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Masters Program

Master Student Studying

Master of Arts in Political Science - for external applicants

The Political Science department does not offer a terminal MA degree for external applicants. Only students currently enrolled in a Stanford Ph.D. or professional school program may apply for an MA.  External applicants interested in a Master's degree are encouraged to look into the International Policy Studies Program.

Master of Arts in Political Science: for current Stanford University doctoral or professional school students

An M.A. degree may only be pursued in combination with a doctoral degree from another department within Stanford University or with an advanced degree from one of the University's professional schools. Students interested in pursuing the M.A. should discuss the application requirements with the graduate administrator in Political Science, Jennifer Radley.

Students from within the department and from other degree programs who have applied to the M.A. program may confer the M.A. degree in Political Science when they have met the following requirements:

  1. Completion of at least three quarters of residency as a graduate student with 45 units of credit of which at least 25 units must be taken in Political Science graduate seminars of 300 level and above. Not more than 25 units of the 45-unit requirement may be taken in a single field.
  2. At least two graduate seminars (10 units) in each of two fields and at least one graduate seminar (5 units) in a third field.
  3. The remaining 20 units must come from courses numbered above 100. Of those 20 units, not more than 10 units of work from related departments may be accepted in lieu of a portion of the work in Political Science. Not more than 10 units may be taken as directed reading.
  4. A grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 (B-) or better must be attained for directed readings and all course work. No thesis is required.

The department does not offer a coterminal bachelor's and master's degree.

The Political Science fields that students may choose from are: International Relations, Comparative Politics, American Politics, Political Theory and Political Methodology.

Political Science doctoral candidates may pursue master's degrees from other departments. Recent examples include but are not restricted to master's degrees in Statistics and Economics. Students interested in this option should consult the relevant sections of this Bulletin for both University and department requirements for master's degrees.