Graduate

Graduate Programs (M.A. in Politics and Policy and M.P.P.)

Master of Arts in Politics and Policy (30 credit hours)

The Master of Arts in Politics and Policy (M.A.) is a traditional degree option for students who may wish to continue their academic careers in doctoral programs or enroll in law school. Students are required to take 3 courses (9 credits) in this degree program (Research in Politics and Public Policy; Methods of Policy Analysis; and a Seminar in Political Philosophy). The degree requires 30 credits and the other 7 courses (21 credits) come from electives. Students in this program will work with the director of graduate studies to create a plan for graduation. The elective credits will likely be the product of a combination of traditional classes in Political Science, directed research with a faculty mentor, an internship, and/or thesis credits.

Master of Public Policy (30 credit hours)

The Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree may be attractive to students who desire to join the workforce in a policy analysis, administrative, leadership, or managerial capacity. Students are required to take 5 courses (15 credits) in this degree program (Research in Politics and Public Policy; Methods of Policy Analysis; Data Analysis for Policy Making; Public Administration; and the Public Policy Process). The degree requires 30 credits and the other 5 courses (15 credits) come from electives. Students in this program will work with the director of graduate studies to create a plan for graduation. The elective credits will likely be the product of a combination of traditional classes in Public Policy and Public Administration, directed research with a faculty mentor, an internship, and/or thesis credits.

Both the M.A. and M.P.P.

Both the Master of Arts in Politics and Policy and the Master of Public Policy programs combine coursework, professional development, and independent research to build skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis; grant writing; and analysis of complex policy environments. Students will become better prepared to address normative political questions; apply statistical methods to policy analysis; and network in political and non-profit sectors. The M.A. in Politics and Policy and M.P.P. can be completed in a single calendar year (fall, spring, and summer), and several of the current students are also participants in the Community Fellows program. Fellows involved in the program will work for 15 hours a week in a local agency on a project related to community development. Many recent graduates have secured careers in health policy analysis, administration in nonprofit and public organizations, grant administration, organizational development, community organizing, state and local government leadership, lobbying, and communications. Other graduates have chosen to pursue their academic objectives of obtaining an advanced degree.

Financial Support

There are an array of opportunities for students to pursue either the M.A. or M.P.P. programs, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, partial or full tuition remissions, or the Community Fellowship.

Application Requirements

The Department of Political Science has rolling admissions for both master’s programs. For students who would like to be candidates for financial aid for the fall semester, applications are due on February 15.

GRE scores are not required as part of the application process for master’s programs. However, applicants are welcome to submit their GRE scores if they choose to do so. In order to complete the application process, transcripts are required, 3 letters of recommendation (at least 2 must be from academics), a resume, and a statement of objectives.

For the Community Fellows program, applicants must submit a brief supplementary statement as to why they are interested in working in a nonprofit agency, including any relevant community or volunteer experience or skills they may possess.

Facilities and Resources

The Department of Political Science is located in 307 Maginnes Hall on the main campus. A computer room is located in Maginnes Hall where students can access the university’s main computer, library services, and a variety of online resources. The Lehigh University library collection comprises over 800,000 volumes and more than 100,000 electronic books. In addition, the library subscribes to more than 25,000 periodicals, the majority of which are in electronic format.

Number of Graduate Students

In a typical year, the Department of Political Science has 15-20 graduate students.

Recent Examples of Research Projects by MA Students

  • Study of predatory lending practices in Lehigh Valley
  • Development of WDIY Public Radio segments on suburban sprawl
  • Study of community activism in West Bethlehem No-Mall Movement
  • Market-Towns Initiative in the Delaware-Lehigh River Heritage Corridor
  • Work with Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley on Green Futures Fund and regional farmers market
  • Overview of regional Latino political activism
  • Study of direct foreign investment in democratization in former communist-bloc nations
  • Analysis of political activism by Lehigh Valley nonprofit organizations

Contact Us

For more information about the graduate program in Political Science, please contact the director of graduate studies, Professor Brian Fife, at blf218@lehigh.edu.