OverviewApply Now Application Requirements Catalog Handbook Comprehensive Degree Plan Contact Department Contact Graduate Studies Faculty Directory Student Highlights
UCF’s MA in Political Science program trains students to be skilled, insightful analysts of politics and policy. Our students are exposed to contemporary approaches to understanding politics and learn cutting-edge social science methods, and taught by full-time faculty who have published in top journals. We have expertise on topics like American political institutions, political behavior and public opinion, survey methods, security studies, terrorism, intelligence, judicial politics, and labor politics, and regional expertise about Latin America, Africa, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East, East Asia, and Europe. Students who complete the program are ready for jobs in government, the private sector, and education, or to continue their education in PhD programs.
Program TimelineCatalog Handbook Comprehensive Degree Plan
UCF’s MA in Political Science can be completed in two years (or potentially less, if a student is enrolled year-round).
First year students learn core methodological skills and take field courses that expose them to major approaches to contemporary American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory.
Second year students continue their studies with self-selected electives and, if they choose, a Master’s Thesis. Students who do not write a thesis write a non-thesis capstone paper and enroll in two additional electives. (These electives compensate for the 6 credit hours required for writing a thesis.)
Applying to the Political Science M.A. ProgramApply Now Application Requirements Contact Department Contact Graduate Studies
Applicants for UCF’s MA in Political Science Students must apply on line using UCF’s online graduate application system, and should expect to submit:
- Official transcripts (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- Three letters of recommendation, attesting to the applicant’s ability to think analytically and to communicate clearly. At least one of these should be from a faculty member who has personally taught the applicant in a university-level course.
- A personal statement of 500 words identifying areas of research interest in political science, faculty with whom they would like to work, and describing the applicant’s academic and professional experiences and future career goals.
- Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.
Applications are processed on a rolling basis after they are received. International students and students interested in being considered for GTA positions or fellowships should apply by published deadlines.
- Apply early! Recommendation letters often take some time to be received after your recommenders are sent their email prompts. Your application can not be reviewed and decided on until all application components are received.
- Low GPA? You can still apply! Be sure to spend time on your personal statement. Explain any academic shortfalls and what you have done to improve your knowledge and skills. You want to convince the admissions committee that you can succeed in graduate level coursework and that UCF’s program can best serve your academic and career goals. Regular admission requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. The CGS will first calculate your Last60 GPA and if that is below a 3.0, they will then calculate your Cumulative GPA. As long as one of the two calculations meet the requirement, you qualify to be admitted regularly. If they fall below a 3.0 you can still be admitted in a provisional status but it is even more important to spend time on your personal statement/statement of purpose. Programs are limited on how many students can be admitted in provisional status.
- Unsure if graduate coursework is for you? Instead of enrolling in a Masters program you can sample some coursework by either applying as a non-degree seeking student or you can apply to a graduate certificate that relates to your academic interests. Qualifying courses taken prior to admission to the MA program can be transferred into the program once you are admitted (this should be limited to 9 credit hours, only grades of “B” or higher can be transferred). To apply for non-degree seeking status or a graduate certificate program just visit the CGS Application portal.
- Unsure how to approach getting recommendation letters? Often times students fail to establish close faculty connections during their undergraduate programs so identifying faculty that can provide you with recommendation letters can be a struggle. In these cases it is best to review your course history and identify faculty you have had the most contact with over your time at UCF. Send them an email detailing your intentions to apply to the graduate program, the courses you took with them, your grade in the courses, what skills you learned in their classes, and the career goals you have that would be supported by attaining a Political Science MA. It would also be useful to include a resume that details any extracurricular activities or achievements. You may choose to meet with them at this point to request a recommendation letter or inquire via email about their ability or interest to provide a recommendation letter for you. Keep in mind that you only want GOOD recommendation letters so you should only be focusing on courses you performed well in when thinking of faculty. Not all faculty will be willing to provide a letter and that’s okay! Reach out to multiple faculty and politely follow up if you don’t receive a response after a reasonable amount of time.
- Interesting in funding? The department has limited funding opportunities in the form of a GTA Assistantship. In exchange for up to 20 hours a week of GTA work assisting faculty members with their undergraduate courses, you will receive a tuition waiver, non-residency waiver, health insurance, and a stipend. This funding, if offered with admission, is guaranteed for two years / 4 semesters (fall 1, spring 1, fall 2, spring 2) assuming satisfactory academic progress. This funding opportunity is highly competitive and to be considered you must have a completed application submitted by the fall priority deadline of January 15. We also have limited summer funding available for those interested in enrolling in summer semesters. These positions are not offered with admission, instead a call for applications is sent out to all active students every spring. Occasionally one semester positions also open up. If that occurs all active students will receive and email encouraging them to submit an application for the funding if they are interested.
- What can I do with a Political Science MA? If you are interested in learning more about what kind of career opportunities are available for those with a Political Science MA or you would like to get a better idea of what topics you will be studying if you pursue this degree at UCF, you can reach out to the Political Science MA Coordinator, Dr. Andrew Boutton (Andrew.Boutton@ucf.edu). Dr. Boutton serves as advisor for the MA program and will serve as your main faculty contact if admitted to the program.
The department is able to offer a small number of students financial support for their studies, usually in the form of a GTA position. Applicants interested in being considered for financial support should indicate their interest when they apply, and be sure to apply by relevant deadlines.
Our faculty includes world-class researchers and teachers who have published in topic journals including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, International Organization, International Security, Political Geography, International Studies Quarterly, Marine Politics, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, African Affairs, and other top journals. We have a strong record of collaborating with students and guiding them as they develop their research.Faculty Directory
UCF’s MA in political science students regularly present papers at the Southern Political Science Association, ISA-South, Florida Political Science Association, and Midwest Political Science Association conferences.
Our alumni have been accepted to—among others—PhD programs at Ohio State, Duke, Penn State, and Florida State.
Other former students have been employed by government agencies like the FBI, Washington Think Tanks, and a variety of other positions.
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