Political Science, M.A.


Learn more about the Master of Arts in Political Science.

About the Program

The primary mission of the Political Science Department's graduate program is to prepare students for careers in academia. The department gives equal emphasis to training students for both the research and teaching sides of such a career. Most students in the M.A. program intend to pursue a Ph.D. either at Temple or elsewhere, immediately after graduation or after a few years of employment. Those who wish to pursue a Ph.D. at Temple are strongly encouraged to apply directly to the Ph.D. program at the outset of the admissions process. Some M.A. students use the degree to establish or strengthen credentials in teaching or for private/public sector positions; a few M.A. students want to strengthen their backgrounds for applications to other professional degree programs.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered after 3:00 p.m. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Areas of Specialization: Our particular strengths in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory are reflected in the brief biographical statements of our Graduate Faculty members' research and teaching interests:

  • In American Politics, faculty teach and conduct research on political behavior, political economy, political institutions, public policy, and urban politics.
  • In Comparative Politics, faculty focus on the issues of democratization; public policymaking; the role of the state in the economy; and identity politics in European and post-communist states, Latin America, China, and other developing nations.
  • In International Relations, faculty emphasize the various theoretical approaches to the study of world politics and the testing of such theories in the areas of international security, international political economy, and the study of international organizations.
  • In Political Theory, our strengths cluster around the research areas of late modernity; democratic and normative political theories, especially those pertaining to political questions of social and economic inequality, globalization, identity politics, and social movements; and the relationship between politics and religion.

Job Prospects: Most students in the M.A. program intend to pursue a Ph.D. immediately after graduation or after a few years of employment. Some M.A. students use the degree to establish or strengthen credentials in teaching or for private/public sector positions; a few M.A. students want to strengthen their background for applications to other professional degree programs.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Prior to applying for admission, students sometimes want to take courses as non-degree students. Those who wish to do so must first obtain the approval of the Graduate Chair in the Political Science Department to determine if the individual stands a reasonable chance for admission to the M.A. or Ph.D. program. Then, the prospective student must visit the Office of Continuing Studies with transcripts from all institutions attended, including the one that conferred the undergraduate degree, to be enrolled in the coursework.

Financing Opportunities: M.A. students are not eligible for departmental assistantships.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: December 15

Applications are evaluated as they arrive.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with academic competence.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree is required.

Statement of Goals: Approximately 500 to 1,000 words include your interest in Temple's program, your research goals, your future career goals, and your academic and research achievements.

NOTE: Students who are ultimately interested in earning a doctoral degree in Political Science at Temple University should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Optional. Scores may be submitted if available.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 100
  • IELTS Academic: 7.0
  • PTE Academic: 68

Writing Sample: The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be no more than 25 pages and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual.

Transfer Credit: Graduate coursework in Political Science may be transferred from outside the University, provided that the credits were obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades are "B" or better. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Core Course
POLS 8001Political Statistics I3
Subfield Courses9
Select three from the following:
Government in American Society
Comparative Politics
International Politics
Introduction to Political Theory
Electives 115
Methodology Course
POLS 8002Qualitative Research Methods3
or POLS 8003 Political Statistics II
Total Credit Hours30

Culminating Events:
Seminar Paper:
Students must complete a seminar paper in one of their elective courses. All graduate elective courses give students the option of writing a seminar paper as a central element of the course grading. Students must submit the seminar paper, with the instructors' comments and grades, to the Graduate Chair. The Graduate Chair must certify that these papers meet the seminar paper requirement (i.e., contain original arguments grounded in extensive reference to relevant secondary and/or primary sources). Such certification must be granted before the degree is awarded.


Program Web Address:


Department Information:

Dept. of Political Science

408 Gladfelter Hall

1115 W. Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6089



Submission Address for Application Materials:


Department Contacts:


LaTasha R. Goodman



Graduate Chairperson:

Adam Ziegfeld, Ph.D.




Robin Kolodny, Ph.D.