Program Description

The Master of Arts in Political Science program is designed to prepare students for careers in federal, state, and local government, the foreign service, teaching at the community college or high school level, and careers in the private sector.

Research Opportunities and Assistantships

The department offers a number of graduate assistantships, awarded through a competitive application process open to all graduate students. Students will have the opportunity to work with PSC faculty to produce scholarship suitable for publication and presentation at professional conferences.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the political science program requires:

  • an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8;
  • a minimum of 18 undergraduate hours in the social sciences, of which at least six hours are in political science;
  • an essay (two or three pages, double-spaced) including a discussion of the applicant's professional and/or educational goals and how completion of the program will facilitate his or her achievement of those goals. This essay replaces the written statement requested as part of the application to the College of Grad Studies;
  • two letters of recommendation from college faculty or other professionals who are familiar with the applicant's abilities and can attest to the applicant's potential to succeed in the program; and
  • evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate statistics or social science research methods course.

If the applicant is an international student for whom English is not the first language, a score of 213 on the computer-based (or 550 on the written-based) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

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Accelerated MA in Political Science

​The Accelerated Master's Degree Progr​a​m allows highly motivated CMU undergraduate students to advance their academic careers by taking graduate course work toward the traditional Master of Arts degree simultaneously with undergraduate course work. By taking up to 12 credit hours of political science graduate course work (500 and 600 level courses) during their senior year, a student need only complete sufficient additional course work to meet the requirements for the MA degree.

Click here for more information, including eligibility standards and admission requirements.

Apply online at and complete the supplemental Accelerated Master's Degree Program Application.

Graduation Requirements

Students have the opportunity to write a thesis, an independent research project completed under the supervision of a faculty member.  They may also choose to do additional coursework and revise papers completed for two of their courses.  In either case, the student also presents their work to a panel of faculty and completes an oral defense in addition to their written work.

For More Information

Dr. Edward Clayton

For more information about the MA in Political Science program, please visit the website.