35 Best Master Degrees in Political Science 2020 

As a sect of social science which analyzes political behavior, institutions, and dynamics, the field of political science is an ever-changing and dynamic field of study. There are a specific set of skills such as analysis, communication, and interpretation that most programs strive to improve upon. Individuals who pursue a master's degree in political science have a wide variety of career options open to them. For instance, not only can one become a political scientist who works for the government, but one can also work as public relations specialists, marketing research analysts, consultants, survey researchers, teachers, and lawyers. Most programs offer courses that deal with content issues in subfields like American Politics or Comparative Politics, as well as methodology courses which give students great skills in research and analysis. 

Most political scientists work for the government, and jobs in the field are expected to grow slowly over the next six years. And with more and more individuals pursuing master's degrees in the field, competition for positions in the field can be intense. However, since the degree offers skills that can be used in other areas, graduates may want to consider a different potential career path. For instance, market research analyst positions are expected to grow by 23%, which is much faster than the national average of other occupations. Public relations specialist positions are expected to grow by 9%, which also exceeds the average for other occupations, which is around 8%. If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in political science, then check out our list of the 35 Best Master's Degrees in Political Science for 2020! 

Methodology

Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the [title of article], from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees: 

– 25% Student Satisfaction 

– 30% Earning Potential 

– 15% Retention Data 

– 20% Affordability 

– 10% Acceptance Rates

For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.

#35 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 61.1

A major urban public institution of higher learning, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest university in the Chicago area. The Political Science Department offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The degree requires 34 credits and students must pass all classes with a B grade or higher. Students take core classes, electives, and a seminar on one of five major emphases. 

Classes in the program include Theories of Democracy and Representation, Public Opinion and Political Communication, as well as Policy Formation, Implementation and Evaluation. Students can also enroll in four different interdisciplinary concentrations including Gender and Women's Studies, Violence Studies, as well as Latin American and Latino Studies. Admission to the program requires GRE scores, an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. 

Net Price: $13,764 in-state; $26,980 out-of-state

 

#34 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 61.5

A large public research institution, the University of Florida is located in Gainesville, FL. The Department of Political Science at UF offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The DPS also offers several certificate programs some of which can be pursued concurrently with the MAPS courses, including ones in Public Affairs and Political Campaigning. UF also offers a joint MA and Juris Doctor option as well. 

The degree consists of 36 credits and offers options for a thesis and for an internship. The program is exceptionally flexible allowing students to take the majority of their classes as electives, with only two required classes. The two required courses are Conduct of Inquiry and Political Data Analysis. Students are required to maintain a 3.25 GPA throughout the duration of the program to graduate. All classes in the degree must be passed with a B- or higher. 

Net Price: $6,381 in-state; $28,659 out-of-state

 

#33 UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

MASTER OF ARTS AND MASTER OF SCIENCE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 61.6

Located in Salt Lake City, UT, the University of Utah is the flagship institution of the state's university system. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts and a Master of Science in Political Science which features five areas in which students can concentrate, including International Relations, Public Administration, and Comparative Politics, among others. 

Classes in the program include Comparative Public Policy, North-South Economic Relations, and Contemporary Political Thought. The program requires a thesis and students must have a 3.0 GPA to graduate from the program. Graduate students will be especially interested in the Maxwell Lectures in Political Theory which are offered annually and provide a rich venue for discussion and learning, further adding to the value of the degree. 

Net Price: $9,222 in-state; $29,215 out-of-state

 

#32 UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE 

Website

Score: 63.3

A land-grant institution, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a large research institution. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political science. Students can choose to specialize in five distinct areas including Water Resources Planning and Management, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and Ethnic Studies. 

The degree consists of 36 credits and individuals can choose to fill out those credits with coursework plus a thesis or a minor area of emphasis. All students must complete a written or oral comprehensive exam as well. Classes in the program include Scope and Methods of Political Science, Congress and Public Policy, and Political Communication. 

Net Price: $9,242 in-state; $25,038 out-of-state

 

#31 UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE 

Website

Score: 63.9

Located in Columbia, MO, the University of Missouri was the first public institution of higher learning founded west of the Mississippi River. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The degree consists of 30 credits and features four areas of concentration including American Politics, International Relations, as well as Public Policy and Administration. 

All students must produce a written project, whether a paper or thesis, and must pass a comprehensive oral exam. Courses in the program include the Evolution of American State Legislatures, 1619 to the Present; Constitutional Law: Institutions and Powers; and Racial and Ethnic Politics. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA for entrance to the program as well as GRE scores, among other items. 

