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New Mexico State University
Graduate Catalog


Department site:

Masters in Public Administration site:

(575) 646-4935

N. Baker, department head, Ph.D. (Tulane) – public law, American politics, presidency; J. Ackleson, Ph.D. (London School of Economics and Political Science )-International relations, national security, border security; G. Butler, Ph.D. (Catholic)-political theory, American politics; J. Garcia, Ph.D. (New Mexico) – New Mexico politics, border politics, Latin America, comparative politics; N. Harvey, Ph.D. (Essex)-Mexican politics, comparative politics, Latin America; Y. Lapid, Ph.D. (Columbia)-international relations theory, comparative foreign policy, international organizations; C. Medina (Univ. Colorado Denver) Ph.D. – public administration, public policy, education policy, qualitative methods; D. Prindeville, Ph.D. (New Mexico)-public administration and management, leadership, minority politics, women and politics; W. Taggart, Ph.D. (Florida State)-public administration, public policy, American politics; R. G. Winn, Ph.D., (Arizona State)-public administration, policy analysis, environmental policy

DEGREE: Master of Arts
MAJOR: Government

DEGREE: Master of Public Administration

MINOR: Government
MINOR: Public Administration
MINOR: Security and Intelligence Studies

The Department of Government offers two degrees: the Master of Arts (M.A.) in government and the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) and a graduate minor in Security and Intelligence Studies. The programs are designed to prepare students both for diverse careers in the public sector and for further training at the doctoral level. The M.P.A. program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a distinction held by fewer than one-quarter of M.P.A. programs nationwide. The M.P.A. program offers joint degrees with the Department of Criminal Justice (M.P.A./M.C.J.) and with the Department of History (M.P.A/ M.A. in Public History). Students in a joint degree program can earn two master's degrees with fewer credits than would be required to earn those degrees independently.


Prospective graduate students in either the M. A. or M. P. A. should demonstrate a 3.0 grade point average for the second half of their undergraduate course work. For students with a GPA of less than 3.0, GRE scores are required, though this requirement may be waived if the undergraduate degree was awarded more than five years before applying. Applicants to either program are required to submit an application for program admission (available from the department and on-line), three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a personal statement concerning their interest in pursuing a graduate degree. All of these items are to be submitted directly to the department. Additional information concerning program requirements and the admission process can be obtained from either the department’s M.A. chair or M.P.A. director. Under exceptional circumstances the department may exempt students from the minimal requirements. Application for admission to the Graduate School should clearly indicate the program in which the student wishes to enroll.

Students interested in a joint degree option must apply and be accepted in to the two departments separately, and indicate their interest on their applications in one of the joint degree programs.

General Requirements

Students in both the M.A. and M.P.A. programs select either a thesis or nonthesis option. Students planning on continuing their studies in a doctoral program or wishing to establish expertise related to a specific career objective are strongly encouraged to select the thesis option. The nonthesis option is suggested for students desiring immediate employment or seeking to enhance their current employment situations. Course work outside the department must have prior advisor approval to ensure a well-integrated program of study. Complete information on the requirements for either program should be obtained directly from the department. Most M.A. and M.P.A. courses are offered in the evening.

DEGREE: Master of Arts
MAJOR: Government

The M.A. program provides general course work in each of the major fields of political science. Students may choose either the thesis option, under which they complete 30 credits of course work plus 6 thesis credits (GOVT 599), or the nonthesis option, with 30 credits of course work plus 6 hours of special research credit (GOVT 598) or 6 hours of approved internship credit (GOVT 510). Both the thesis and nonthesis options require a final oral examination; the non thesis option requires a written examination as well. The program provides a broad-based foundation in political science while allowing students to pursue specific areas of interest. All students are required to complete a research methods class, either GOVT 502 or GOVT 503. In addition, students must take 3 of the following 6 courses (9 credits):

  • GOVT 530, Seminar in Public Policy
  • GOVT 550, Seminar in American Politics
  • GOVT 560, Seminar in International Relations Theory
  • GOVT 570, Seminar in Comparative Politics
  • GOVT 580, Seminar in Political Theory
  • GOVT 590, Seminar in Public Law and Legal Systems

The remaining credits required for the degree are selected subject to advisor approval to satisfy particular academic interests or career goals. Flexibility in planning a program of study is permitted to meet the educational needs of a diverse student population. Structured areas of emphasis are available in several topical areas including security studies, Latin American affairs, and international affairs. The study program for each certification area must be approved by the M.A. Program Committee. Information on these areas may be obtained from the Department of Government. No more than 9 credits taken outside the department will be counted toward the degree.

