Harvey Starr, Chair of the Department
Shahrough Akhavi, Ph.D., Columbia University, 1969
Robert C. Angel, Ph.D., Columbia University, 1985
James W. Douglas, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1997
Research Assistant Professor
Thomas E. Durkin, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1994
Chester W. Bain, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1955
The Department of Government and International Studies is an intellectual community committed to the advancement of theoretical and practical knowledge about politics through the conduct and dissemination of research and through teaching within and beyond the classroom. The mission of the department reflects its identity as a community of scholars, an academic unit in the Universitys College of Liberal Arts, and an intellectual resource for the citizens and state of South Carolina, the nation, and the world. As a community of scholars, the department strives to be constantly engaged in research that is recognized nationally and internationally, seeking with imagination and rigor to extend the realm of what is known about politics, and communicate the results of our research through publication and participation in the intellectual dialogues and debates of our disciplines. As an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts, the department strives to offer superior instruction to students at all levels of intellectual maturity and to assist them in accomplishing their goals. For our graduate students seeking professional training in public and international affairs, the department supports their aspirations with a timely and appropriate curriculum. These courses of study combine substantive knowledge with analytical and managerial skills and integrate practical experience and career counseling and placement. For our graduate students seeking academic careers, the department provides the kind of education that renders them comparable to and competitive with graduates of the most distinguished programs in the nation and abroad. As a resource to the citizens and state, nation and world, the department serves as a reservoir of expertise that can be drawn upon by citizens and others in need of professional guidance and knowledge and information about politics. Because the faculty members within the department are experts in politics and governance, the practical contributions that the department can and should make to public affairs and to continuing education are great. In this regard, the department offers advanced programs leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in international studies and political science. In addition, it also offers a Master of Public Administration graduate degree.
The general regulations of The Graduate School of the University of South Carolina regarding admission, residency, and degree requirements are applicable to all graduate students in the Department of Government and International Studies. In addition to The Graduate Schools application, the department requires that applicants submit materials that will provide evidence of their ability to successfully pursue and complete graduate work.
Admission is open to students with baccalaureate degrees in any field, but it is recommended that students take undergraduate course work in such areas as international studies, political science, history, economics, geography, or public administration. All applicants to the international studies, political science, and public administration degree programs must submit official transcripts of their undergraduate (and graduate) degree programs; scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the GRE; three letters of recommendation; a personal statement; and a resume or curriculum vitae. International students who do not have English as their native language must also submit a TOEFL score.
Master of Arts in Political Science
The Master of Arts in Political Science is specifically designed to provide a knowledge of political science and the professional skills necessary to pursue successful careers in governmental, quasipublic, private and political organizations.The candidate for the M.A. must pursue a course of study that will normally include a minimum of 27 semester hours, and six hours of thesis credit. Competency in one foreign language or in the use of quantitative methodologies, as well as a thesis, is required for the M.A. degree.
Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science
The Doctoral Program in Political Science is specifically designed to prepare students for academic and top-level public service careers. Students acquire a general knowledge of the discipline of political science, its history, its subject matter, its relationship to other disciplines and professions, and the aspirations and obligations of political scientists.
It is expected that applicants to the political science doctoral program will have combined verbal/quantitative/analytical scores of at least 1800 on the GRE, an undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 or above, and a TOEFL score of 620 (260 computer-based score) if they are an international student for whom English is not their native language. The political science Ph.D. program admits students for the fall semester only, and completed applications must be received by May 1. Any student seeking admittance to the political science or international studies doctoral program who is also interested in obtaining financial assistance should submit a complete application packet by January 15 in order to receive full consideration.
Students in the political science Ph.D. program pursue a coherent course of study which normally includes a minimum of 72 semester hours, including 12 hours of dissertation credit. All students must complete 15 hours in required courses. Each student must also select a major field in which to complete 21 hours of graduate course work and a minor field consisting of 12 hours. The available fields are American politics, public administration, political theory, international relations, comparative politics, and research methodology. In addition, all students in the political science doctoral program must take a minimum of four elective courses (12 credit hours) to round out their graduate work.
A qualifying examination must be taken for formal admission to the Ph.D. program in political science. This exam should be taken at the beginning of the students fourth semester in the program or after the completion of 2427 credit hours. During the course of their doctoral work, students must demonstrate competence in appropriate language and/or statistical-research methodology skills. Upon the completion of all their course work, students must pass a comprehensive examination and successfully defend a dissertation prospectus. The final phase of the doctoral program is the development, writing, and public defense of a dissertation, which is expected to represent a substantial contribution to the study of political science.
Master of Arts in International Studies
The Master of Arts in International Studies provides students with a strong foundation in the theory and practice of international studies. Normally, the masters candidate will complete 27 hours of substantive course work plus six hours of thesis credit for a total of 33 hours. The program may require more hours in the event of deficiencies. Each student will select one major field in which to complete 12 hours of graduate work and one minor field in which to complete nine hours. The available fields are: international relations theory and practice; foreign policy analysis; international law and organization; and world politics. An oral examination of the thesis and major field will be required of all masters candidates. Competency in one foreign language or in the use of quantitative methodologies is required for the degree.
Doctor of Philosophy in International Studies
The doctoral program in international studies is specifically designed to prepare students for academic and top-level public service careers. It is expected that applicants to the international studies doctoral program will have combined verbal/quantitative/analytical scores of at least 1800 on the GRE, an undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 or above, and a TOEFL score of 620 (260 computer-based score) if they are an international student for whom English is not the native language. The international studies Ph.D. program admits students for the fall semester only, and completed applications must be received by May 1. Any student seeking admittance to the political science or international studies doctoral programs who is also interested in obtaining financial assistance should submit a complete application packet by January 15 in order to receive full consideration.
