Students must complete 30 credits (10 courses) and a capstone experience to earn a master's degree. Students complete one course from each of the three concentrations ( Am. Government, International Relations, Political Philosophy) within the program, as well as a required Scope and Methods course. Students will take their remaining six courses from any of the three concentrations.
Beyond these general guidelines, the political science department seeks to customize a plan of study to suit every student's needs. The graduate director works with students to plan their course selection in accordance with their career goals.
To maximize curricular flexibility, students can take up to six courses outside the department. In the past, students have taken graduate courses in history, philosophy, public administration, statistics and religious studies to pursue their educational goals.
Students will find that, regardless of the concentration and courses they choose, Villanova's diverse faculty members offer a variety of philosophical, pedagogical and theoretical approaches to the study of politics, and boast a wide range of scholarly interests.
As a capstone to their studies, some students opt to write a master's thesis, which earns six credits in lieu of two courses. All other students take a comprehensive oral exam following completion of their ten courses.