The Master of Arts in Political Science, Political Analysis Specialization, Plan B offers advanced training in empirical inquiry while gaining a sophisticated understanding of politics and political processes. The specialization prepares students for careers as analysts in a broad range of organizations including government, non-profits, campaigns, advocacy groups, and the private sector.

Effective Fall 2021

Required Courses:
POLS 624Scope and Methods of Political Science3
POLS 625Quantitative Methods of Political Research I3
POLS 693Advanced Topics--Research Methods3
Select one course from the following: 13
Qualitative Methods in Political Science
Quantitative Methods of Political Research II
Track Electives 29
Traditional Subfield Courses (Select one option below):9
First Option:
Three courses across the subfields of American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Public Policy and Public Administration, Environmental Politics and Policy, or the Power, Justice and Democracy Specialization
Second Option:
Two courses in one POLS subfield
Approaches to the Study of Politics
Electives 36
Program Total Credits:36

A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this program. 


If students do not take POLS 621, at least 3 credits of Track Electives must focus on qualitative methodology.


At least 3 credits in POLS. For example: Environmental Research Methods, Environmental Organizations and Networks, Surveys and Experiments, International Research Methods, Field Research, Participatory Action Research, Comparative Research Methods, Data Visualization; other graduate and undergraduate (at least 300 level) methods courses from Statistics, Sociology, Anthropology, Computer Science, Public Health, and other departments (consistent with restrictions in the graduate handbook); other Political Science courses with a methodological component – e.g. culminating in a research project or focusing on a particular research method in addition to substantive theories.


Students may choose substantive or methodological courses from across the university that best fit their intellectual and professional goals, subject to the approval of their advisor. An internship may account for three of these credits. POLS 620 may be an appropriate elective if not taken in fulfillment of Traditional Subfield Courses.