Information for Current MA Students

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Current MA students may wish to review the following documents:

1) MA Student Handbook. This is intended to answer all of your questions about the structure, procedures, and expectations of our MA program.
2) Program Form/Degree Planner. New students should fill out this form and have it signed by Prof. Taylor Dark, MA Advisor, at the beginning of their first semester in the program. It will be stored in the Political Science Department office.
3) Road Map Form. Students can use this form to plan their courses over a two-year period. Students may also wish to peruse our planned schedule of classes for the 2019-2022 period (note: schedule may change due to inadequate student enrollment, etc.).
4) MA Student Guide to the Comprehensive Exam. This document provides detailed information about how to register for the comprehensive exam and prepare effectively
5) Instructions for considering a thesis, and preparing it properly at Cal State LA: Thesis Guidelines.
6) Information on applying for graduation (a necessary step to receive your degree) is available from the University Graduation Office.

Graduate Assistant Positions

The department regularly offers positions to graduate students to work as Graduate Assistants (GA) in undergraduate courses (typically, POLS 1000: American Government and Society). This duty mainly involves helping the instructor in the grading of large numbers of papers, exams, etc., and in related tasks. In general, students should have completed POLS 5050 with a B+ or better grade prior to working as a Graduate Assistant for POLS 1000.

To apply for a GA position, fill out the Graduate Assistant Application Form, and turn it in to the current Graduate Advisor. Students who are approved by the MA Graduate Advisor will be placed on a list, and faculty will be free to either choose their own GA from this list or have a GA assigned to them by the Graduate Advisor. Grad students selected as GAs will be notified by the Graduate Advisor, then students must provide two letters of recommendation, a resume, and complete various forms (available from the department office) before they can be appointed officially as GAs.

Maintaining Student Status 

A graduate degree student is required to maintain continuous enrollment in every fall and spring semester from the beginning of the program of study until the awarding of the degree. Enrollment during Winter or Summer Session is required only if the student plans to graduate during that particular term. All students must be enrolled during the term in which they graduate. Unless granted an approved leave of absence, a graduate student who fails to register each semester has discontinued enrollment in the graduate degree program. 

Every semester, graduate students must be registered in a course, or in University (UNIV) 9000, or must have an approved leave of absence. Registration in UNIV 9000 is restricted to graduate students who have been advanced to candidacy and have completed all coursework. If a student wishes to take a semester off before resuming coursework, she or he must take a Leave of Absence, not UNIV 9000.

Although UNIV 9000 is a zero unit course, the fee is based on one unit of credit for payment purposes; no unit credit is added to the student’s program or transcript. This course is not eligible for financial aid. The deadline to enroll is the University Add Deadline. Information on how to enroll:

For other questions, contact Prof. Taylor Dark, MA Advisor, at [email protected]

MA students may wish to join the Political Science Department Facebook page