Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

MA in Political Science

The MA degree provides students with a general, political science graduate education that trains students in methodological techniques and research design, and provides training in at least three fields of political science. 

Degree Outcomes and Professional Success 

The MA in Political Science offers students:

  • An overview of the theories and scholarly literature devoted to four major subfields within the discipline of Political Science:
    • American Politics (study of U.S. institutions and political processes).
    • Comparative Politics (study of political regimes, including the state, development and modernization, political, economic, and social movements).
    • International Relations (study of global processes throughout the international system).
    • Political Theory (study of political philosophy ranging from Ancient to Modern and Contemporary political thought).
  • Extensive methods training, including research design and statistical analysis, that will enable the successful candidate to effectively design and conduct research.
  • Enhanced ability to express their thoughts in writing (all Political Science graduate classes include a significant writing component).
  • Preparation for purposeful careers in politics, government, international affairs, law, the non-profit world, journalism, business, education, social services, and other professions, as well as for further graduate (PhD) study at professional schools and institutions of higher learning, both in the U.S. and abroad.

We also encourage our MA students to take advantage of additional learning opportunities through numerous Political Science-sponsored programs:

  • Advanced methodological training
  • Advanced language training/proficiency in a language other than English
  • Advanced research skills
  • International, cross-cultural experience
  • Professional development and experience
  • Networking opportunities

Degree Requirements 

To graduate with an MA in Political Science students must complete 30 hours of course work (10 courses).  Students are required to take 3 methods courses (PLSC 401, 475, and 476) and a combination of courses in the subfields of American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Students may complete an internship, write an MA thesis, or take comprehensive exams to graduate.

  1. Thirty semester hours of course work (10 courses). With the approval of the Graduate Program Director, up to six hours of graduate work (2 courses) may be in related disciplines.
  2. Required Coursework: 
    • PLSC 401: Research Design
    • PLSC 475: Political Analysis I (taken in the first semester)
    • PLSC 476: Political Analysis II (taken in the second semester)
    • Any seven elective courses, chosen from at least two subfields (International Relations, Comparative Politics, American Politics, or Political Theory).
  3. Internship, Thesis, or Comprehensive Exams


Acceptance is based on a consideration of the following:

  • Online application (free)
  • Undergraduate academic record (applicant must provide all college transcripts)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose, not to exceed two double-spaced pages, describing academic interests and professional goals

Students will be accepted in both the fall and spring semesters. Acceptance will be on a rolling basis, with the following application deadlines:

  • October 1, to matriculate in spring semester
  • February 15, to matriculate in fall semester and be considered for assistantships
  • June 1, to matriculate in fall semester without an assistantship

Program Length & Time Limit 

Students typically complete the program in 1.5 to 2 years. Graduate School policy requires MA students to complete the program within five years.

For further information, please contact Professor Molly Melin, Graduate Program Director, at mmelin@luc.edu or 773.508.8647