Purpose and Prerequisites: It is possible for students to obtain an M.A. in Political Science simultaneously with, or shortly after, completion of the baccalaureate program.
Phase I of the Integrated Graduate Studies (IGS) program alerts the Department and School of Graduate Studies to your interest in the program and allows the monitoring of your junior year for fulfillment of the undergraduate prerequisites to graduate study. Students express their interest in IGS through a Phase I application that should occur no later than the second week of classes at the beginning of the junior year. By the end of the junior year, the student must: complete 90 undergraduate hours; complete all general requirements for the B.A.; complete 21 hours in the Political Science major; complete one minor program; and earn at least a 3.5 GPA in Political Science courses and a 3.3 overall GPA. The Phase 1 application form can be found here: Phase 1 IGS Application Form. (PDF)
Phase II of IGS is graduate-level study during the senior year. However, before enrolling for any graduate-level course work, the student must be formally admitted to the School of Graduate Studies. (For more detailed instructions on applying to the School of Graduate Studies click here.) Therefore, it is mandatory that application to Phase II occur during the second semester of the junior year, specifically no later than April 1 or November 1 (for graduate status to begin the following semester).*** In addition to the appropriate forms, the IGS Phase II application must include: three letters of recommendation from CWRU professors the student has had in classes, at least two of which must be from faculty in the CWRU Political Science Department; and an example of the student’s research and writing abilities, in the form of a paper written for a CWRU Political Science class taken during the junior year.
Note that admission to both phases of IGS is competitive; and aside from exceptional circumstances, no more than three qualified students will be admitted in any academic year. Before applying to either phase, the student must discuss the program and his or her qualifications with the Department Chair, who also will provide the appropriate application forms and a separate handout which describes the requirements and procedures in greater detail.
Requirements: If admitted to the IGS program, the student will take, or begin to take, 30 hours of graduate-level Political Science courses during the senior year, adhering to the departmental regulations governing the Masters degree program, as detailed in the Department’s graduate brochure; and if completed successfully with maintenance of academic standing as pertains to both the B.A. and M.A. programs, these hours will count simultaneously toward both degrees in Political Science. The B.A. will be awarded upon completion of all requirements for that degree, including total hours; the M.A. will be awarded upon successful completion of the 30 hours of graduate-level Political Science courses and the M.A. Examination. It is possible to obtain both degrees by the end of the senior year, but the student may take longer to complete the M.A.
*** Students may note that the School of Graduate Studies website in February of 2014 stated a deadline of March 1 for application. That is meant to be a suggestion, not a rule. It was suggested because, for the typical graduate student, the application needs to be submitted in time to process financial aid applications and make financial aid offers. But that is not really relevant to IGS applicants. If IGS students have financial aid that will already have been arranged as part of their undergraduate studies, so April 1 is sufficient.