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Master's in Politics and Policy Studies

The M.A. in Politics and Policy Studies is designed to prepare students for careers in public administration, law, policy analysis, business, education, lobbying, community engagement, survey research, journalism and non-profit organizations as well as for further academic training (e.g., Ph.D. programs, law school). Our program provides opportunities to enroll in small classes, enhance your data analysis and research skills, receive personalized mentoring, and gain independent teaching experience. Students may also apply to earn a full-tuition waiver, stipend and health insurance by working as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA).


33 credit hours of coursework, including a thesis


Required courses for all M.A. students:

  • Public Policy Analysis (POLS 5613)

  • ProSeminar in International Relations (POLS 5203)

  • ProSeminar in American Politics (POLS 5703) OR ProSeminar in Comparative Politics (POLS 5403)

  • Quantitative Methods (POLS 5013)

  • Research Design (POLS 5103)


Additional course requirements: 

  • Six hours of thesis (POLS 5000) OR three hours in Directed Study (POLS 5100) AND Formal Report (POLS 5020)

  • Twelve hours of electives—up to nine of these hours can be taken outside the department (some restrictions apply)

ASSISTfaculty with teaching

As a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), you will receive a monthly stipend, health insurance and tuition waiver.

Research and Faculty

Murray Hall

Our faculty are well recognized for their expertise and featured in high visibility media outlets. OSU's Political Science program prides itself in the high quality research produced by their faculty, including NSF-funded research, but we are especially proud of mentoring the next generation of scholars and policy practitioners.

Admissions Requirements

  • Official undergraduate transcripts

  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the program and what you hope to achieve with help of an M.A. (1-2 pages)

  • Email addresses of three individuals willing to write a letter of recommendation, academic references are preferred.

  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA

*Note: Application fee waiver offered for current and former McNair Scholars  


Test Scores:

  • TOEFL scores required for international applicants who aren't native English speakers

Application Deadlines:

  • March 1 (fall admission with funding consideration)

Students having a discussion at a table

Cost & Assistance

The size of our program allows us to offer graduate assistantships to qualified students. These assistantships provide students with a tuition waiver, health insurance and a stipend during the academic year. Graduate teaching assistants (GTA) are typically responsible for attending lectures, holding office hours, leading discussion sections and assisting with the administration of assigned undergraduate course(s).

In addition, there are opportunities to obtain financial support to present your research at conferences.



Assistantships and Scholarships


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