Net Price: $9,972 in-state; $27,042 out-of-state

 

#30 UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 64

The University of Oklahoma is a large public research institution located in Norman, OK. Interested individuals can procure a Master of Arts in Political Science through the Department of Political Science. The program is designed for individuals interested in pursuing doctoral study, secondary school teachers in the field, or others interested in the topic. 

The program offers six fields of study including American Government & Politics, Public Administration, and International Relations, among others. Students take three required courses amongst electives and courses in their area of emphasis. Students are also required to take a comprehensive exam or opt to pursue a thesis. Regular admission requires at least 24 credits of undergraduate work in political science. Provision admission is possible, though it requires additional coursework in the field. 

Net Price: $11,538 in-state; $26,919 out-of-state

 

#29 TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 64.8

Temple University is a large state-related research institution located in Philadelphia, PA. TU offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The degree is primarily designed for students who are interested in pursuing an academic career. Students can pursue the degree on a part-time or full-time basis but must complete the program within three years.

The program features four areas of specialization including Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Classes in the program include Government in American Society, Civil Rights and Liberties, and Business Politics and Power. TU provides a number of possibilities for students including the Featherman Lecture Series which brings major speakers and thinkers to campus to discuss current issues in the field. 

Net Price: $16,970 in-state; $29,066 out-of-state

 

#28 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 64.9

A member of the state's university system, the University of Texas at Dallas is a large research institution of higher learning. The School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences offer a Master of Arts in Political Science. The degree consists of 30 credits and features two concentrations including Legislative Studies or Law and Courts. 

Classes in the degree include Political and Civil Organizations, Executives, Legislatures and Public Policy, as well as U.S. and International Asylum and Refugee Law. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA as well as GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a one-page essay that describes the applicant's objectives and background. 

Net Price: $13,034 in-state; $36,876 out-of-state

 

#27 UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 65

The main campus of the University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, KS, where over 25,000 students are annually enrolled. UK offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The degree requires ten courses, or eight courses and a thesis with research. The program offers a great mix of teaching alongside rigorous research so that students are grounded in political theory and prepared either for academic or other career options. 

Courses are offered in a variety of subfields including Comparative Politics, American Politics, International Relations, Public Policy, and Political Theory. The Political Science Department also facilitates a number of working groups in which students can participate including, the Working Group on Attributions and Politics, and the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative. 

Net Price: $11,148 in-state; $27,358 out-of-state

 

#26 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS

MASTER OF ARTS AND MASTER OF SCIENCE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 65.3

Located in Denton, TX, the University of North Texas is a public research institution with an annual enrollment of over 38,000 students. UNT offers a Master of Arts and Master of Science in Political Science. The program is designed to prepare students for both public sector work as well as academic careers. The degree consists of 30 credits with either the comprehensive oral defense of a thesis or a written Field Exam. 

Faculty specialize in areas like judicial politics, political parties, and electoral politics. UNT is also the editorial home of the American Political Science Review and houses the Castleberry Peace Institute. The admissions department requires GRE scores, an academic writing sample, a statement of purpose, as well as three letters of recommendation and transcripts from their undergraduate degree. 

Net Price: $10,852 in-state; $20,812 out-of-state

 

#25 GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 65.6

Fairfax, VA is the home of George Mason University, a large public research institution. The Schar School of Policy and Government offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The program aims to train individuals for both academic and public or private sector work. The degree requirements for the program include 36 credits and there are four areas of specialization as well as a thesis option. 

Classes in the program include Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons Policy and Security, Strategic Responses to Terrorism: Coordinated Decision Making, and Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations. The political science and policy programs offered at GMU are extensive, allowing students to consider dual degrees or even certificate programs alongside the MAPS. Certificate programs include Terrorism and Homeland Security and Public Management among others. 

Net Price: $12,462 in-state; $35,922 out-of-state

 

#24 UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 67.1

Located in western New York, the University of Buffalo is a large public research institution. The Political Science Department offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. Students can either take nine courses and write a research project paper or take eight courses and write a thesis to complete the degree. Courses are divided into four core classes, with the rest functioning as electives. 

Classes in the program include Psychological Theories of Politics, Voting and Public Opinion, as well as Morality and International Politics. Admissions requirements include a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, as well as GRE scores and letters of recommendation. The program can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis but must be completed within four years. 

Net Price: $10,099 in-state; $27,769 out-of-state

 

#23 SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 68.3

A private research university located in Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University was originally founded by the Methodist Church. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The program has the dual purpose of preparing students who want to pursue doctoral work or others who are interested in working in the public or private sector. 

