Political Science

Chair: Velasquez

Professors: Lybecker, McBeth

Associate Professors: Kirkpatrick, Stoutenborough

Assistant Professors: Johnson, Kammerer, Ryu, Warnement-Wrobel

Emeritus Faculty: Anderson, Burns, Foster, Gabardi, Hjelm, Maughan, Nilson (in memoriam)

Doctor of Arts in Political ScienceDegreeD.A.
Master of Arts in Political ScienceDegreeM.A.
Master of Public AdministrationDegreeM.P.A.

Doctor of Arts in Political Science

This program is intended for students interested in careers teaching political science in a variety of higher education settings ranging from community colleges to universities. Doctor of Arts recipients are prepared to teach a variety of political science courses including those in American politics and in two additional specialties selected from among the fields of public law, political theory, comparative/international politics, and public administration.

Doctor of Arts students will have three interdisciplinary options to choose from:

Option #1: Doctoral students will take 9 credits each in TWO of the following five cooperating social science departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, and Sociology.

Option #2: Doctoral students will take 18 credits in ONE of the following five cooperating social science departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, and Sociology.

Option #3: Doctoral students will take 18 credits from at least two of the five cooperating social science departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Psychology, and Sociology, built around an interdisciplinary theme such as methodology or theory (courses and theme must be preapproved by the chair of the student’s doctoral committee).

The doctoral degree is generalist in nature. The emphasis is on a thorough grounding in political science supported by work in committee-approved social science disciplines. The program places emphasis on teaching political science rather than on the development of a narrow research specialty. A nine-credit-hour component of the program includes the development of pedagogical skills as well as sustained experience in the classroom.


1. Graduates will demonstrate literature-based knowledge in three sub-fields of political science.

2. Graduates will gain this knowledge of political science through an interdisciplinary approach that includes course work in one or two cognate social science disciplines.

3. Graduates will have extensive training in pedagogy, craft a distinct teaching philosophy, and demonstrate a variety of pedagogical techniques and skills.

4. Graduates will demonstrate their research skills by presenting their work at professional conferences and/or submitting their work for publication review.

5. Graduates will gain employment and establish their careers in higher education.

Master of Arts in Political Science

The mission of the Master of Arts (MA) program is to prepare students for future graduate study in political science by helping them develop knowledge and skill in political science and research methodology. This program emphasizes general preparation in political science and research.

Specific outcomes of the program include:


1. Graduates will master literature-based knowledge in two areas of political science.

2. Graduates will develop an understanding of political science research methodology and the role of research in academia.

3. Graduates will further their graduate careers by pursuing a doctorate in political science.

4. Graduates pursuing a terminal degree will find professional employment in education, public service, and business.


1. Graduates will pass comprehensive examinations.

2. Graduates will present papers at professional conferences.

3. Graduates will be accepted into doctoral graduate programs.

4. Graduates will find employment in education, public service, and business.

Thesis/non-thesis options are available.

Areas of emphasis in the master's program are limited, because of the research nature of the degree, to American governmental institutions and political behavior, public law, political theory, public administration, and comparative/international politics.

Master's students are required to present themselves for comprehensive examination on their thesis and/or in two of the five areas of emphasis mentioned previously.

Master of Public Administration

The Master in Public Administration degree is an inter-university cooperative graduate program offered jointly by Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho. The purpose of the program is to provide present and prospective public administrators with the basic intellectual preparation necessary to understand and to adjust to a changing and challenging environment, through an introduction to the theories and practices of administration, management, and social science research as these relate to effective performance in public organizations.

The inter-university master's program has been designed in accordance with the Guidelines and Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs and Public Administration prescribed through the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).


1. Graduates will develop an appreciation of serving the public interest.

2. Graduates will respect the law and the Constitution.

3. Graduates will demonstrate personal integrity.

4. Graduates will promote ethical organizations.

5. Graduates will develop distinctive public administration skills.

6. Graduates will strive for professional excellence and updating of skills throughout their professional careers.