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Masters Program

The Master of Arts degree in Church-State Studies is specially designed to give students a broad interdisciplinary exposure to the historical, religious, legal, political, philosophical, and sociological dimensions of church-state relations. Approximately one-half of the course offerings are mandatory seminars taught in the Department of Church-State Studies. The remaining course offerings are selected by the student, within prescribed limits, from relevant courses offered by the associated Departments of Religion, Political Science, Philosophy, History, and Sociology/Anthropology.

The minimum residence requirement for the Master of Arts degree in Church-State Studies is one academic year of graduate study. Not more than three semester hours may be transferred from an approved institution toward the Master's degree, but no transferred work may reduce the one year residence requirement. All graduate work to be transferred from other universities must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Council of the University, upon the recommendation of the Chairman of the Department of Church-State Studies, and only after the student has been admitted to candidacy. To apply for the M.A. program, students must have completed a Bachelor's degree with a minimum of a "B" average, and have a valid GRE score to submit to the admissions office.

When admitted, the student is required to develop a study plan under the advisement of the Director. The program of study is flexible enough to allow, within certain prescribed limits, for the student to tailor the program to his or her individual interests and needs. Twenty-four semester hours of coursework, at least half of which must be in graduate seminars, are required, exclusive of the thesis.

The subject for the M.A. thesis in Church-State Studies, along with a thesis prospectus, must be submitted to the student's thesis director, approved by the student's thesis committee, and written in a field wherein the student has completed a minimum of nine semester hours of graduate credit. After completion of the required number of hours of course work and the writing of a satisfactory thesis for which committee approval has been obtained and a satisfactory grade recorded, the candidate must take, in addition to regular course examinations, a comprehensive oral examination, conducted by the faculty of the Institute. All course work, including the Master's thesis, must be completed within five calendar years from the time the student is admitted.

Beginning with the 2006-2007 academic year, the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies has added a An non-thesis option to the M.A. program in church-state studies.

Requirements for the M.A. in Church-State Studies

Church-State Studies Core--9 sem. hours

CHS 5339 Seminar on Church and State in the United States

CHS 5342 Seminar on Religion, Law, and Politics

CHS 5361 Seminar on Religion and Politics in America

Church-State Studies Supplementary Core--3 sem. hours

CHS 5341 Seminar on Church-State Relations in the Modern World

CHS 6333 Religion, Politics, and Society

Electives--12 sem. hours

Capstone Project--6 sem. hours

CHS 5V99 Master's Thesis, or

CHS 5V12 Internship, or

6 additional hours of 5000-level course work in Church-State Studies

A limited number of doctoral fellowships and masters assistantships are available to incoming students in the program every year. Fellowships and assistantships offer a full tuition remission, plus a monthly stipend in exchange for fifteen hours of work per week at the Institute, in which students often have the chance to gain experience which complements and enhances their classroom studies.

For information regarding financial aid, click here.