Learn more about our MA in Government graduate program in D.C., including information about admissions, curriculum, and scholarships!
Academics Admissions Tuition and Cost Student Life
Hillsdale College prides itself on its commitment to a core curriculum, reflecting the College’s belief that a true education consists of a defined set of knowledge that any educated human ought to know, rather than merely a fixed number of hours spent in a classroom studying scattered topics. The School of Government will operate with that common belief. Every master’s student will be required to complete a core curriculum, which amounts to roughly 50 percent of the degree. The course load is divided between three-credit and one-credit courses and taught by guest faculty as well as full-time Hillsdale professors. Rather than following the typical academic model of tracks with a large variety of courses, the School of Government will focus on a deliberate course of study designed to ensure that all students learn what is essential to understand the principles and practice of the governing arts.
Hillsdale College maintains its defense of the traditional liberal arts curriculum, convinced that it is the best preparation for meeting the challenges of modern life and that it offers to all people of all backgrounds not only an important body of knowledge, but also timeless truths about the human condition. The liberal arts are dedicated to stimulating students’ intellectual curiosity, to encouraging the critical, well-disciplined mind, and to fostering personal growth through academic challenge. These arts provide a window to the past and a gateway to the future.
Master’s students will read a variety of foundational texts from our philosophical, rhetorical, political, and poetic tradition. Authors include Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Shakespeare, Madison, Lincoln, Churchill, and the like. Master’s students will also make a rich and deep study of American political thought and governance, especially concerning our Founding Fathers and the guiding political documents they produced, namely our Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
36 credits, which is the normal MA workload.
Yes. Hillsdale College’s Master of Arts in Government program is designed specifically for working professionals in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
The program is designed for working professionals. Thus, each student is able to earn the degree at his or her own pace. An aggressive student might finish the degree requirements in two years, while a student taking the courses at a less rigorous pace might take three or four years to complete the MA. For example, a student setting a moderate, but demanding, schedule might take one three-credit course and one one-credit course each semester (fall, spring, and summer); four credits per semester, three semesters per year, means the student would complete the degree’s 36-credit program in three years. Every student is required to finish the program within four years except for extraordinary circumstances requiring approval of the dean.
The M.A. program will focus on three areas of knowledge: Political Thought and Culture, American Politics, and Statecraft. Each area of knowledge has required courses and electives. Each of the three areas of knowledge offer three-credit and Special Topic one-credit classes. The required courses in each of the following areas are as follows:
Political Thought and Culture
GOV 501: Classical Political Thought and Culture, GOV 502: Modern Political Thought and Culture, and 503: The Art of Rhetoric.
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.
GOV 520: Statesmanship as well as three elective three-credit courses.
Classes are typically offered in the evenings, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.; intermittent Saturday seminars (usually two per one-credit course) are also offered each term.
Each student will likely take from one to three courses in a semester. The schedule depends on what is offered in a given semester and the pace at which the student wants to finish the degree. A minimum of one credit per semester is required.
We offer three semesters: fall, spring, and summer. During the summer, the three-credit schedule is shortened and more intensive. There will also be one-credit courses offered during the summer term.
While each student’s semester plan will need academic approval, there is a one-credit per semester minimum. Semester-long leaves of absence may be granted for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis by the dean.
Master’s students may petition the Dean for a transfer of credits from previous graduate study. The Dean will make the final determination on any transfer of credit, and on how it will be applied to the specific requirements of the M.A. program.
A master’s thesis is not an option in this program.
Yes. There is a comprehensive exam requirement to complete the degree. There is both a written and an oral component of the exam.
No. However, there will be opportunities to take courses here in D.C. with professors from Hillsdale College’s Michigan campus.
No. Graduate classes are only for those who are enrolled in the Master of Arts in Government program. However, we encourage you to participate in our other public enrichment programs. In particular, we encourage anyone interested in pursuing serious discussion about the liberal arts, politics, and virtuous statesmanship to apply for our James Madison Fellowship.
The Hillsdale College School of Government does not offer any study-abroad opportunities at this time.
The Graduate School of Statesmanship offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Politics and a Master of Arts in Politics on Hillsdale’s Michigan campus. The Graduate School of Government offers a Master of Arts in Government for working professionals in Washington, D.C. In keeping with its practical focus on good and prudent governance, students in the Washington, D.C., program are expected to be engaged in professional life in and around our nation’s capital.
The Hillsdale College School of Government is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and licensed in the District of Columbia. For more information, see our accreditation.
Please see our Admissions webpage.
No, but evidence of academic excellence, including undergraduate and previous graduate grades, is an important consideration for admission.
Your transcripts must be submitted electronically, by the registrar of any previous academic institution, to our admission team at [email protected].
No. You may, however, submit your scores if you have already taken the GRE or LSAT within the last five years.
After an initial round of application review, applicants still under consideration will likely be contacted to set up an interview.
Such requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but an in-person interview is preferred.
Yes. Your application will be submitted electronically. We will notify you when your application is complete and submitted to our admissions team.
Get your boots on!
Applicants will be notified of admission decisions both by email and mail. Admitted students will be sent an enrollment form that must be returned to the admissions office by a set date given in your letter of admission.
Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is $1,340 per credit hour. Master’s students will normally receive scholarships up to full tuition. Scholarships do not cover student fees or course materials. Specific offers of financial support will be made at the time of admission.
Hillsdale College does not accept any form of federal or state funding or financial aid, which includes federal student loans.
For more information on the Graduate School of Government’s student community and resources, see Campus Information.
Our faculty and scholars are available by appointment to meet with and advise students.
No, we do not offer student housing.
Students enrolled in the M.A. in Government program will have full access to the library resources of Hillsdale College. There is a non-circulating reference library in the Kirby Center, which contains over 4,000 volumes. Students may request books from the Michigan campus Mossey Library, which houses over 952,000 volumes in its main collection. M.A. students will also have access to the online library resources of Hillsdale College such as JSTOR, LexisNexis, Project Muse, and Hein Online.
Hillsdale in D.C. is headquartered on Capitol Hill at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr., Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002—just blocks away from Union Station Metro on the red line.
No. Street parking is available, however, and more reliable parking is available at Union Station.
Bistro Cacao, Café Berlin, Bistro Italiano, Capitol Hill Supermarket, Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, and the restaurants and shops in Union Station and Pennsylvania Avenue are close to Hillsdale’s D.C. location. We are a two-minute Uber ride or 15-minute walk from the popular H Street corridor and Eastern Market areas.
Our location in D.C. is secured by keycard access. A member of our faculty or staff will grant students access to the building. We are located just blocks from the Capitol Hill police station and have security personnel periodically monitor the building.
Our students come to us from Capitol Hill offices on both the House and Senate sides, from offices in the administration and agencies, and from think tanks, law firms, philanthropic groups, and other civic-minded organizations, such as in media and journalism, as well as for-profit groups.
Because of our focus on good and prudent governance, we expect that our alumni continue on Capitol Hill and in the administration, think tanks, philanthropic groups, and other civic-minded organizations, in journalism, and for-profit groups.