The Department of Politics and Government offers a master's degree in Political Science in order to promote human knowledge and skills in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service in and about the political dimensions of social life.
The Department of Politics and Government graduate program serves several types of students with a multi-track program. The department offers courses and program options both to students who are planning to pursue further graduate education and to students who, for reasons of career enhancement or of specialized training for employment, are seeking a master's degree as their ultimate goal.
Point of Pride
The Department of Politics and Government organizes an annual student conference for graduate and undergraduate students to present their research. The conference has gained international recognition, attracting students from across the U.S. and around the globe.
Discover what life as an Illinois State graduate student is like.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
A student applying to this program must:
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of your undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master's program
- upload a two-page statement of purpose. This should indicate how the program fits your academic and professional plans.
- submit a writing sample
- submit names and email addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application
The GRE is not required for the fall 2021 application cycle. However, if you wish to submit your score, use institutional code 1319.
- Fall (August) Term — March 1
- Spring (January) Term — Spring is not available
- Summer (May/June) Term — Summer is not available
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.