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A Little Late in the Game, But...


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It indeed depends on the school. Some schools automatically consider you for the MA, others do so only if you indicated an interest in a masters when filling out the application (often in the form of a "check yes or no" question), while many (most?) do not offer a terminal MA in political science.

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Are there schools with a terminal MA that customarily require applicants to apply separately for a PhD and MA? Seems impractical. Thanks for the response.

My school has separate MA and PhD, though we take the same classes. The dept says if you fail comps, basically you get a masters. If you're a masters student who decides to stay for the PhD, you're pretty much a shoo-in as long as you pass the thesis defense and fill in the application. It's more red tape than actually applying.

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Are there schools with a terminal MA that customarily require applicants to apply separately for a PhD and MA? Seems impractical. Thanks for the response.

As Tufnel said, most of the higher ranked schools in the US do not have terminal MA programs to my knowledge, but I don't see anything impractical about separate applications. That's how it's done up here in Canada. Many MA applicants are not simply 'failed' PhD applicants but specifically want an advanced degree to boost their credentials in the job market or just explore further some intellectual point of interest, without committing to a PhD program whose only ostensible function is to train academic researchers and teachers.

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