MA Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plan


The Master of Arts program provides graduate students with an advanced understanding of the main subfields in the discipline of political science, with the goal of ensuring mastery of established theories and findings, and the ability to analyze current challenges and controversies. Graduates will be trained to engage in theoretically-based and methodologically-sound academic research, to be thoughtful contributors to political debates and policy discussions, and to transmit their knowledge to others via teaching, writing, and scholarship.

Assessment Plan and Curriculum Map (Excel Format) 


1. INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING GOAL -- Knowledge: Mastery of Content and Processes of Inquiry

CSULA graduates have a strong knowledge base in their academic major and can use powerful processes of inquiry in a range of disciplines. They engage contemporary and enduring questions with an understanding of the complexities of human cultures and the physical and natural world and are ready to put their knowledge into action to address contemporary issues.
MA Program Learning Outcome 
POLS MA students will master core theories in the discipline and be able to analyze complex questions utilizing prevailing theories in one or more subfield.
MA Student Learning Outcomes
  • 1. Describe and explain the development of the discipline and demonstrate comprehension of the distinct contributions of its leading figures. 
  • 2. Integrate theoretical and substantive materials in one or more subfield.

2. INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING GOAL -- Proficiency: Intellectual Skills

CSULA graduates are equipped to actively participate in democratic society. They are critical thinkers who make use of quantitative and qualitative reasoning. They have the ability to find, use, evaluate and process information in order to engage in complex decision-making. They read critically, speak and write clearly and thoughtfully, and communicate effectively.
MA Program Learning Outcome 
POLS MA students will develop the qualitative and quantitative skills needed to conduct disciplined research on politics and effectively communicate results in oral and written formats.
MA Student Learning Outcomes
  • Present and explain research in written and oral formats that conform to professional standards.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of quantitative or qualitative methods in addressing diverse research problems.
  • Reformulate and adapt theories as part of a substantive investigation.

3. INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING GOAL -- Place and Community: Urban and Global Mission

CSULA graduates are engaged individuals who have contributed to the multi-lingual and multiethnic communities that constitute Los Angeles and the world of the future. They are aware of how their actions impact society and the environment, and they strive to make socially responsible decisions. They are community builders sensitive to the needs of diverse individuals and groups and committed to renewing the communities in which they live.
MA Program Learning Outcome 
POLS MA students will be able to situate political activity in national and global contexts, gaining an appreciation for the limits and possibilities of change in local communities.
MA Student Learning Outcomes
  • Conceptualize and evaluate distinct causal factors operating at different levels of politics.
  • Explain local outcomes in connection to larger forces operating nationally and globally.

4. INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING GOAL -- Transformation: Integrative Learning

CSULA graduates integrate academic learning with life. They engage in community, professional, creative, research and scholarly projects that lead to changes in their sense of self and understanding of their worlds. Graduates integrate their knowledge, skills, and experience to address complex and contemporary issues and act ethically as leaders for the 21st century.
MA Program Learning Outcome 
POLS MA students will be able to apply the theories and findings of advanced political science research to contemporary issues and debates, preparing themselves and others to address emerging social and political challenges.
MA Student Learning Outcomes
Critique and develop policy proposals or institutional reforms utilizing current scholarship.