Appalachian’s Master of Arts in Political Science program is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers – in government, non-profits and the private sector – as well as further graduate work at the doctoral level.
Students in our program may choose from one of three concentrations:
- American Government – Promotes student understanding of the institutions of American politics and the behavior of public and political actors.
- International Relations/Comparative Politics – Promotes student understanding of the institutions and behaviors of foreign countries and transnational actors, as well as the dynamics of global politics.
- Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis – Promotes student understanding of the interaction between policy, politics, and economics in the environmental realm.
With a student/faculty ratio of nearly 2 to 1, students receive the individual attention they expect and deserve. We accept students with many different undergraduate degrees; a political science bachelor's degree is NOT a requirement for the program. While we have three basic curriculums, the interests and aspirations of our students are quite diverse and therefore we allow each student, in consultation with the program directors, to develop a program of study which meets his or her unique interests and aspirations.
Course titles and information can be found in the Graduate Bulletin at these links:
Required Entrance Exam: GRE (score must be no more than 5 years old)
Required number of references to specify in the online form: 3
Supplemental Information: Resume (Required upload for application submission); essay addressing academic and professional goals, as well as reasons for applying.
Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission: Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be weighed based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.
Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).
Admission to Political Science: Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed in comparison to the current applicant pool.
- Peace Corps
- John Tyler Community College
- Lanier Law
- Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Government
- American Political Science Association
- RTI International
- Spring: 11/1
- Summer Session 1: 4/1
- Summer Session 2: 4/1
- Fall: 7/1 (3/15)
*See full deadline information below under Application Essentials.
- This is the only stand-alone master’s degree in political science within the UNC system.
- We focus on developing the skills and knowledge students will need to pursue their chosen careers in government, non-profit organizations and the private sector. In particular, we emphasize enhancement of the following:
- Information literacy and advanced research skills
- Analytical and critical thinking
- Professional writing
- Quantitative/data analysis
- Data organization and management
- Advanced knowledge in one or more substantive areas of political science
- Practical skills for those interested in campaigns or electoral activities
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Survey design and implementation
- Professional development through internship experience
Method of Delivery
Our graduates have:
- worked on political campaigns
- worked for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
- worked in public affairs
- worked for investment firms
- worked for research institutes
- worked for media firms
- worked for non-governmental organizations
- joined the Peace Corps
- become college professors
- entered doctoral programs