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Political Science

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College: College of Liberal Arts & Communication

Department: Political Science


A Master's Degree in Political Science is an intensive program of specialized study designed to develop students' analytical skills and deepen their substantive knowledge of political science in preparation for such pursuits as law school, teaching, or doctoral studies. The students may specialize in any of the four subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international politics or political theory.


The Mission of the MA program is to prepare students for future educational and career opportunities in both the public and private sectors. We accomplish this mission by equipping our students with substantive knowledge and methodological skills necessary to conduct research, instruct primary, secondary, and undergraduate students on civics, government, and politics, and/or pursue advanced graduate studies in professional programs (i.e., doctoral, law school, and other public and private related programs of study).

  • Admission

    Beyond the admission materials required by the Graduate School, students interested in the MA in political science should submit directly to the MA Director the following materials:

    • A statement of interest outlining the applicant’s goal past the MA and the types of work he or she wishes to pursue in the program to realize that goal
    • A resume/curriculum vitae
    • An academic writing sample
    • For international students, TOEFL scores
    • Two letters of reference from people who can evaluate the applicant’s academic potential

    Applications received by April 30 will be given full review for fall admission and those received by November 30 will receive full review for spring admission. Late applications after the deadlines may be reviewed at the discretion of the M.A. Committee. Applicants who seek a graduate assistant-ship must submit their materials before April 1. Applicants not meeting the April 1st deadline will be eligible for graduate assistant-ships only if available.


  • Program of Study

    Students enrolled in the program will choose to concentrate in one of four sub-fields in political science—US politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.

    Students will have an option of pursuing a thesis and non-thesis option which is designed to maximize the practical value of their degree. Students choosing the thesis option are required to write and defend a thesis for a total of six graduate credit hours, among other requirements. Students choosing the non-thesis option are required to take comprehensive exams, among other requirements.


    Curriculum and degree requirements can be found in the most current Graduate Bulletin.

    Visit the bulletins page >>

  • Degree Requirements


    Qualified undergraduate students may be eligible to enter the program in their junior and senior year of study and complete the program in five years. Please refer to the graduate bulletin for further information.


    In the recent past, the program has successfully placed M.A. graduates in positions in the public and private sectors, competitively ranked law schools, and into doctoral programs in political science such as Texas A & M University, University of Arkansas, University of California at Riverside, University of Washington-Seattle and the University College Dublin.


    Graduate Assistantships are available for eligible students which comes with a stipend and qualification as an in-state student for tuition purposes. Applications for a graduate assistantship is available from this link: http://www.astate.edu/college/graduate-school/graduate-assistantship/index.dot