Faculty specialize in a variety of areas including Public Administration & Policy, Security Studies, along with Law & Courts. Students can also pursue certificates in a variety of areas, including Civil Society Organizations, Conflict Resolution, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Graduate students are also invited to participate in the Political Science Research Workshop where they can present their work and research to other students and faculty. 

Net Price: $51,853

 

#22 BOSTON UNIVERSITY 

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 68.9

Boston University is a large private research institution of higher learning. BU offers a Master of Arts in Political Science as part of the doctoral program. It is not a stand-alone degree, and can only be pursued by students who have been accepted into the doctoral program. The degree requires 32 credits and successful completion of departmental Qualifying Exams. 

Courses in the program include Approaches to the Study of International Relations, Approaches to the Study of Political Theory, and Techniques in Political Analysis: Maximum Likelihood Estimation. The Department of Political Science which houses the degree is large with 38 faculty. The department offers several areas of expertise for students to choose from, including American and Comparative Politics, and International Relations, among others. 

Net Price: $53,948

 

#21 UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 69.4

The University of Houston is the largest university in the city of Houston, and the third-largest in the state with over 42,000 students. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science which consists of ten courses and a thesis, or 11 courses and a bibliographical essay. There are four concentrations to choose from including options such as Political Analysis, Comparative Politics, and American Politics.

Classes in the program include a Seminar in Comparative Political Parties, Seminar in Health Care Policy, and Seminar in Democratic Thought, among many others. The DPS holds a Graduate School Workshop where students and faculty can share and interact with one another's research, as well as the Tocqueville Forum on American Ideas and Institutions which brings nationally recognized speakers to campus to discuss current events and issues.

Net Price: $8,913 in-state; $21,273 out-of-state

 

#20 GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 70.7

Located in Washington, DC, the heart of American political life, George Washington University is a large private research university. The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. Because of the location of the program, students will not only benefit from learning from leading voices in the academy but also current and former government officials with extensive experience and training. 

The program consists of 33 credits and students must pass a comprehensive exam in one of three subfields: American Politics, World Politics, or Law and Politics. There are several different centers for research which have been established at GWU which graduate students can either participate in or will benefit from including the Center for International Science and Technology Policy, the Institute for Global and International Studies, and the George Washington Institute of Public Policy. 

Net Price: $55,230

 

#19 PURDUE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 70.8

Founded in West Lafayette, IN by businessman John Purdue, Purdue University is a large public research institution of higher learning. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The degree is primarily designed to function as the first step towards a doctoral degree and a likely academic career. Upon completion of the degree, students must complete qualifying exams in two areas of specialization. 

Areas of Concentration include International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Public Policy, among others. Classes in the program include International Relations and Theories of War, Political Parties & Representation, and Public Policy. PU reviews applications on a holistic basis, so there are no set minimums for GPA or GRE for admission, however, applicants have had on average a 3.0 GPA for their undergraduate degree. 

Net Price: $9,992 in-state; $28,794 out-of-state

 

#18 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 71

It would be hard to think of a better place to study political science than in the nation's capital, which is where American University is located. AU offers a Master of Arts in Political Science and stresses its location in Washington, DC as a major component of the program. The School of Public Affairs which houses the program draws in scholars and practitioners from around the world and locally to teach in the program. 

The degree features core courses as well as courses in three different concentrations which students can choose between. The degree consists of 33 credits and classes in the program include the Presidency and the Executive Branch, Democratization: Past, Present, Future, and Social and Political Movements, Ethnicity and Nationalism, among many others. 

Net Price: $48,459 

 

#17 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 71.7

Northeastern University, which is located in Boston, MA, is classified as an R1 university because of its high level of research output. The Department of Political Science at NU offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The program serves the dual purpose of preparing individuals for work in the public or private sector, or for moving into a doctoral program. 

The program at NU features five distinct concentrations including European Studies, Middle East Studies, and Security Studies. Students can pursue internships, directed study options, experiential learning, or conduct original research and write a thesis. Admission requires transcripts, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and a current resume. Though GRE scores are not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit them. 

Net Price: $51,522

 

#16 RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 71.9

With multiple campuses across the state, Rutgers University functions as the primary public institution of higher learning in New Jersey. The Department of Political Science at the Newark, NJ campus offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The degree requires 30 credits and students are required to choose between two specializations: the American Political System or International Relations. 

Students must either complete a thesis or complete a comprehensive examination for their final capstone experience. The admissions department requires GRE scores as well as transcripts, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. In conjunction with the School of Law at RU, the program also offers a dual degree MAPS and Juris Doctor for interested individuals. 