DEGREE: Master of Public Administration

The M.P.A. program is accredited by NASPAA. The M.P.A. is designed to provide students with the managerial and analytical skills, in addition to ethical and professional values, necessary to meet the increased demand for skilled public administrators. Candidates who follow this professional program must complete a minimum of 42 credits, consisting of core courses, electives and either an internship or a thesis. All students are required to complete a core curriculum of 18 credits, including:

  • GOVT 502, Research Methods in Government
  • GOVT 541, Public Budgeting
  • GOVT 542, Public Sector Human Resource Management
  • GOVT 544, Public Policy Analysis
  • GOVT 547, Government Organizations (Organizational Theory)
  • GOVT 549, Ethics in Government

The remaining 24 credits required for the degree are selected with the approval of an advisor to meet the needs and interests of the individual candidate. Because students have divergent career goals, a thesis or internship option is offered. The thesis option requires an additional 18 credits of course work, 6 credits of thesis (GOVT 599), and an oral examination covering the thesis and course work. The internship option requires an additional 21 credits of course work, 3 credits of internship (GOVT 510), and an oral examination covering the internship and course work. As part of the course work, students selecting the internship option must take GOVT 519 (Proseminar/Capstone in Public Administration) during the latter part of their studies, and are required to earn a B- grade or higher in that course.

With approval, students may include up to 12 credits of relevant course work from other departments to be counted toward the total credits required for the M.P.A. These credits may be selected to form a graduate minor in another academic discipline.

Candidates with inadequate preparation for graduate study in public administration may be required to take appropriate undergraduate and graduate courses as part of, or in addition to, a regular program of study. Applicants to the M.P.A. program will be advised of any such requirements at the time of admission.

Joint M.P.A.-M.C.J. Program

The M.P.A.-M.C.J. joint degree option requires completion of a minimum of 57 credits of approved course work from the Departments of Government and Criminal Justice. Students interested in this option should meet with the M.P.A. director or criminal justice graduate advisor for additional information.

Joint m.p.a.- m.A. public history program

The M. P. A.- M. A. Public History degree option requires completion of a minimum of 57 credits of approved course work from the Departments of Government and History, including completing internship credits in both programs. Interested applicants should consult with the M. P. A. director or the director of the Public History Program for additional information.

MINOR: Security and Intelligence Studies

Course Requirements: Nine semester hours of graduate course credit from the following courses:

  • GOVT 461 International Political Economy
  • GOVT 468 Rebels, Guerrillas, and Terrorists in Modern Latin America
  • GOVT 549 Ethics in Government
  • GOVT 560 Seminar in International Relations Theory
  • GOVT 562 Advanced Issues in Security and Intelligence Studies
  • GOVT 564 Advanced National Security Policy
  • GOVT 566 Advanced Issues in American Foreign Policy
  • GOVT 567 Terrorism and Political Violence
  • GOVT 568 Advanced Intelligence Studies
  • GOVT 569 Advanced Issues in Globalization
  • GOVT 574 Contemporary Comparative Studies
  • GOVT 596 International Law

Additional Courses: Other graduate courses may become available during the year which may be substituted for the above listed courses. Consideration may be made on a case-by-case basis.


