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The University of Texas at Dallas
Graduate Admissions

Master of Arts in Political Science –Constitutional Law Studies


Professors: Thomas Brunell, Anthony M. Champagne, Harold D. Clarke, James Marquart, Marianne C. Stewart, John Worrall
Associate Professors:  Denise Boots, Patrick Brandt, Linda Camp Keith
Assistant Professors:   Banks Miller

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Arts in Political Science - Constitutional Law Studies degree is to provide students with the reasoning and analytic skills necessary to understand the technical rules of law, legal practices and policies, and law more generally as a social phenomenon. It serves the interests and needs of students who want an intellectually rigorous legal education as preparation for law school, for more advanced graduate learning, or for law-related careers in teaching, journalism, government, policy-making, or the private sector.


Students in the Master of Arts in Political Science - Constitutional Law Studies program will:

         Acquire detailed knowledge of the role of the judicial system in the evolution of public policy in the United States.

      Acquire detailed knowledge of the roles played by practicing attorneys in the development and application of public law in the United States.

         Demonstrate basic skills in legal research and writing.

         Develop competency in the application of theories of the evolution of constitutional law to United States Supreme Court decisions

         Demonstrate the ability to conduct original research on law and courts using skills in legal research and writing, quantitative research or field research.


Students have access to the computing facilities in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the University’s Computing Center. The School has two computing laboratories that have over 30 computers that are network linked and equipped with major social science software packages, including E-Views, R. Rats, SPSS, and STATA. A computerized geographic information system, the Lexis Nexis database and Westlaw are also available for student use. The University’s Computing Center provides personal computers and UNIX Workstations. Many important data and reference materials are available online from professional associations or at UTD via the Library's and School's memberships in the American Political Science Association, the European Consortium for Political Research, the Inter University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Roper Center, and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Systems, and other organizations.

The Center for American and International Law, an internationally known organization that provides professional development to lawyers, judges, and law enforcement officers, helps to administer the Capstone Seminar in Constitutional Law Studies in which leading lawyers and judges provide lectures on law and the legal process.

Admissions Requirement

The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.

The Master of Arts in Political Science seeks applications from students with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college. Although applications will be reviewed holistically, in general, entering students have earned a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), and a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1100 on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). Standardized test scores are only one of the factors taken into account in determining admission. Applicants should also submit all transcripts, three letters of recommendation (preferably from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate study), and a one-page essay outlining the applicant’s background, education, and professional objectives. Applications are reviewed by the Political Science Program Committee in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

Undergraduate students who are interested in completing their undergraduate degrees while simultaneously taking graduate courses in the M.A. in Political Science - Constitutional Law Studies program are expected to meet the School’s “fast-tracking” requirements.


While there are no specific course prerequisites, entering students will benefit from exposure to undergraduate courses in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, statistics, and research design. In cases where undergraduate preparation is not adequate, students may be required to take additional course work before starting the master's program.

Transfer Policies

Students who have previous graduate work pertinent to the requirements of a master’s program may be given up to 6 hours of transfer credit, and the hours of coursework required for the degree will be reduced accordingly. Students desiring to transfer graduate courses thought to be equivalent to core courses may be required to demonstrate competency through examination. The award of such transfer credit must be consistent with the University’s “Transfer of Credit” policy.

Degree Requirements

The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.

Students seeking a Master of Arts in Political Science - Constitutional Law Studies must complete at least 30 semester credit hours of work in the program, must receive a grade of B- or better in all required courses, and must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average to graduate.

The curriculum has two components:

(1)  Eighteen semester hours of required coursework

(2)  Twelve semester hours of prescribed electives

Required Courses (18 hours)

All students should complete the core courses as soon as possible.

One of the following:

EPPS 6313       Introduction to Quantitative Methods

PSCI 6350         Logic, Scope and Methodology of Political Science  

All of the following:

PSCI 5306         The American Legal System and the Practice of Law

PSCI 5307         Legal Reasoning and Writing

PSCI 6301         Constitutional Law

PSCI 6305         Workshop in Constitutional Law Studies

PSCI 6343         Law and the Policy Process

Prescribed Electives (12 hours)

Four of the following:

CRIM 6305        Law and Social Control

CRIM 6311        Criminal Justice Policy

CRIM 6317        The Courts

CRIM 6348        Drugs and Crime

EPPS 6316       Applied Regression

PA 6319            Topics: Administrative Law

PSCI 5308         Immigration Law

PSCI 6306         Human Rights and International Law

PSCI 6311         Proseminar in Law and Courts

PSCI 6312         Comparative Constitutions and Courts

PSCI 6331         Executives, Legislatures, and Public Policy

PSCI 6339         Election Law and Electoral Systems

PSCI 7320         International Negotiations

Other courses as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.


Last Updated: July 18, 2012