Preparing for Grad School
Many of our undergraduates decide to continue their studies in political science or related fields. For those interested in pursuing careers in areas that require specialized training, there are a variety of Masters Degree programs. Students considering careers in research or college-level teaching in political science would normally enroll in a PhD program. You should consult with your advisor and political science professors, review the websites of institutions that interest you to examine their faculty, course descriptions and requirements, as well as visit the website of the American Political Science Association (ASPA) to match your interests with specific programs and degrees. Below you will find a listing of different degrees and additional resources.
Masters in Political Science: An advanced degree that is a stepping stone to PhD programs, teaching in community colleges, business and governmental affairs. For further information visit APSA's careers information.
Masters in International Affairs: These programs prepare students for a variety of careers in the international arena at the managerial level or as a highly specialized analyst working in trade and banking, governmental agencies that deal with foreign affairs (State Department, CIA, Defense) or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dealing with the environment, human rights and development issues. For further information contact the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs.
Masters in Public Policy: An M.P.P provides training for managerial positions in governmental agencies, interest group organizations, governmental relations divisions of corporations, consulting agencies and non-profit organizations. Students acquire in-depth training on a wide range of public policy issues, from health and the environment to taxation and criminal justice, as well as advanced methods of political analysis. For information about UNI’s MPP Program, head to https://online.uni.edu/distance/public-policy. For further information visit the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
Masters in Public Administration: An M.P.A prepares students for management positions in governmental administration at the local, state and federal levels. For further information contact the American Society for Public Administration at www.aspanet.org or www.naspaa.org.
Masters in Political Campaign Management: An M.P.M is geared to train students in various aspects of campaign management, including political marketing, polling, fund-raising, advertising and the media. There are only a few such programs in the country, including The Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University in Washington D.C. and programs at New York University in New York City and the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron, which has a Masters in Applied Politics.
For those interested in pursuing careers in research and college teaching, a doctorate is considered a requirement. A PhD provides students with a high level of expertise in the discipline and the specialized analytical skills that are needed to engage in original research and scholarship in the field. Requirements, length of study and course sequences vary depending on the specific program of study. The American Political Science Association provides information on earning a PhD in political science.