GOVT 465. Peru: From Incas to Inca Kola 3 cr.
Explores issues of cultural and national identity in Peru from the Incas to the present, focusing on the modern period. Themes include indigenous resistance and adaptation to colonial rule, nationalism, militarism, terrorism, globalization, and the drug trade. Same as ANTH 459 and HIST 459.
GOVT 468. Rebels, Guerrillas, and Terrorists in Modern Latin America 3 cr.
Explores history of rebels in Latin America. Examines guerilla struggles attaining national dimension. Focus on modern events, including Peru’s Shining Path, Columbia’s FARC, and Mexico’s Zapatistas. Same as HIST 331.
GOVT 469. Globalization 3 cr.
Analysis of the globalization process. Covers theories of globalization, the global economy, political globalization, global culture, transnational social movements, transnational migration and world labor market, global cities, and local-global linkages. Same as SOC 489.
GOVT 473. Germany 3 cr.
Political, social, and cultural developments from the eighteenth century to the present, with emphasis on the Nazi era. Same as HIST 383.
GOVT 474. European Politics 3 cr.
Politics in European countries, European integration, post-communist states, regionalism and border politics.
GOVT 476. Modern Eastern Europe 3 cr.
Addresses the diversity of Eastern European political and cultural experiences from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Same as HIST 380.
GOVT 493. Mass Communications Law 3 cr.
Same as JOUR 493 and COMM 493.
GOVT 501. Scholarly and Professional Writing 1 cr.
Research, writing and editing skills for advanced academic and professional communication in disciplinary contexts.
GOVT 502. Research Methods in Government 3 cr.
Contemporary methods of political analysis, including mathematical and statistical techniques and computer applications.
GOVT 503. Qualitative Research Methods 3 cr.
An overview of qualitative research methods such as fieldwork, ethnography, content analysis, case studies, focus groups and grounded theory. Introduces students to epistemology - the study of knowledge - and to basic components of research design. Explores activist scholarship, ethical dilemmas in research, and software tools for computer assisted analysis. Especially useful for students preparing theses, dissertation, or other research projects.
GOVT 505. Directed Readings 1-3 cr.
Selected topics in government. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
GOVT 510. Internship 1-6 cr.
Assignment with a public agency and research report. Only 3 credits apply toward degree requirements. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: approval of graduate advisor.
GOVT 517. Selected Topics in Government 3 cr.
Selected issues which may cross sub-fields of the discipline. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 519. Proseminar in Public Administration 3 cr.
Review of classic and contemporary theory and practice in public administration. Application of written and oral skills to the presentation and defense of essays on various aspects of public administration. Prerequisite: 30 credits of M.P.A. program course work, including at least five of the core M.P.A. courses.
GOVT 522. Public Sector Economics I 3 cr.
Same as AEEC 522.
GOVT 523. Public Sector Economics II 3 cr.
Same as AEEC 523.
GOVT 524. American Indian Politics 3 cr.
Introduction to American Indian tribal governments, politics, policy, and administration; historical and contemporary leadership of Indian Nations; and the history and current status of American Indian-U.S. relations. Students learn about Native peoples’ cultural responses, forms of resistance, and adaptations to colonization.
GOVT 526. Women, Politics and Administration 3 cr.
Examination of women’s participation in U.S. electoral politics as voters, candidates, and officeholders; their political activism in issue-based movements and strategies for affecting public policy; leadership as administrators and managers in public service agencies. Course also covers the influence of feminism in changing women’s roles socially, legally, and politically.
GOVT 527. Issues in Public Management 3 cr.
Selected issues in public management. May be repeated under different subtitles for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 528. Public-Private Partnerships 3 cr.
This course explores how taxpayer-funded services are administered and delivered through public-private partnerships involving privatization and government contracting with the nonprofit sector and for-profit companies. The class will explore funding, legal, accountability, and stakeholder issues in partnerships in health and human services, criminal justice, and homeland security.
GOVT 530. Seminar in Public Policy 3 cr.
Survey of the political, administrative, and technical aspects of policy making in government. Crosslisted with: AEEC 580
GOVT 531. Public Program Evaluation 3 cr.
Politics, processes, and techniques for evaluating both program operations and the outcome of program endeavors.
GOVT 535. Education Policy and Politics 3 cr.
Overview of current pressing policy issues and political debates on education in the U.S., including school choice, vouchers, accountability, and affirmative action. Multiple topics and perspectives covered, with political economy the main approach.
GOVT 537. Issues in Public Policy 3 cr.
Selected issues in public policy. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 540. Seminar in Public Administration 3 cr.
Survey course on the theory and practice of program, personnel, and financial management in government and the private, nonprofit sector.
GOVT 541. Public Budgeting 3 cr.
Budgetary processes; budget classification, analysis, and evaluation.
GOVT 542. Public Sector Human Resources Management 3 cr.
Exploration of public personnel systems and practices; including job analysis, compensation, performance evaluation, recruitment, and labor-management relations.
GOVT 543. Skills Workshop 1-6 cr.
