Best Master’s in Political Science Programs

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.