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MA Courses for Social Studies Teachers

WELCOME to the Political Science Department. We have tailored a specialized curriculum and offer online courses that allow high school social studies teachers to pursue a masters degree without interrupting their careers. 


The MA in Political Studies with an emphasis in social studies for teachers is a 36-hour program that can be completed in two years, including summer sessions and is offered completely online. In the first year, students will take an 18 hour core of prescribed courses that study American constitutionalism, political institutions, and political thought. Students will then complete 12 hours of related coursework in economics, history, geography, and political science. The program culminates with the completion of a comprehensive exam and a practicum that allows students to earn credit hours teaching college level American government courses. Students are admitted in the fall as a cohort and will enroll in 6 credit hours per semester including summers.

Admissions Requirements

Successful applicants must currently be teaching Social Studies in a Texas High School, must have at least one year of teaching experience, and a GPA of at least 3.0 for their last 60 hours of undergraduate work (no GRE required). Applications must include the following supporting documents:

  • Three letters of recommendation (one from school principal where currently teaching and two other professional references)
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample

Interested applicants may review the “Application and Application Fee” process at To complete your application online, use the “Apply Texas Application.” Required supporting documents may be uploaded at or mailed as indicated in “Submit your documents.”

Students are admitted to the program only in fall semesters. Priority application deadline to be considered for university scholarships is February 15th, however, standard applications will be considered until June 15th. To insure quality of instruction, admissions are limited.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses (18 hours)

POSI 5350: The American Presidency

POSI 5350: Congress and the Legislative Process

POSI 5319: Seminar in Constitutional Law and Theory

POSI 5354: Justice and Liberty in American Political Thought

POSI 5301: Problems in American Foreign Relations

POSI 5327A:  Texas Politics and Administration

Supplemental Courses (12 hours)

Students will complete 12 hours of prescribed coursework in economics, history, geography, and political science.

The Comprehensive Exam

The exam will cover the program's core and will be written and graded by participating faculty.

The Teaching Practicum (6 hours)

Students will be mentored by faculty in developing the syllabus for a college level introductory course in American government and then teach the course at either a community college or at Texas State. The practicum, thus, can be an important step in the professional development of teachers who offer dual credit or advanced placement classes. It not only allows students to work closely with distinguished faculty who enjoy national reputations, it also encourages their continued participation in an integrative approach to how American government is taught in high school, community colleges, and four year universities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the program cost?

For residents of Texas,

3 semester credit hours, 1 three hour class costs approximately $1,200 for tuition and fees;

6 semester credit hours, 2 three hour classes, the recomendend course load for the program: approximately $2,400 for tuition and fees;

9 semester credit hours, 3 three hour classes, full time graduate course load: approximately $3,100 for tuition and fees.

These figures are based of the spring 2015 semester tuition and fee rates.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes there are many scholarships availabe through the Graduate College and outside sources. Remeber to fill out your FAFSA!

Celebrity Classic Scholarship

Graduate College Scholarship

National Pathfinder Scholarship

Call or swing by the Department of Political Science for more scholarship information.

What about future opportunities?

Many of our graduates from the MA in Political Science Program are finding success in teaching at community colleges and universities. Of our fourteen 2014 graduates, four are teaching at community collegs or universities. Moving forward, we expect our graduates will have a variety of professional opportunities, including offering dual credit, advanced placemnet, and expanded teaching prospects.

Contact Information

Professor Sherri Mora

Associate Chair and District Liaison

(512) 245-7427

Dr. Cecilia Castillo

MA Director

(512) 245-3991

Dr. Kenneth Ward

Program Advisor

(512) 245-2068