Political Science, MA


Craft a program that meets your individual interests within the four main subfields of the discipline. Enjoy a very low student-to-faculty ratio as you receive a rigorous introduction to graduate study in political science.


Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA Political Science

The MA program in political science offers a variety of areas of specialization within and between the four main subfields of political science --- American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory --- with particular strengths in ethno-religious dynamics, women and politics, political violence, human rights, political psychology, political economy, and Latina/o politics.*

Faculty are also active in collaborative interdisciplinary research at ASU and with scholars at other universities; many have won major grants and awards. The school is host to the Center on the Future of War, the Center for Latina/os and American Politics Research and an experimental lab. Faculty are also affiliated with other centers at ASU, such as the Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab, the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies, as well as the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty.

This Master of Arts program may be taken as a terminal program or as a step toward eventual fulfillment of the requirements for the doctorate. Students who plan to obtain the doctorate at ASU should apply directly to the doctoral program.

*Students interested in a political theory specialization should consult with the academic unit prior to application prior to application.




At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No




Degree Requirements

Required Core Course (3 credit hours)
POS 503 Empirical Political Inquiry (3)

Other Requirements (6 credit hours)
focus area course (3)
POS 603 Polimetrics I or second focus area course for political theory (3)

Electives (15 - 21 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (0 - 6 credit hours)
POS 599 Thesis (6) or
portfolio (0)

Additional Curriculum Information:
Students selecting the thesis option must submit a written thesis and hold an oral defense. Students selecting the portfolio option must submit a written paper and hold an oral defense.

The course POS 603 Polimetrics I may be substituted with permission of both the director of Graduate studies and the faculty advisor. Students in the political theory focus area take a second focus area course instead of POS 603.




Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. writing sample
  5. GRE scores
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. list of political science courses taken
  8. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

To assist in evaluating all candidates, the applicant should list titles and related information for all previous undergraduate and graduate courses or coursework in political science or related fields. The file must be saved in a .pdf, .doc, .rtf or .txt format and uploaded with the online graduate admission application. The information should be in a table with the following column headings: Course Title, Undergrad Credit Hours, Graduate Credit Hours, Grade, Institution, Year.

Undergraduate coursework in political science is not a prerequisite for admission. However, master's degree students should have a basic understanding of elementary statistics and the undergraduate content of the political science fields of concentration that they wish to study. Students should allow sufficient time to acquire such a background.



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Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:


Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.



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Program Contact Information

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