Best Master’s in Political Science Programs

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Master’s in Political Science

A Master’s in Political Science is an advanced, post-bachelor degree program in which students study in-depth many of the topics central to political science. These programs are offered at numerous universities around the world, where students can learn about the local political history and climate, worldwide current events, and the political issues of particular countries and areas of the world. With an international focus, these programs are ideal for students all around the world.

What is a Master’s in Political Science?

Political science master’s programs are designed to teach students to analyze public policy and political systems, asses and interpret data, and create informed media that targets specific political audiences. This is done through a variety of lectures, seminars and workshops in which students learn from experienced faculty, distinguished guest lecturers and those who work directly in the field.

Depending on the university that students choose to attend, they may be asked to engage in coursework in the following topics:

  • Public policy
  • Research and analysis
  • Governmental institutions
  • Contemporary political thought
  • Political parties, lobbying and interest groups
  • Law and ethics
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Campaign management

While some courses are required for graduation, many may be offered as electives. Potential electives could include courses with topics in gender politics, European studies, urban politics, human rights and race and ethnic politics. The number of core classes and electives for each degree is dependent upon their university.

In some cases, universities may allow students to pursue a concentration in their coursework. By focusing their classes on specific topics, students can gain expertise in areas such as public policy, politics, leadership, international relations or political theory. Internships and a thesis are common requirements for many degree programs, although non-thesis options are also available. Some programs may also offer a joint JD/MA program in which students earn both a Master’s in Political Science while getting a Juris Doctor degree.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Political Science?

With a Master’s in Political Science, students receive many advantages over their peers. While pursuing this degree, students continue to develop their writing, analytical, critical thinking and research skills. These are skills that can translate well into practically any discipline, which means greater opportunities for employment. The advantage remains in the field of political science. Graduates can earn greater salaries, be more competitive in the workplace and gain entry into higher education programs, such as a PhD.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Political Science?

With a Master’s in Political Science, graduates can enter many exciting and rewarding career paths in government, business and teaching. Potential careers may include:

  • Campaign operative
  • Congressional staffer
  • Foreign service officer
  • Lobbyist
  • Policy analyst
  • Political scientist
  • Corporate advisor
  • City planner

Many political science graduates aspire to become congressional staffers. Although these positions are among some of the most competitive in government, they require a great deal of dedication. These workers are responsible for supporting the member of congress that they represent. This could involve responding to correspondence from constituents, researching current issues, answering phone calls and advising their member of congress about votes, legislation before the congress and other important matters.

University of Birmingham

Birmingham, United Kingdom

  • 69SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,833Average Tuition
  • 70%Acceptance Rate

The University of Birmingham is located in the heart of England with campuses in the Edgbaston and Selly Oak areas of the city of Birmingham. Birmingham University offers over 350 different courses in its undergraduate program; 400 postgraduate taught courses; 140 research courses and 450 PhD opportunities....

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin 2, Ireland

  • 113SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 14,946Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is located in Dublin, Ireland. Situated in the multicultural European Capital, TCD offers undergraduate courses in a wide range of disciplines that come under the faculties of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences. ...

Queen's University Belfast

Belfast, United Kingdom

  • 164SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,130Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Queen's University Belfast (Queen's) is a public institution located along the University Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Queen's offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its three academic faculties namely: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering and Physical Sciences; and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences....

The University of Utah

Salt Lake City, United States

  • 169SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 21,296Average Tuition
  • 81.7%Acceptance Rate

University of Utah (the U) is a research-focused university located in Utah, United States, with it’s Asia campus located in South Korea. The U offers a wide range of master’s degree programs across nearly a 100 academic departments. These departments include Architecture, Biochemistry, Computing, Environmental Engineering, and Philosophy....

University of Illinois - Chicago

Chicago, United States

  • 170SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 42,430Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States and has 15 academic schools through which it offers interesting master’s degree programs in a wide range of subject areas....

Illinois State University

Normal, United States

  • 192SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 33,465Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

Illinois State University is the first publicly-funded higher education institution in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. It offers undergraduate majors and graduate degree programs in a wide variety of concentrations including applied science and technology, arts and sciences, business, education, fine arts, and nursing. Illinois State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission....

Northeastern University

Boston, United States

  • 195SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 62,800Average Tuition
  • 32%Acceptance Rate

Northeastern University located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers 150 undergraduate majors of study and 125 graduate areas of study through its nine colleges and schools of Arts, Media & Design; Business, Computer & Information Science; Engineering; Health Sciences; Law; Professional Studies; Science; and Social Sciences & Humanities; as well as select advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto....

University College Dublin

Dublin 4, Ireland

  • 219SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,409Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University College Dublin, established in 1854, is a reputed, research-intensive University located in Dublin, Ireland. The University offers a number of master's degree programs in the disciplines of Accounting, Biotechnology, Architecture, Creative Writing and Linguistics....

Goldsmiths, University of London

London, United Kingdom

  • 239SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,417Average Tuition
  • 9.3%Acceptance Rate

Goldsmiths, University of London (Goldsmiths) is a public university located in New Cross, South East London, UK. Goldsmiths offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its academic faculties including: Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE); Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance; Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (MCCS); Institute of Management Studies (IMS); and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS)....

Washington State University

Pullman, United States

  • 242SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,000Average Tuition
  • 72%Acceptance Rate

Washington State University (WSU) is a public research institution with its main campus in Pullman, Washington, USA. WSU is comprised of several other campuses in the country and offers a wide variety of master's degree programs. ...