The curriculum of the Hopkins Master of Arts in Government program is designed for working adult students who have specialized skills in a particular field and desire the broader perspective necessary for leadership in politics and administration. The courses are based on the latest scholarly and scientific knowledge, but emphasize the application of such knowledge to the practical governmental, political, and policymaking problems of today. Classes are designed to maximize individual attention, encourage student contribution, build analytical skills, and provide tools for engaging in original research. All of this leads to lively and stimulating seminar discussions and an enriching graduate school experience. There is an active speaker and symposia series as well, and most students are required to attend two symposia per semester.
Throughout their studies, students consider possible topics and gather relevant information and data so that early in their final semester they can complete their research and finalize their thesis. Students begin the thesis process by taking two core courses, Government and Politics in the United States and Research and Thesis I, which introduce the basic tenets of government and politics and the methodology of social inquiry. Students continue through the program preparing for their master’s thesis and completing their electives. Research and Thesis III is the twelfth and final course in the curriculum.
There are three concentrations offered in the MA in Government program: The concentration in Democracy Studies and Governance focuses on the intersection of law and politics, as well as law enforcement issues. The concentration in Political Communication provides students with the opportunity to study with practitioners in the field: reporters, political operatives, journalists, and campaign and news and media professionals. The concentration in Security Studies covers the fundamentals of administering and preserving American security.
- Three core courses:
- Eight elective courses and symposia
- Final thesis course:
For more information about core and elective courses, please see the Course Descriptions page. Please note that not all courses are available each semester. Consult the Course Schedule for current course offerings.
For information on exact dates, times, locations, fees and instructors for any term, students should consult the Advanced Academic Programs Course Schedule, which is issued several months before each term begins. Courses are open only to students who meet enrollment requirements.
Sequence of Study
Electives courses may be taken in any order, but the core and required classes must be taken in a certain order. Most students begin the program by taking 470.602 Government and Politics along with an elective of his or her choice. We suggest that students take the next required course, 470.850, Research and Thesis I (RT I) as their third or fourth class in the program, or once they have a better sense of what their thesis topic will be. Research and Thesis II (RT II) 470.852 will then be taken shortly after the successful completion of RT I. The final class taken in the program is 470.800 Research and Thesis III (RT 3). This class may be taken with an elective, but is considered the final class before thesis defense. Students may not enroll in RT III until they have successfully completed RT 1 and RT II.
A concentration is optional. Students who choose to concentrate must take four classes in that area of study.
Security Studies Concentration
Select four. Note: Any course offering in the MA in Global Security Studies counts toward this concentration.
- 470.644 Democracy and Its Modern Critics
- 470.654 Global Trade, Policy, and Competition
- 470.655 Multinationals and Governments in the Age of Globalization
- 470.661 Constitutional Law
- 470.662 Special Topics in Criminal Investigation
- 470.711 Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy
- 470.762 US-Mexico Relations: Migration, Trade, and Organized Crime
- 470.768 Nation Building as Security Policy
Political Communication Concentration
- 470.609 Leadership Skills in the 21st Century
- 470.615 Speechwriting: Theory and Practice
- 470.622 Money and Politics
- 470.626 Understanding the Media: Old and New
- 470.637 Lobbying and Influence
- 470.638 Negotiating as a Leadership Skill
- 470.649 Behind the Numbers: Polling and American Elections
- 470.652 Primaries, Caucuses, Conventions and the General Election
- 470.657 Politics, the Media, and Presidential Campaigns
- 470.687 The Political and Social Media Revolutions
- 470.732 Communications and Congress
- 470.735 Politics and the New Journalism
- 470.737 The Media and Presidential Politics
- 470.749 Changing News Cycles
- 470.757 Nonfiction Writing and Politics
- 470.791 Political Writing and Communications
Democracy Studies and Governance Concentration
- 470.610 American Political Thought
- 470.616 The Law and Public Institutions
- 470.617 The Courts and Public Policy
- 470.661 Constitutional Law
- 470.674 Regulations: Law of Federal Agencies
- 470.705 The Majesty of the Law: Judicial Process in America
- 470.712 The American Civil Trial
- 470.721 Business Law and Corporations in the Global Economy
- 470.727 Equality Law
- 470.730 Intellectual Property Law
State-specific Information for Online Programs
Note: Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.
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