Net Price: $14,974 in-state; $31,282 out-of-state

 

#15 BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 72.4

With its main campus in Vestal, NY, Binghamton University is a public research institution that is part of the State University System of New York. The Political Science Department offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The program at BU is small which means more individualized attention and unique opportunities in regard to mentoring and research. 

The PSD regularly hosts workshops and other activities where students and faculty are offered the opportunity to present their original research to one another. BU also features a Political Science Graduate Student Organization where students can get to know one another as well as other faculty. Admission requires GRE scores, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement outlining the applicant's educational goals. 

Net Price: $9,808 in-state; $26,648 out-of-state

 

#14 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 72.5

One of the oldest public institutions of higher education in the country, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a mid-sized research university. UNC offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The aim of the program is to prepare individuals as professional political scientists. The program is rigorous and requires a thesis as well as an oral examination in a field of their choice. 

Students must choose a major and minor field of emphasis and the program offers six different options to choose from. Classes include Race, Immigration, and Urban Politics; Civil Liberties under the Constitution; and Mass Media and American Politics, among others. Students can also take advantage of the Institute of Latin American Studies by earning a graduate certificate in the field through interdisciplinary courses offered by UNC and Duke University.

Net Price: $8,987 in-state; $35,170 out-of-state

 

#13 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 72.6

A large metropolitan research university, Arizona State University is located on several campuses spread across greater Phoenix, AZ. The School of Politics and Global Studies offers a Master of Arts in Political Science which emphasizes mentorship as a key component of the program. The degree is comprised of ten courses and either a portfolio or a thesis. 

Students take core courses and courses in a chosen field of emphasis. Emphases in the program include American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations. The admissions department requires GRE scores, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation, as well as a writing sample, personal statement, and demonstration of prior coursework in political science. 

Net Price: $10,822 in-state; $28,336 out-of-state

 

#12 UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Website

Score: 73.2

With its main campus located in Athens, GA, the University of Georgia is a large public research institution of higher learning. The Department of Political Science and the Department of International Affairs offers a Master of Arts in Political Science & International Affairs. The degree does not require an area of specialization, though students can still opt to concentrate in one of four specialized areas. 

Students can opt to pursue a thesis, though it is not required. Faculty in the program has been nationally recognized for their research output and there are 40 tenure-track faculty involved in the program providing a variety of course options as well as mentoring. The program offers start dates in both the fall and the spring. Applicants should submit transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. 

Net Price: $11,830 in-state; $30,404 out-of-state

 

#11 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 74.1

The University of California, Riverside is part of the state's university system and is a mid-sized research university. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The program stresses teaching students how to conduct original research in the field so that they can function as contributors to the wider discussion as opposed to being mere consumers of information. 

The program offers a thesis option, though most students follow the comprehensive exam route. There are five potential areas of emphasis for students to choose between including Mass Political Behavior, International Relations, and Political Theory. Classes include Environmental Political Thought, Non-Western Political Thought, and Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity. Applicants must submit GRE scores, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. 

Net Price: $13,827 in-state; $42,819 out-of-state

 

#10 UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 76.6

The oldest institution of higher learning in the state, the University of Iowa is located in Iowa City. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. Typically the degree is offered as a component of the doctoral program. The degree consists of 30 credits and there is no thesis required, though there is an oral examination that is required at the end of the program. 

Classes in the program include Democratization and Authoritarianism, Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior, along with the Theories of International Political Economy. Applicants must submit transcripts and should hold at least a 3.0 GPA. GRE scores are also required. The DP offers a variety of scholarships for graduate students, including the Lawrence Fairall Scholarship and the Helen Fairall Scholarship. 

Net Price: $9,267 in-state; $31,233 out-of-state

 

#9 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 77.4

Located in Cambridge overlooking the Charles River across from Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research institution. MIT offers a Master of Science in Political Science. The MSPS is designed primarily for those who intend to pursue a career in the private or public sector. The program offers six different areas of specialization including Comparative Politics, Security Studies, and Political Economy. 

The program typically takes three semesters to complete. Classes in the program in Varieties of Capitalism and Social Inequality, Political Economy of Institutions and Development, and Simulating Global Dynamics and War. Students are required to complete a thesis and must maintain a 3.5 GPA to graduate. The admissions department require transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. 

Net Price: $51,832

 

#8 BOSTON COLLEGE

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 78.1

A private Jesuit research institution of higher learning, Boston College is located in the Chestnut Hill, MA, in the greater Boston area. BC offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The program consists of 30 credits and takes two years to complete. Students are also required to take a comprehensive exam and can opt for a thesis, though it is not required. 

