Political Science


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    At ISU we are dedicated to your success as a graduate student. As a first step, we have collected information on application requirements as well as links where you can find further information. We encourage you to explore.
Degrees Offered:
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
Area(s) of Specialization: (may appear on ISU transcripts after graduation)
  • Public Policy (M.A.)
Area(s) of Emphasis:
  • American Politics
  • Global Politics
  • Public Policy
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of scholarly literature in political science or public policy. (Thesis Students) OR Demonstrate the ability to apply the scholarly literature in political science and public policy to practical issues in the public sector. (Creative Component Students)
  • Form testable hypotheses and articulate research objectives that, when met, will lead to significant contributions to the field of study. (Thesis Students) OR Demonstrate understanding of the difficulties and complexities of implementing public policy in practice.
  • Conduct qualitative and/or quantitative research via appropriate acquisition, analysis, and reporting of data. (Thesis Students)
  • Interpret research results appropriately, integrating them into the existing knowledge in the discipline of political science or public policy.
  • Clearly and accurately communicate research findings orally and in writing, and often through the use images (tables, figures, and other forms of imagery) and electronic or other forms of media.
  • Articulate how the graduate program, including coursework and creative scholarship, fits into life and career goals.
  • Conduct scholarship, in teams or with independence, in ways that consistently demonstrate ethical practice and professionalism.
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 1.8 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Mack Shelley, University Professor and Graduate Director
Phone: 515-294-7256
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Political Science Graduate Program
    503 Ross Hall
    Iowa State University
    Ames, IA 50011-1204

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements:
  • Program Requires GRE: No
  • Program Requires GMAT: No
  • Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No
International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 563
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 85
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 57
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    Fall semester/financial aid: March 1; Fall semester/no aid: May 1; Summer semester: March 1; Spring semester: October 1
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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