Department of Political Science and Public Administration

Department of Political Science and Public Administration

Whether you are interested in a career in law or politics, or as a leader of local, state or federal agency, AUM’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration can put your goals within reach. We offer small classes and faculty committed to provide students the personal attention and monitoring you need to succeed.

The department offers the Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science as well as the Master of Science in Political Science and the Master of Public Administration. In addition to other scholarship opportunities that could be available, the department awards a merit scholarship to a well-deserving junior or senior major. There are many career possibilities for students majoring and minoring in political science.

What I love about the Public Administration master's degree

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers students a traditional liberal arts education to meet the needs of the 21st century, allowing them to compete for a variety of careers in an increasingly complex and evolving world.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

The courses making up the AUM Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science degree explore the multiple and various dimensions of politics.

  • In courses on American politics, students learn about the complex relationship between Congress, the presidency, and other political institutions; the impact of money on campaigns and elections, and the role of race in politics.
  • In international relations courses students study the implications of an international environment without a supranational government and how that environment leads countries to be the most important entities in world politics and, in turn, makes world politics the realm of power politics.
  • In comparative politics courses, students explore the factors that make democracy more or less likely, how the transition to democracy can create instabilities, and how differences in countries’ electoral systems can lead to government instability.
  • In public administration courses students examine the relationship among political actors, institutions, and bureaucratic organizations to understand the issues related to effective governance.

Political science is a frequently selected major for students interested in attending law school. One reason for this relationship is that political science courses emphasize analytical and critical thinking, careful reading, and persuasive writing, all skills highly valued in the legal profession. The Department is extremely proud of its record in preparing students for admission to American Bar Association accredited law schools.

Political Science Four Year Plan

Political Science Plan of Study


Graduate Degree Programs

Master of Science in Political Science

The master’s degree program in political science offers students an opportunity to gain advanced, in-depth training in political science and is designed for students who seek academic or professional careers. Students explore the leading literature in the key political science fields of American politics and international relations, receive advanced training in research methods, where they gain significant skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis, have the opportunity to take electives in comparative politics and data analysis, and undertake an independent research project on a topic of interest under the guidance of program faculty.

The program requires ten courses–six required courses and four electives–totalling 30 credit hours. See the plan of study for details. Two of the required courses include the two-semester thesis seminar in which master’s candidates work on an article-length, independent research project under the guidance of a three-member faculty committee. Students are able to choose a topic that reflects their individual interests, goals, and area of specialization.

The program offers students two primary areas of specialization.

  • One path enables students to study American politics, exploring its institutions and the interplay between public opinion and policymaking in the context of America’s unique political, social and economic development. Students specializing in American politics can study such areas as Congress, constitutional law, judicial politics, elections, political parties, interest groups, public opinion, Southern politics, and state and local politics.
  • Students specializing in international relations explore a variety of topics including U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, transnational advocacy networks, the global economy, and the sources and significance of such contemporary dynamics as globalization, international norms, democratization, and changing power differentials.

Elective courses also are offered in comparative politics, making it possible for students to explore, for example, the impact of such factors as institutions, economic development, party systems, and national identity using broad, cross-national comparisons or, given the expertise of our faculty, developing more specific investigations in the African or European contexts.

A low student-faculty ratio ensures that each graduate student receives hands-on training from faculty members who are experts in their fields; their research has appeared in highly regarded academic journals including Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Justice System Journal, Public Administration Review, Comparative Political Studies, Review of International Studies, and International Studies Quarterly.

Our graduates are well positioned for a variety of career paths. Recent graduates have continued their studies in the Auburn University-Auburn University Montgomery Joint Ph.D. Program in Public Administration and Public Policy whereas others have entered the workforce, accepting positions with public sector organizations or private sector entities. All courses meet in the classroom. The master’s degree program in political science is designed to be completed in two academic years.

Applications are accepted throughout the academic year. Merit-based scholarships are available. See the program’s application instructions for details on the application process. Students are encouraged to start the program in the fall if possible, but are welcome to begin in the Spring term. For more information, please contact the faculty and staff of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration or send inquiries to [email protected].

Application Instructions
MPS Plan of Study
MPS Brochure

Master of Public Administration

The MPA program at AUM prepares students for management positions in the nonprofit sector and various administrative and management opportunities in local, state, or national government. We equip students to be effective and ethical administrators in today’s complex and multicultural environment. Here is an example:

The twelve-course (thirty-six credit hours) program provides students with broad training in public administration and policy, thereby positioning students for opportunities across the public, non-profit, and private sectors and in federal, state, and local government. The program also offers a four-course concentration in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Applications are accepted throughout the academic year and applicants should make certain to follow the program’s Application Instructions. The program also awards scholarships to new and continuing students who meet certain requirements.

Through excellent teaching, research, academic collaboration, community engagement, and service the program provides students with the critical knowledge, professional skills, and public service values required to assume leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. Hallmarks of the program are its emphasis on the importance of an understanding of the normative, constitutional, and participatory aspects of active citizenship, and the broader challenges facing public policy and administration in the contemporary world.

The program’s faculty members have expertise across several areas of public administration and public policy including ethics, program evaluation, organizational behavior, budgeting, financial management, urban politics, state and local government, policy analysis, and nonprofits.

MPA Program Fact Sheet
MPA Plan of Study
MPA Brochure


Certificate in Data Analysis and Policy Evaluation

The MPA program offers a four-course Certificate in Data Analysis and Policy Evaluation as an option for current students as well as individuals not enrolled in the AUM MPA program. This certificate program provides students with the essential training they need to land the jobs they desire: strong data analysis skills—both with respect to the ability to analyze data and the ability to explain their data analysis in written, visual, and verbal communication.

Certificate in State and Local Administration

The MPA program’s Certificate in State and Local Administration focuses on the policymaking and implementation challenges affecting state and local governments and provides hands-on training in grant writing and grants administration.


For students who are interested in political science but have chosen another major, the department offers two minors:

The International Relations Minor offers students an understanding of the interactions among states and the roles and significance of such non-state actors as international organizations, non-governmental organizations, terrorist groups and business groups. The International Relations Minor Plan of Study provides details on the requirements for this minor.

[email protected]
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone    (334) 244-3698
Fax (334) 244-3992
Goodwyn Hall, Room 209
P.O. Box 244023
Montgomery, AL 36124

Physical Address:
7061 Senators Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117

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Through its various departments, the AUM College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers a variety of resources to give students the necessary knowledge and skills to be profoundly competitive. Join us and apply to AUM, where learning matters most. It’s why we learn-and why we teach.

Department of Political Science and Public Administration

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