Political Science and Criminal Justice

Master's Programs Descriptions

What do our Graduate Programs Look Like?

The MA in Political Science is a 30 unit degree program and it provides a generalist approach to many of the most relevant topics in political science.  The program typically enrolls between 30 and 35 students.  All students take classes in the American Politics field, and then they choose their second field.  That second field can be either International Relations and Comparative Politics, or Public Policy and Public Affairs (which sometimes draws on classes in the department’s MPA program).

Classes in the MA program are typically lively affairs.  Students are highly engaged, and eager to discuss classic and current political science works.  The faculty often report high levels of satisfaction with MA seminars, due to the energetic atmosphere.  Seeing students making high order connections among theoretical and empirical approaches can be very rewarding.

Graduates of the program typically take one of three paths.  Many of them go on to teach at either the junior college or university level, and in fact about half of the lecturers in our department are graduates of the MA program.  Another group enters into the larger policy arena in California, working on issues ranging from land management and agriculture, to the environment.  Finally, some students continue their educational pursuits, entering Ph.D. programs or law school.

~Dr. Matt Thomas, Coordinator POLS MA Program

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program has been serving students at California State University, Chico for over thirty years.  Our mission, which we have just reaffirmed in 2016, is to develop and enhance the theoretical understanding, knowledge and skills of current and future managers in public service with particular emphasis on the North State region.  We currently serve a diverse body of about forty total students with typical class sizes, ranging from fifteen to twenty, which allows for significant personal interaction with our program faculty—all of whom have PhDs. Moreover, our courses begin at either 4 pm or 7 pm, so that we may also serve working professionals as they seek to enhance their career potential with a graduate degree.

Our emphasis is to prepare our students for state and local government management and for service to healthcare organizations.  Reflecting this emphasis, most of our graduates continue on with public service careers in state, county, and city governments, and nonprofit healthcare organizations. 

As the coordinator of the MPA program, it is an honor to serve our graduate students, since many either already are or will become leaders in the North State or their respective communities. Furthermore, the variety of life perspectives of our MPA students provides the basis for rich, discussion-based classroom environments.

As the coordinator, I am always delighted to speak with anyone who is interested in our program or in our graduates.  You may contact me at Lweber@csuchico.edu.

~Dr. Lori M. Weber, Coordinator MPA Program 

Professors Lori Weber and Matt Thomas

Political Statements is the official newsletter of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University, Chico.

With over 1,000 total majors, the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is one of the largest departments at Chico State. Students choose courses from a rich curriculum, providing close student-faculty contact in each of the following majors of study: U.S. politics, legal studies, criminal justice, international relations, and public administration. The department also offers a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Political Science.

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