Graduate Degrees in Political Science | Poli Sci Master's and PhD's Programs
Political Science Graduate Programs
A master’s in political science could help you prep to shape the future of politics. Interested in pursuing a career in government, policy, or a related field? Consider earning a master’s degree. (Or even a doctoral degree!)
Poli sci is a social science. It’s all about how governments work. That includes how people elect leaders. And how governments create policy that impacts how we live. The field also includes political behavior. You could learn how politicians campaign, win elections, and behave in office.
What is a Masters in Political Science Degree Program?
A Masters in Poli Sci is a graduate degree program that covers how politics work. It covers advanced study and research. You’ll explore how power works:
- Ways governments use power
- Social movements that react to power
- How authority differs around the world
- Political strategies that change history
- And more!
Earning the degree often takes about two years. Some students earn a poli sci Master’s as a stepping stone to more study. Others go on to pursue careers in the field. They could potentially go on to work in government. Or political consulting. And many other areas.
What Type Of Masters in Political Science Graduate Degree is Right For You?
You may be able to choose from two main types of master’s in poli sci program:
- Master of Science (MS) in Poli Sci. This program places a big emphasis on research. You could take courses in research methods. And you could prep for future work in academia. Like earning a doctorate.
- Master of Arts (MA) in Poli Sci. This program may be aimed at future practitioners. That’s not always the case. However, there may be slightly less of a focus on research compared to the MS.
In some cases, schools offer both programs. Both the MS and MA may share a core curriculum. But, they may differ in a few courses. For instance, the MS may have more courses focused on research. Ask your prospective school which type of master’s in poli sci program could fit your goals.
But those aren’t the only options you have. You could study full-time or part-time. Or online! With all these potential options, students of many backgrounds and interests could find the ideal program.
Popular Schools with Graduate Political Science Programs
What Could I Learn in a Poli Sci Degree?
For starters, you could take coursework in history, current events, and political analysis. You’ll cover topics such as how politics work in the United States and around the world. (That’s also known as comparative politics.) And you’ll explore the wide ranging impact of politics. For instance, you could study how foreign policy changes the course of history. Or how public policy can rebuild entire communities.
Beyond exploring political philosophy, you could prepare for a possible new career path. Longing to play an active role in the field? Graduates may go on to pursue roles in the nonprofit sector. Or even the private sector.
Some go on to become political scientists. These pros need to earn at least a master’s degree in poli sci. They research political topics. Why? Because gathering data on political parties, foreign policy, and the like can help scientists make predictions. They forecast trends, election results, and a lot more.
Some other possible career paths to explore may include:
- Political activist
- City planner
- Federal government analyst
- Immigration officer
- Policy analyst
- Urban policy planner
- State legislator
Depending on which role catches your eye, a master’s degree program could help you prep.
Masters in Political Science Potential Coursework & Specializations
Many political science master’s programs offer concentrations. These allow students to pick a focus area. So, you can study a certain area of the field where you hope to make a difference. Like public affairs. Or international politics. Those who hope to influence American politics may want to start there. Those who’ve set their sights elsewhere could explore international politics. Or political theory.
Or look for a program focused on different government branches or activities. Like the military. Or international defense. In these areas of study, programs may be available at the master’s, doctoral or grad certificate levels.
Graduate students may enter their studies with prior knowledge of the field. In that case, earning your grad degree could be a chance to explore poli sci subfields. Like:
- American Government
- Comparative Politics
- International Relations
- International Law
- Public Administration
- And other specialization areas
Finding a Poli Sci Master’s Program
So how can you find programs that may be the perfect fit for for you? Consider these factors:
- Your goals. Do you want to go to law school? Pursue a job with a nonprofit? Knowing what you want your next steps to be is key. After all, earning a master’s takes at least two years. You want to make sure you’re committing to the program that can help you on your career journey.
- Program admission requirements. At the minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. But what else? Some students look for poli sci programs that don’t require GRE scores. Or if your undergrad GPA isn’t as high as you’d like, consider schools that aren’t so strict about this.
- Program culture. Not all schools and poli sci programs have the same vibes. Take the time to explore your prospective department of political science. Do you like the department’s faculty and research? Are there fun ways to get involved? Try to get a feel for how well you might fit in.
- Curriculum. Poli sci is a complex field. It covers everything from political economy to international affairs. Sure, most programs will cover the basics. Like research methods. And political theory. But if you’re hoping to study a certain subject and a program doesn’t offer that, try looking elsewhere. Your graduate studies should be a chance to explore your interests.
- Cost and financial aid. Earning your degree is not just about the price tag. Still, this may be a big consideration.
Job and Salary Growth for Political Scientists
|Annual Mean Wage
|District of Columbia
|Annual Mean Salary
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
DID YOU KNOW? The 61% of Political Scientists work in Federal government, excluding postal service, according to the BLS.
Find Graduate Schools With Political Science Graduate Programs
Are you wondering what types of poli sci graduate programs are out there? Your options include degrees like a Master in Political Science. Or an MS in Applied Political Science. Or a Ph.D. in Politics and Policy.
And we can help simplify your search! Just filter by degree for Masters Programs in Poli Sci. Or else, Political Science Ph.D. Doctorate Graduate Programs. If you’re looking to make a career shift or just starting out, you may want to consider a Graduate Certificate in Poli Sci. Or search online political science graduate degrees.
Your next step is to think about where you’d like to study. You can filter your search by location to find accredited colleges in your area. Or even around the world!
GradSchools.com offers 238 Graduate Schools with Political Science Graduate Degree
Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
Bemidji State University
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Delaware
Lille University of Science and Technology
Arizona State University
James Madison University