A program unlike any other in Washington, D.C.

Hillsdale’s unique approach integrates first principles with prudential thinking by means of a rigorous core curriculum and careful study of primary sources. Our Master of Arts in Government focuses on three areas of knowledge: Political Thought and Culture, American Politics, and Statecraft.

Political Thought and Culture

Study the writings of political philosophers from ancient, medieval, and modern eras, focusing on their understandings of human nature and the purpose of government. Learn how each has influenced the American political tradition.

 Authors include:

  • Aristotle, Thucydides, Plato
  • Cicero, More, Shakespeare
  • Locke, Machiavelli, Hegel

American Politics

Explore the meaning and history of American constitutionalism from the Founding through the Civil War, the rise of progressivism, and the growth of the administrative state. Analyze the current debate over the meaning of liberty and the proper role of government.

 Texts include:

  • Declaration of Independence and U. S. Constitution
  • Records of the Federal Convention, the Federalist Papers, progressive writings
  • Writings and speeches of the Founding Fathers and later American statesmen


Learn how to apply the principles of free government and advance the cause of constitutionalism and liberty in the context of ever-changing circumstances in American society and around the world.

Topics include:

  • Separation of Powers, Bureaucracy
  • Statesmanship, Political Parties
  • Constitutional Law, Foreign Policy

Degree Requirements

  • 36 credits, which is the normal MA workload
  • Oral and written components of the comprehensive exam
  • Required courses from each leg of the program

Required Courses

  • Political Thought and Culture
    GOV 501: Classical Political Thought and Culture, GOV 502: Modern Political Thought and Culture, and GOV 503: The Art of Rhetoric

  • American Politics
    GOV 511: American Founding and Constitution, GOV 512: Constitutional Development Through the Civil War, GOV 513: American Progressivism and Liberalism, GOV 514: Modern American Government

  • Statecraft
    GOV 520: Statesmanship as well as three elective three-credit courses