Our Master of Arts degree in Political Science is designed to prepare students for further academic training as well as careers inpublic administration, law, business, education, community engagement, survey research, and journalism. Some graduates go on to Ph.D. programs, while others pursue careers as lobbyists, congressional staffers, policy analysts, city managers, attorneys, and public program managers.
To prepare for these future careers, our students are trained in research techniques, critical thinking, and analysis through a combination of required coursework and research-related requirements.
Why get your Master’s at Oklahoma State?
- Learn in a supportive environment with small class sizes
- Receive personalized mentoring from seasoned faculty
- Design and conduct your own research project(s) with faculty guidance
- Earn a full tuition waiver, stipend, and health insurance through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship
- Gain teaching experience
- Strengthen your methodological skills
- Obtain financial support to present your research at regional, national, and even international conferences
What are the requirements for an M.A. degree?
The Political Science Master's Degree requires students complete 33 hours of course work. Students have the option of completing a Master's thesis research project or a creative component approved by their graduate committee.
The required courses for all M.A. students are:
- POLS 5013: Quantitative Methods
- POLS 5103: Research Design
- POLS 5203: ProSeminar in International Relations
- POLS 5403: ProSeminar in Comparative Politics
- POLS 5703: ProSeminar in American Politics
Additional course requirements:
For the Thesis Option: Students will enroll in 6 hours of POLS 5000 (Thesis) and complete 12 hours of electives. Two of these classes should be an advanced topics course in Political Science (e.g., POLS 5710, POLS 5210, POLS 5410) or equivalent, with these courses representing two separate subfields in political science (American, Comparative, or International Relations). The remaining 2 electives can be any graduate-level course.
For the Creative Component Option: Students will enroll in 3 hours of POLS 5000 (Thesis) and complete 15 hours of electives. Two of these classes should be an advanced topics course in Political Science (e.g., POLS 5710, POLS 5210, POLS 5410) or equivalent, with these courses representing two separate subfields in political science (American, Comparative, or International Relations). The remaining 3 electives can be any graduate-level course.
For more details about the Political Science M.A. degree requirements, including requirements specific to the Graduate College, consult the Oklahoma State Academic Catalog.
What funding is available?
The size of our program allows us to offer Graduate Assistantships for qualified students, something that most Master’s programs cannot offer. These assistantships provide students with a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a stipend. Students working as Graduate Teaching Assistant are typically responsible for attending lecture, holding office hours, leading discussion sections, and assisting with the administration of the undergraduate course(s) to which they are assigned.
How do I apply?
Students interested in applying should do so online through the Graduate College. You will need to submit scanned copies of the following materials:
- Official undergraduate transcripts
- A 1-2 page personal statement that outlines why you are interested in the program and what you hope to achieve with the help of a Master of Arts degree in political science,
- GRE scores*
- The email addresses of three individuals willing to write you a letter of recommendation, with preference given to faculty who are familiar with your academic work and record.
- International students may need to submit TOEFL scores, and other materials as required by the Oklahoma State Graduate College. This information can be found on the Graduate College website.
We offer an application fee waiver for current and former McNair Scholars.
* The department does not currently have a minimum GRE requirement. Evaluation of GRE scores will be conducted along with the rest of an applications academic record. However, the normal benchmark for an unrestricted (i.e., non-probationary) admission is a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA. This may be tempered by additional considerations, such as performance in political science and other closely related courses, number and scope of undergraduate courses taken, etc.
Applications for the political science MA program will be considered at any time as long as space is available. However, to ensure funding consideration, we encourage applications to be completed by March 1 for fall semester admittance and November 1 for spring semester admittance.
More about our program
Since the graduate program in Political Science was established in 1946, it has awarded MA degrees to hundreds of students from more than a dozen countries.
Master's students may be eligible for department funding in the form of teaching assistantships for our undergraduate American Government class, making our program more affordable and helping our students build fundamental communication skills. These teaching assistantships also allow our graduate students the opportunity to instill a greater sense of citizenship and a more enthusiastic understanding of American political processes in a new generation of students.