The MS-PA is a non-thesis required master degree program, for which students can complete their degree within a 12-month time period. The MS-PA in the political science department is designed: to provide relevant knowledge and skills to mid-career professionals or administrators working in the public, private, or non-profit sectors; to help the students to prepare for advancement in their occupations and positions with leadership roles through curricula focused on strengthening analytical and practical knowledge and skills in public sector management; and to help students to obtain competitive knowledge and skills through a comparative analysis of public administration and public policy as they work in a more complex, diverse, and changing administrative environment with increasing use of information technologies within a globalizing world.
Program Admission Requirements
The expectations for admission to the MS-PA programs will mirror and strengthen the admission requirements for the graduate admission to CWU. In as much as the MS-PA program is geared towards professionals already working within a related field, however, there are a few additional admission requirements necessary specifically for the proposed program as listed below:
- GPA of 3.0 for four-year undergraduate studies is required unless otherwise stated by CWU GSR.
- Students will not be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
- Students will be required to have five years of professional experience in the public, private or non-profit sectors beyond a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- Three letters of reference will be required from students.
- Each student will also be required to submit a letter of interest indicating how the program fits into her/his professional goals.
- For international or English as a Second Language students, they will be required to take an English language proficiency test recognized as fulfilling the admission policy of CWU’s School of Graduate Studies Research.
- Application Deadline and Materials: Students must comply with all deadlines and procedures for “applying to CWU” in the graduate admissions section of the CWU catalog.
- Students completing the MS-PA will be required to complete 47 credits while maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- The MS-PA requires at least 12 months of full time or 24 months of part-time study to complete the degree.
- Master thesis is not required. However, students will develop and execute a capstone project with a written research report of 25 pages. Once completed, students will be required to undergo an oral completion exam wherein they present their capstone project findings to a faculty committee. Both a written research report and an oral exam are required to successfully complete the degree.
- Graduate faculty committee: The student will have a three-member graduate committee, to be selected in consultation with the program director and the dean of graduate school. This committee assess the oral exam.
Program Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge of governance, administrative systems and management methods used in the public sector.
- Describe, perform and use common research designs and data analyses for public sector data sets.
- Write in the language of the discipline, using the elements of style described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
- Describe, compare and analyze political, economic, social, and cultural elements that affect public administration and policy systems across international boundaries and settings.
- Develop in public managers an appreciation of the larger political environment and equip them with the tools to function effectively within those systems.