Students in the international studies doctoral program pursue a coherent course of study which will normally include a minimum of 72 semester hours, including 12 hours of dissertation credit. All students must complete 15 hours of required core courses. Each student will select a major field in which to complete 21 hours of graduate course work. The available major fields are international relations theory and practice, international law and organization, foreign policy, and world politics. Students are also required to complete 12 hours of graduate course work from other, related disciplines, in order to obtain a solid interdisciplinary focus in their fields of study. In addition, all students in the international studies Ph.D. program must take a minimum of four elective courses (12 credit hours) to round out their graduate work. Advanced language or advanced statistics courses can be used to fulfill these elective requirements.
A qualifying examination must be taken for formal admission into the Ph.D. program in international studies. This exam should be taken at the beginning of the fourth semester in the program, or after the completion of 2427 credit hours. During the course of their studies, students must also demonstrate appropriate foreign language and methodological skills for conducting research in the respective fields of inquiry. Upon the completion of all course work, students must pass a comprehensive examination, and successfully defend a dissertation prospectus. The final phase of the doctoral program is the development, writing, and public defense of a dissertation, which is expected to represent a substantial contribution to knowledge within the broad area of international studies.
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration program strives to provide a broadly focused professional degree in the essential management and analytical elements of public administration and public policy analysis. The program attracts a sizable number of both precareer and midcareer students with a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Moreover, the program draws students who want to pursue a diverse range of professional careers in both the public and nonprofit sectors, as well as those who are interested in finding employment at the local level, in state agencies, in federal regional offices, and in Washington, D.C. The program gives students the requisite skills and knowledge to become more intelligent consumers of policy issues and more capable actors in their chosen professional careers.
Applicants to the M.P.A. program are expected to have combined GRE verbal and quantitative scores of 1000, an undergraduate grade pont average of at least 3.00, and a TOEFL score of 600 (computer score of 250) for international students whose primary language is not English. The M.P.A. program admits new students for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications early. This will enable the M.P.A. Admissions Committee and the USC Graduate School to process all materials in a timely fashion so that students can be considered for admittance during the requested academic terms. The deadlines for completed applicant files to be received at USC are:
April 1: Admittance and departmental assistantships/internships for the fall semester
August 1: Admittance (without departmental aid) for the fall semester
November 30: Admittance for the spring semester
May 1: Admittance for the summer session
The M.P.A. degree requires a minimum of 39 and a maximum of 48 semester hours of credit, depending on the prior preparation of the student. The program curriculum can be broken down into six components.
1. Prerequisites. Students must possess a basic proficiency in statistics and a basic understanding of American government. Students who lack such skills/expertise are required to take prerequisite courses in one or both of these areas, preferably at the beginning of their program of study.
2. Core courses. All students must take classes in organizational theory and practice, human resource management, public finance, public policymaking, public data analysis, and public ethics and accountability. Taken together, these courses give students a comprehensive overview of the major elements of public administration and public policymaking.
3. Level-of-government requirement. Students must select one level-of-government course. This requirement is fulfilled by one of a number of different courses in either local, state, national, or international government. The level-of-government requirement is designed to give students a more focused understanding of the operations of political institutions and public organizations within a particular governmental arena or across different governmental levels.
4. Electives. All students must take a set of elective courses that will further their knowledge of, and administrative competency in, a particular area. The electives must constitute a coherent set of courses. But this component of the curriculum is left flexible so that students can pursue more specialized interests in a variety of relevant fields of study.
5. Internship. An internship in a public organization or nonprofit agency is required of all students who lack significant administrative experience. The internship is an integral part of the curriculum, as it gives students an opportunity to experience the real world of public service.
6. Capstone seminar. The capstone seminar is taken by all students, preferably during their last semester in the program. In the capstone seminar, students complete a project in which they integrate the material from other M.P.A. courses in their analyses of contemporary public problems.
The M.P.A. program participates in two dual-degree programs with other academic units at the University of South Carolina, and two joint degree programs with other institutions in the state.
Master of Public Administration/Master of Social Work. This combined degree program enables students to earn two complementary, but distinct, graduate degrees. Core course requirements in one program are used as electives in the other, thus reducing the total number of hours required to complete both degrees to 87 credits. To be eligible, students must apply to, and be accepted by, both programs.
Master of Public Administration/J.D. This degree program is offered in cooperation with the School of Law. It allows M.P.A. and J.D. students to receive "dual credit" for 21 semester hours of course work and acquire both a J.D. and a M.P.A. degree with fewer total credit hours than it would take to receive each degree independently. To be eligible, students must apply to, and be accepted by, both programs.
Joint M.P.A. Degree with the University of Charleston (College of Charleston graduate-level programs). Together, the University of South Carolina and the University of Charleston offer a Joint M.P.A. degree for students in the Charleston area. Faculty and staff from both institutions are involved in student admissions, curriculum development, course instruction, and graduation certification, but the University of Charleston assumes primary responsibility for program administration. All inquiries about program admittance should be directed to the University of Charleston.
Joint M.P.A. Degree with Clemson University at Greenville. This joint degree provides graduate-level instruction to students in the Upstateprimarily the Greenville area. Faculty and staff from USC and Clemson are involved in program delivery, but Clemson University assumes primary responsibility for program administration. All inquiries about the joint M.P.A. program at Greenville should be directed to Clemson University.
This web site updated September 2001 by Thom Harman, and copyright © 2001-2002 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina. All Rights Reserved.