Political Science, MA

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Learn from political power players near the nation’s capital

Deepen your understanding of political processes and gain research-focused expertise in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations with a degree in political science.

As a student in the Master of Political Science program at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, you will learn from country’s leading political commentators, as well as practitioners with experience at the highest levels of the federal government.

Schar School faculty publish in top-ranked mediums and the media often seek them out for their analysis on national and international affairs. They will help you deepen your understanding of political processes at all levels of government, improve your research skills, and provide you with a foundation in international relations, comparative politics, or American politics.

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Upcoming Events for Prospective Political Science Students

After registering for each of these events, you will receive an email with a zoom link 24 hours in advance of the session.

Application Drop-In Hours:

"Drop-In" during our virtual application drop-in hours to ask the admissions team any questions you may have about your master’s application. 

   Friday, December 9 at 12 to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual).  Register.

   Friday, December 16 at 12 to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual). Register

MA in Political Science Lunch and Learn Event:

Join us virtually on your lunch break to hear more about the master's of political science program, including the application process, student experience and graduate outcomes.

   Monday, December 5 at 12 to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual)Register.

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Political science graduate Ali Nayyef

"I can apply the lessons I have learned at war and as a refugee, along with my passion for studying international relations, to address many of the security challenges the United States and the world continue to face."

Ali Nayyef
Master of Political Science

Optional Concentrations

  • International Security
  • American Government and Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations

A Degree That Works With Your Schedule

You can earn this degree part-time or full-time. Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working students. This degree is not available online.

Application Requirements in Brief

  • 750-1,000 word written goal statement
  • Current resume
  • Unofficial transcripts 
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Graduate application and fee
  • No GRE required

Program Deadlines

  • Priority Application Deadline for Spring: November 1
  • Final Application Deadline for Spring: December 1
  • Priority Application Deadline for Fall: February 1
  • Final Application Deadline for Fall: May 1

Where Our Recent Graduates Work

Pie Chart: Federal government 29%, Local government 14%, Multilateral/International 7%, NGO/Nonprofit 14%, Private Sector (consulting) 7%, Private Sector (general) 29%


Top Employers of Recent Graduates

  • BAE Systems
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Chemonics International
  • City of Fairfax
  • D3 Systems
  • Decisive Analytics Corporation
  • Federal Election Commission
  • IBM
  • NATO
  • PFLAG National
  • U.S. Army Special Operations
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S Naval Research Laboratory
MA Political Science graduate Melissa Howard

"[The program] is a great way to learn the skills necessary in political science, whether it's qualitative skills, quantitative skills, conducting research, [or] being able to read the literature in a new way and piece together new information."

Melissa Howard
Master of Political Science '16

The Master of Arts in Political Science program requires 12 courses (36 total credits), including seven core courses:

  • American Government and Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • The Scientific Method & Research Design
  • Introductory Data Analysis for Policy and Government
  • Political Science Research Project

Practitioner Faculty

With George Mason University's prime location in the Washington, D.C. area, Schar School students gain access to leading scholars and practitioners who bring real-world experience to the classroom, providing you with the mentorship and skillsets needed to advance in your career.

The Schar School has 80+ faculty members, as well as hundreds of adjunct faculty, allowing students to gain access to a variety of perspectives and subjects through elective courses. Notable faculty members include program director Jeremy Mayer, Dean Mark J. Rozell, Mariely Lopez-Santana, Jennifer Victor, Mark Katz, Trevor Thrall, Toni-Michelle Travis, Peter Mandaville, Robert Deitz, Michael Hayden, and more. Browse the full list of Schar School political science faculty members.

Political Science Director Jeremy Mayer

Associate Professor Jeremy Mayer
Program Director