through any touchtone telephone. The system is explained in the Schedule of Classes and is rather simple to operate.

It is absolutely essential that you contact your advisor in order to be able to go through the drop-add/telephone registration process. To be able to proceed, you will need to discuss your plans with your advisor and get your personal identification number (PIN). You cannot use the telephone registration system without your most current PIN number (these numbers change periodically). The only person authorized to give out your PIN number is your advisor. Do not ask other faculty or office staff for your PIN number; they cannot and will not give it to you.

If you are on campus, come in and fill out a "Touchtone Change of Course Form," which must be signed by your advisor and by the instructors of the courses you are dropping or adding. After the first week of classes you may also need the Dean's signature to add a class. If you are off campus, out of town, you may call your advisor to discuss your plans and to get your PIN number.

You can then proceed to register or to drop-add using the telephone registration system (which requires that you use a touch-tone telephone). Simply follow the telephone registration instructions provided in both the Schedule of Classes document and the "Touchtone Change of Course Form". Basically, all you need to know is a few simple procedures to initiate the telephone registration process. The system itself will then guide you through the process by providing instructions and by asking you to respond to some simple questions.

Back to MA/MS Program: Handbook & Other Details


The Catalog of Indiana State University is the document of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalog supersede information issued by any academic department, program, college, or school. The University reserves the right to change the requirements at any time.