Focus on management of task skills in selected areas of public administration. Specific topics will appear in the Schedule of Classes; may be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 544. Public Policy Analysis 3 cr.
Environment of policy analysis; various descriptive and quantitative designs for analyzing and evaluating public policy. Problems of policy analysis. Prerequisite: GOVT 502 or consent of instructor.
GOVT 547. Government Organizations 3 cr.
Historical overview and present applications of organization theory in public management.
GOVT 548. Public Sector Leadership 3 cr.
Theories and styles of leadership.
GOVT 549. Ethics in Government 3 cr.
Examination of standards, perspectives, and issues for ethical decision-making in public agencies.
GOVT 550. Seminar in American Politics 3 cr.
Overview of American political institutions. Includes study of American constitutional theory; legislative, executive, and judicial functions and processes; political parties and interest groups; and public policy formulation.
GOVT 553. Issues in American Politics 3 cr.
Selected issues in American Politics. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 560. Seminar in International Relations Theory 3 cr.
A critical overview of leading approaches and controversies in international relations theory. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to contending theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks that help make sense of contemporary world politics.
GOVT 562. Advanced Issues in Security and Intelligence Studies 3 cr.
Selective issues in comparative security and intelligence studies.
GOVT 563. Issues in International Relations 3 cr.
Selected issues in international relations. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 564. Advanced National Security Policy 3 cr.
Major topical, theoretical, and regional issues in national security policy.
GOVT 566. Advanced Issues in American Foreign Policy 3 cr.
Major topical, theoretical, and regional issues in American foreign policy. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits under different subtitles.
GOVT 567. Terrorism and Political Violence 3 cr.
An advanced graduate course using an interdisciplinary framework to explore definitions, historical roots, contemporary manifestations and future trends in political terrorism. The course seeks to understand modern-day terrorism as a form of political violence.
GOVT 568. Advanced Intelligence Studies 3 cr.
Advanced survey of major theoretical approaches and substantive issues in intelligence studies.
GOVT 569. Advanced Issues in Globalization 3 cr.
Analysis of the globalization process. Covers theories of globalization; global economy; political globalization; global culture; transnational social movements; transnational migration and world labor market; global cities; local-global linkages. Same as SOC 589.
GOVT 570. Seminar in Comparative Politics 3 cr.
Examination of methods used for comparing various types of political entities. Investigation of criteria needed to examine a concept across cultures or national boundaries.
GOVT 571. Seminar in Latin American Politics 3 cr.
Overview of the political structures of the Latin American region. Addresses a number of contemporary issues facing Latin American states, including interest groups, the church, labor, political parties, U.S.-Latin American relations, political development.
GOVT 573. Resistance Movements in World Politics 3 cr.
Advanced research on violent and non-violent resistance movements around the world. Focus on origins, demands, ideologies, strategies and impacts in the post-Cold War context of economic globalization, US military power and new geopolitical dynamics.
GOVT 574. Contemporary Comparative Studies 3 cr.
Major topical, theoretical, and regional issues in international politics. May be repeated once.
GOVT 575. Issues in Comparative Politics 3 cr.
Selected issues in comparative politics. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 578. Seminar in the U.S.-Mexican Border 3 cr.
An analysis of the political environment along the United States-Mexico border and a survey of the literature available for a number of contemporary issues.
GOVT 579. Seminar in Mexican Politics 3 cr.
Advanced research on politics and government of Mexico.
GOVT 580. Seminar in Political Theory 3 cr.
Examination of major issues in political theory, including democracy, sovereignty, classical and modern traditions of thought. May be repeated with different subject matter.
GOVT 582. Study of Political Theory 3 cr.
Examination of methods of interpretation and analysis of political theory, including Straussian, structuralist, historical, and other approaches to the study of political theory.
GOVT 587. Seminar in Religion and Politics 3 cr.
Historical, theoretical and comparative analyses of the interaction between politics and religion.
GOVT 590. Seminar Public Law and Legal Systems 3 cr.
Focus on U.S. Constitutional Law and other national legal systems.
GOVT 591. Law for Administrators 3 cr.
Case-law definitions of the legal roles and powers of public administrators.
GOVT 593. Issues in Public Law 3 cr.
Selected issues in public law. May be repeated under a different subtitle for a total of 6 credits.
GOVT 594. Ethical and Legal Dilemmas in Security Studies 3 cr.
Examination of major ethical and legal dilemmas in the pursuit of security in the age of terror.
GOVT 596. International Law 3 cr.
Nature, growth and scope of law of nations; rights and obligations of states in peace and war; current issues.
GOVT 597. International Organizations 3 cr.
Evolution and significance of major functional, political, and economic global and regional international organizations.
GOVT 598. Special Research Programs 1-3 cr.
Individual investigations either theoretical, analytical or experimental. Three credits may be taken per semester for a total of 6 credits for thesis students, and 9 credits for non-thesis students. Consent of instructor required.
GOVT 599. Master’s Thesis 0-88 cr.