Degree Requirements


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.

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.

Degree Requirements

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.

Political Communication Concentration

Select four.

Democracy Studies and Governance Concentration

Select four.

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.