Graduate Studies (M.A.)

Political Science (M.A.) | Graduate

The study of political science at Howard transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries found at most other institutions. We train students in the empirical analysis of political processes, systems, and behavior, and center the study of African American and Black Diaspora politics from the study of global liberation movements to an examination of Black political sphere.

The M.A. in Political Science at Howard's Graduate School prepares students to pursue study at the doctoral level or careers in public affairs, policy, law, foreign affairs, research, government and consulting. You will benefit from Howard's premier location at the nexus of American politics and policymaking in Washington, D.C., and have access to a network of top-ranked and nationally recognized research institutions, consulting firms, think tanks, and government agencies. As a student in the M.A. in Political Science program, you may choose from four distinct fields of specialization: American politics, Black politics, comparative politics, and international relations. You will have the opportunity to shape your course of study in a major and minor subfield and select between the thesis or non-thesis program of study which requires the completion of a scholarly research paper. The Department of Political Science aims to retain and expand its position as a major source of political scientists concerned with issues impacting the lives of people of African descent. Our graduate students benefit from the close mentorship of graduate faculty notable for its political commentary across major media outlets and its wide-ranging research, including empirically grounded comparative analysis of state and non-state political phenomena; study of electoral politics within Black communities; and examination of political change, nationalist ideology, and global liberation movements.

  • Degree: M.A.
  • 36-credit hours
  • Full-time
  • On-campus format
  • Transfer credits accepted upon review.
  • GRE not required.
  • Deadline: April 15 for Fall admissions (with rolling admission decisions)


Robinson Woodward-Burns, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies

Daryl Harris, Ph.D.
Interim Chair

Elizabeth Coates
Administrative Officer

Degree Requirements

Master's students must select one major and one minor course area. The major course area will be the one in which you will sit for a comprehensive exam. Students must take four courses in this field, which will include the core course for that area above. For the minor concentration area, students must take three courses in that field, but there is no comprehensive exam.

Course Courses (9 CR)

  • POLS 232    Nature & Uses of Political Theory
  • POLS 292    Seminar in American Politics
  • POLS 227    Introduction to Black Politics 
  • POLS 204    Approaches to Comparative Politics 
  • POLS 287    Theories of International Relations

Major and Minor Field Courses (15 CR)

  • 9 credits in a chosen major subfield
  • 6 credits in a chosen minor subfield

Research Tools (6 CR)

  • POLS 217    Methods of Political Science
  • POLS 254    Behavioral Research Methods 

Thesis or Research Paper (6 CR)

Graduate Funding 

Graduate research or teaching assistantships that may be available at the department level which provide tuition remission and/or a stipend during the academic year. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.


Online GradCAS 

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
    • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • Critical writing sample of academic research on a political or public policy topic
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)
    GRE scores not required 

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.5
  • Undergraduate GPA minimum: 3.5

Recommendation Requirements

Recommendation types accepted:

  • Professor (required)
  • Supervisor or Manager

Recommendation types not accepted:

  • Coworker
  • Clergy
  • Friends or Family