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EIU Department of Master of Arts in Political Science

Want to complete the program in twelve months?

While it is possible to complete the degree in twelve months, several considerations need to be taken into account before committing to that timeline. 

  1. It will be an incredible amount of work in a very short period of time. Nine hours in graduate school is the equivalent of 15 hours as an undergraduate. So, taking twelve hours each semester under this plan is the equivalent of about twenty undergraduate hours per semester. 
  2. If you have a full time job, family responsibilities, or any other obligation that will divide your attention, then I would advise against attempting such a plan. It’s unlikely that you would be able to succeed in your coursework if you don’t approach it like a full time job. 
  3. Our classes fill up very quickly, so if you don’t select your classes the day that the registration window opens you won’t be able to complete the program in twelve months. That means getting admitted well before registration begins. For a Summer or Fall start, that means gaining admittance by March 1st. For a Spring semester start, that means gaining admission no later than October 1st. While you can still gain admission after those dates, your class selection will be limited and it’s unlikely that you will be able to complete the program in 12 months. 
  4. In the previous four years of the graduate program, a total of two students have successfully completed all requirements in 12 months and graduated sucessfully. It is not impossible to take this approach, but the vast majority of students who attempt this end up finishing in four semesters instead of three. 

Fall Semester - 12 Hours

PLS 4793 - Civic and Nonprofit Leadership

PLS 5054 - Research Methods

PLS 5073 - Political Behavior

PLS 5843 - Proseminar in Public Policy Research and Analysis 

Spring Semester - 12 Hours

PLS 4853 - Supreme Court OR PLS 4763 - Environmental Policy

PLS 4873 - Human Resource Management 

PLS 5153 - Cities, Politics, and Urban Policy 

PLS 5543 - Proseminar in Public Administration

Summer Semester - 9 Hours

PLS 4823 - Comparative Public Policy

PLS 5163 - State Govt and Policy in US Federal System OR PLS 5373 Proseminar in American Politics

PLS 5940 - Capstone

There is some flexibility in the electives, but if a semester’s plan deviates from the above list then you must consult with Dr. Burge to ensure you are on track to graduate. 

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Contact Information

Department of Political Science

Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-2926

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