Political Science (M.A.)

M.A. Political Science

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

Program Overview

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.

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.

DegreeHoursThesis OptionMinor Option
Thesis Option
Minor Option
No minor
Thesis Option
Minor Option
No minor

What Our Alumni Say

“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

Program Details

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 (M.A.) 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.

Career Options

Graduates of the 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 seek careers in high school and community college education, journalism, business and nonprofit organizations.

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.

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 individuals.

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

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


Apply Now Already know that Texas State is right for you?

Application Deadlines

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
Fall - Priority
U.S. Citizen
February 1
February 1
Fall - Standard
U.S. Citizen
June 15 (*Flexible)
June 1
U.S. Citizen
October 15 (*Flexible)
October 1
Summer I
U.S. Citizen
April 15 (*Flexible)
March 15
Summer II
U.S. Citizen
June 1 (*Flexible)
No Admission

*This program’s deadline is flexible for those not requiring an F/J visa. A flexible deadline means applications received after the standard 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.

Admission 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.

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

    Review important information about application fees.

    • baccalaureate degree in political science from a regionally accredited university (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, three-year degrees are not considered. Visit our International FAQs for more information.)
    • 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) (Effective Fall 2024: a 3.0 overall GPA or a 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 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.

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

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

  • GRE

    • official GRE scores (general test only) not required unless your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, or you do not have the undergraduate degree, minor, or upper-level course work. Our office will notify you via email should this occur. Conditional admission is not available to applicants who require "F" or "J" visas.

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets 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
    • official Duolingo Scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

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

      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.

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