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Master of Arts in Political Science - Social Science Teacher Emphasis in American Studies


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Currently, there is high demand for teachers with Master's degrees to teach high school or community college American Government courses.  In order to meet this demand, our program faculty offers the MA Political Science - Social Science Teacher Emphasis in American Studies exclusively online. This opportunity provides secondary social science teachers the ability to acquire a graduate degree through specialized implementation of our American Studies emphasis within the Non-Thesis track. 

For secondary social science teachers, the MA in Political Science - Social Science Teacher Emphasis in American Studies 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 a 21 hour core of prescribed courses that study American constitutionalism, political institutions, and political thought.

Upon completion of prescribed course work students teach a college level class at Texas State, or at a cooperating community college in the student’s geographic area.

Admission and enrollment is limited to 20 students per term. 

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  • This course provides an intensive introduction to the advanced study of political science. It focuses on the key concepts, variables, and approaches used to describe, explain, and predict political phenomena. It also discusses key normative theories and the variety of methodologies used in political science. 

  • This course examines the concepts of justice and liberty in American thought from the seventeenth century to the present. Attention is given both to the nature of liberty and justice and to their practical requirement as understood by various American thinkers, including statesmen, reformers, social scientists, and philosophers.

  • This course is a seminar based on selected topics in American foreign policy and United States involvement in international relations.

  • This course examines some of the traditional debates over federalism, intergovernmental relations, and different ways people compare the states. It introduces Texas political institutions and its political history as well as examines some of the current Texas public policy questions such as education, criminal justice, and economic development.

  • The course entails an historical analysis of presidential elections from 1789 to the present day. In addition, students examine and engage in reasonable speculations about the upcoming elections.

  • This course examines the American legislative process with a focus on Congress. The framework for the course is based on three themes: 1) the "dual Congress," i.e., the notions of deliberation versus representation; 2) the distribution of power in Congress and its consequences; and 3) the bicameral nature of Congress.

  • This course examines selected issues in constitutional theory, including the theory of judicial review, and constitutional interpretation. It examines the debate on constitutional interpretation in light of cases dealing with the First Amendment freedom of speech, press, and religion, and with substantive due process and the equal protection clause.

Students will also complete 9 hours of related coursework. 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.

Career Supportive Electives (9 hours)

Students will complete 9 hours of graduate level coursework in approved fields.

The Teaching Practicum (6 hours)

Political Science Curriculum Development (3 hours)

Political Science Teaching Practicum (3 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.

The Comprehensive Exam

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

Contact Information

Dr. Sherri Mora

Associate Chair and District Liaison

(512) 245-7427


Dr. Cecilia Castillo

MA Director

(512) 245-3991


Dr. Kenneth Ward

American Studies Advisor

(512) 245-2068




Jamie Falconnier

Student Development Specialist II

(512) 245-5394