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Political Science

Professor lecturing

Graduate students find exceptional resources at their fingertips. With a large full-time faculty, students have the opportunity for a close intellectual exchange with professors. Texas State is also a depository for federal and state government documents as well as a member of the Council of Research and Academic Libraries.

The program prepares students for careers in professional political science while providing a traditional liberal arts education.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Cecilia Castillo
Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC), Room 355B

Advisor Support
Dodie Weidner
Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC), Room 355

“The challenge of studying political science at Texas State also is the benefit. You learn not only how to understand political theory and political science, but how to reach within your own knowledge and experiences to develop your own opinion about the world of government.”

— Robert Fyrst, M.A. ’09

Course Work

The program courses are organized into four major fields: American politics, comparative politics, political theory, and international relations. Students choose either the thesis track or the non-thesis track. Both thesis and non-thesis students may take nine hours of their program hours in a related field with the approval of the graduate director.

Students selecting the thesis option must complete a minimum of 33 hours of political science course work, including three required hours, six thesis hours, and a thesis defense.

Non-thesis option students must successfully complete a minimum of 36 hours, including three required hours and a written examination that covers course work in the major field and takes place near the completion of the degree.

Degree Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.A. 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.A. 33 Thesis No minor
Undergraduate Academic Center building

Current master’s students have been successful in pursuing doctoral education, teaching careers or professional careers ranging from federal, state and local government to nonprofit organizations.

Program Mission

As a liberal arts program, the master of arts in political science is dedicated to developing analytical skills and promoting critical thinking. Students are encouraged to reflect not simply on career goals, but also on what type of person they wish to become and on the rights and duties of citizens. The program encourages students to actively employ their analytical skills by engaging in internships with various federal, state, local, or nonprofit community agencies.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

The 16 full-time graduate faculty members provide students with research emphases in politics and literature, humanitarian and refugee policy, African politics, religion and politics, Marxist-Leninist ideology, the American presidency, international political economy, security policy, Texas politics, and constitutional theory among others.  Faculty members’ research has been published in top-tier journals and presses, including Foreign Policy, Critical Review, Cambridge University Press, and Oxford University Press.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Graduates of the master of arts program may choose to continue with doctoral education or law school. Other graduates may choose to advance careers in government at the federal, state, and local levels. Most graduates of the master’s program seek careers in high school and community college education, journalism, business, and nonprofit organizations.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard June 15 June 1
Spring October 15 October 1
Summer I April 15 March 15
Summer II June 1 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee(s)

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree in political science from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work: political science undergraduate minor or at least nine hours of upper-level course work in political science or related field

  If your last-60-hours GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, or you do not have the undergraduate degree, minor, or upper-level course work, official GRE scores (general test only) are required. Read additional information below.

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • official GRE scores (general test only) not required unless the last-60-hours GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, or you do not have the undergraduate degree, minor, or upper-level course work. Read additional information below.

  Review important information about official test scores.


  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose (minimum 500 words)
  • three letters of recommendation
  • writing sample (minimum five pages, double-spaced) from a political science course or social science/humanities course

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  GPA/Background Course Work and GRE Requirement

If your last-60-hours GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, or you do not have the undergraduate degree, minor, or upper-level course work, the official GRE (general test only) with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections will be required in order to be considered for conditional admission.** Our office will notify you via email should this occur.

**Conditional admission is not available to applicants who require "F" or "J" visas.