All about master's degrees in politics and government

  • All about master's degrees in politics and government

    Individuals who are interested in leadership roles in the government at a local, state or national level can enhance their understanding and improve career opportunities with an advanced degree in Government/Public Administration. Graduate and doctorate programs in these areas allow students to hone in on a particular specialization, such as public affairs, homeland security or human services, or gain a broad, all-encompassing perspective of the field.

    To learn more about a master's degree in the public sector, read further to discover the different types of programs and sample degree programs in this sector.

    Different types of degrees in politics and government

    If you are interested in pursuing a master's degree in politics and government, you might not know exactly where to start. First and foremost, the types of degree programs you can choose from, a Master's of Arts (M.A.) in Government or Political Science or a Master's of Public Administration, have different courses of study that can enhance your practical and theoretical knowledge of the political system.

    The major similarity between these two degree programs is that they provide insight that can significantly influence society at large and small scales. However, their differences are prominent; by examining their unique qualities, you can decide which route you would prefer to take.

    An M.A. in Government or Political Science allows students to gain an in-depth understanding of the origins, developments and functions of political systems, both nationally and worldwide. In the field of political science, professionals can create laws and policies. These types of degrees are ideal for individuals who are creative problem-solvers looking to make a large impact on society.

    On the other hand, an M.P.A. prepares students to examine the laws and policies put forward. Administration involves hands-on, direct work in the management and implementation of public policies, focusing primarily on the everyday execution of these regulations. If you are interested in working directly with the public, an M.P.A. may be the right path for you.

    M.A. and M.P.A. programs of interest

    Once you decide what route you'd like to take, it's time to figure out what schools you should consider. Here are some options you might consider for your M.A. or M.P.A.:

    The Master of Arts in American Government from Georgetown University encourages students to combine theoretical methods and practical elements, all while studying in our nation's capital. In this 12-month program, students will learn about how the U.S. government functions at a high level, focusing on subjects such as the electoral college, Congress, American foreign policy and U.S. policy-making strategies.

    The M.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire provides students with a thesis or non-thesis track. UNH graduate students might follow the thesis track if they'd like to pursue a research field within political science or if they are interested in applying for doctorate programs following graduation.

    Suffolk University's M.P.A. program is located in the heart of Boston, steps away from the Massachusetts State House. Suffolk encourages students to pursue hands-on work in the field and allows them to customize their degrees to add on a concentration in the following areas:

    • Information systems
    • Performance management
    • Community health
    • State and local government
    • Nonprofit management
    • Big data analytics

    The M.P.A. from Western Kentucky University requires students to complete a variety of core courses, in addition to participating in electives that allow them to hone in on specific areas in public policy. All Western Kentucky M.P.A. students are required to complete an internship to gain experience in the public sector.

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