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Welcome to the M.A. Program In Political Science


Home to the United Nations, numerous nonprofit organizations, political think tanks and institutes, and its own lively political scene, New York City is the ideal place to study politics. As a student in the M.A. Program in Political Science at The Graduate Center, you will join a dynamic community of scholars dedicated to gaining, expanding, and sharing knowledge about the political trends of societies, governments, and institutions.

Our professors are pioneering thought leaders and scholars who will help you develop the analytical and critical skills needed to analyze policies and political systems and launch an exciting career as a political analyst.
With an M.A. in Political Science, you will be fully qualified for a range of professional opportunities — whether you elect to continue your education by earning a doctoral degree or choose to work in education, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, media, or the private sector.
And with many of our classes scheduled in the late afternoon and evening, our affordable program offers working students both flexibility and convenience.


Your course of study features courses in five subfields:

  • American Politics: Courses taught by our intellectually and methodologically diverse faculty focus on public opinion, voting behavior, party polarization, elections, race and ethnicity, political thought, constitutional law, and national institutions.

  • Comparative Politics: Known for their wide-ranging interests and interdisciplinary expertise, professors in this discipline provide a supportive environment for training, debate, collaboration, and research.

  • International Relations: Your study of international organizations, law, human rights, political economy, and security is enhanced by access to The Graduate Center’s renowned Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies.

  • Political Theory: Exploring intersections of power and ethics, courses draw on various critical approaches to promote political understanding, featuring high-profile topics such as feminist political theory and post-colonial perspectives.

  • Public Policy: Our cutting-edge public policy subfield equips students to engage with the complex problems confronting governments at every level while preparing them for careers in policy, advocacy, government, and NGOs.

In addition, our Writing Politics specialization — the first of its kind in the political science academy — gives you tools for writing serious journalistic political analysis and commentary.

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You will study with a distinguished set of accomplished and accessible full-time scholars from a variety of disciplines, taking courses alongside top doctoral students.


As a public institution, we offer an exceptional program at a fraction of the cost of other universities.


The 30-credit curriculum includes 24 credits in political science and related disciplines, a 3-credit Core Seminar in Political Science, and a 3-credit thesis tutorial. Students must also complete at least three courses in one of the five subfields of study: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Public Policy.


Studying political science in New York City presents countless opportunities for extending learning beyond the classroom. Our location in the heart of Manhattan (Fifth Avenue and 34th Street) provides easy access to New York City’s rich intellectual and cultural life — as well as to opportunities for internships and jobs with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, private corporations, and academic institutions.


We invite students from a broad range of academic backgrounds to apply.


Alyson Cole, Executive Officer

Phone: 212-817-8670
Fall 2019 Office Hours (Room 5202.01): Tuesday, 1:00pm-2:00pm, 4:30pm-5:30pm or by appointment.

Charles Tien, Deputy Executive Officer

Phone: 212-817-8670
Fall 2019 Office Hours (Room 5202.02): Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm or by appointment.

Michael Fortner, M.A. Advisor

Phone: 212-817-8670
Fall 2019 Office Hours (Room 5200.03): Wednesday, 5:00pm-7:00pm or by appointment.

Peter Liberman, Program Admissions Chair

Phone: 212-817-8670
Fall 2019 Office Hours (Room 5200.04): By appointment only

Philip Johnson, M.A. Writing Fellow

Phone: 212-817-8670
Fall 2019 Office Hours (Room 5211): Tuesday (4pm-6pm), Wednesday (6pm-8pm)

Earl Fleary, Academic Program Officer

Phone: 212-817-8670