Faculty in the program specialize in four different areas and offer courses in those subfields. The subfields include Political Philosophy, American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Politics. Admissions require transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a statement of purpose. 

Net Price: $55,464

 

#7 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 78.7

A large public research institution of higher learning, Michigan State University is located in East Lansing, MI. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the doctoral program and is not typically a stand-alone degree. The degree consists of 30 credits and does not require a thesis, though students are required to submit two substantial research papers completed during their studies. 

Classes include Quantitative Techniques in Public Policy and Political Science, International Development: Theory and Practice, and Proseminar on Political Institutions and Public Choice. Admission requires transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, and a personal statement. The DPS offers numerous opportunities through research initiatives for students to participate in numerous areas like environmental science and public policy and global urban studies. 

Net Price: $14,460 in-state; $39,766 out-of-state

 

#6 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 78.9

The largest university in the state, the main campus of Texas A&M University is located in College Station, TX. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The degree can be completed with a thesis or without. The thesis track requires ten courses, while the non-thesis option requires 12 courses. Regardless of which track they pursue, all students must complete a final examination. 

Classes in the program include Theory and Method in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Behavior, and Public Administration and Public Policy. Admission requires GRE scores, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample. The DPS strongly encourages students to pursue original research and offer their findings at local and national conferences.

Net Price: $11,870 in-state; $37,495 out-of-state

 

#5 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 83.4

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is listed as an R1 institution because of its research output. UI offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The degree is comprised of 32 credits and students can pursue either a thesis or a non-thesis option. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate from the program. 

Classes in the program include Collective Action & Interest Groups, Foundations of Organizational Behavior, and Philosophical Bases of Political Inquiry. UI offers a variety of opportunities for professional development, including supporting research and allowing students to take courses at other institutions in the Consortium for Institutional Cooperation. Students interested in teaching can also pursue a Graduate Teacher Certificate, which is a very unique credential in the field. 

Net Price: $15,094 in-state; $31,664 out-of-state

 

#4 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 84

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public research institution that was founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The program is not a stand-alone degree and is only open to individuals who are applying for the Ph.D. program in Political Science. 

The program includes five subfields and in addition to the internationally recognized faculty in the DPS, faculty from the Law School and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies also teach in the program. Classes in the program include Campaign Finance, American National Security: Policy and Process, and Interest Group Politics, among many others. Admission requires GRE scores, as well as transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. 

Net Price: $10,555 in-state; $36,805 out-of-state

 

#3 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 87.5

Located in upper Manhattan, Columbia University is a large private research institution of higher learning. The Department of Political Science offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree. The program is designed to prepare individuals for a variety of career pathways in the public or private sector, as well as academics. The degree program offers five different subfields for concentration including International Relations, Political Methodology, and Political Theory. 

Classes in the program include Global Energy and Climate Change: Security and Geopolitics, Strategic Intelligence and Political Decision Making, and the American Presidency. Students and faculty participate in seminars and workshops sponsored by the DPS and other research centers at CU where they discuss current issues and share their ongoing research. Admission requires transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and a current resume. 

Net Price: $59,430

 

#2 DUKE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 93.5

A leading private research university located in Durham, NC, Duke University was founded in the 19th century. The Department of Political Science at DU offers a Master of Arts in Political Science. Students in the program work alongside doctoral students in one of the most highly respected programs in the country. The degree is comprised of 30 credits and students can opt to pursue a thesis. 

Students must take at least three classes in one of six subfields, and an additional two in a second field. Subfields include Security, Peace & Conflict, Normative Political Theory & Philosophy, and Political Behavior & Identities. DU also offers joint MAPS and Juris Doctor programs for interested individuals. The program is highly competitive, and applicants must submit a writing sample, transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. 

Net Price: $55,695

 

#1 STANFORD UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Website

Score: 100

Located in Stanford, CA, Stanford University is a world-renowned private research institution of higher learning. The Political Science Department offers a Master of Arts in Political Science to current doctoral or professional school programs. It is not a stand-alone degree. SU operates on a quarter system and the degree consists of 45 credits. Students must maintain at least a 2.7 GPA to graduate from the program. 

The program offers five different subfields, including Political Methodology, Political Theory, and Comparative Politics. Courses in the program include the Politics of the Administrative State, the Psychology of Communication about Politics in America, and Law and the New Political Economy. Applications must be made to the Ph.D. program which requires three letters of recommendation, a current resume, a writing sample, transcripts, and GRE scores. 

Net Price: $51,354