Graduate Study

Is there a better place to study political science than in Iowa and at Iowa State University? We don’t think so. Every four years the state, the community and our campus are overrun with opportunities for politically minded students to get involved with the campaign of your choice.

Complete the Information Request Form to learn more about graduate study at Iowa State.

Graduate Programs

The M.P.A. Program at Iowa State is no longer accepting new students into the program as directed by the Iowa Board of Regents.

Master of Arts (MA)

This is a 30 credit masters degree program where students can explore the field of political science in order to pursue a Ph.D., go to law school, improve research skills, or understand politics better. We offer concentrations in American Politics, Global Politics, and Public Policy. Some students have also focused on political theory. Top students are eligible for graduate assistantships that make graduate study much more affordable and also give opportunities for assisting faculty with teaching and research. These are awarded on a merit basis.

MA Program Handbook

Master of Arts/Juris Doctorate Program (M.A./J.D.)

The Drake Law School and the Department of Political Science, Iowa State University are co-sponsors of the Master of Arts/Juris Doctorate degree. This degree combines courses at both Iowa State University and the Drake Law School and follows much the same requirements as a double degree. However, the student must have full admission to both schools.

MA/JD Program Details

Master of Science in Information Assurance (MS IA)

The Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) is a multi-disciplinary degree designed to provide students with diverse backgrounds and interests the opportunity to obtain professional training in the emerging field of information assurance. It is offered through the Information Assurance program (INFAS). The core of the program is built around a series of courses taught in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science that introduce students to software and hardware aspects of cryptography and computer security. The program also recognizes, however, that information assurance—defined in terms of security, privacy, access, and reliability—is not simply a technical problem but also involves important societal dimensions, including policy, education, ethics, and management. Recognizing that political science offers many potential intersections with information assurance (e.g., public sector management of information technology, forensics and computer crime, information technology policy and law, information technology and international relations, information warfare, etc.), students with interests in these areas are encouraged to select the Department of Political Science as their home department.

MS IA Program Details

Graduate Certificate of Public Management

The Political Science Department offers a Graduate Certificate of Public Management (GCPM). The GCPM is a 15-credit certificate. Students who are interested public management and policy but unsure about committing to a full master’s degree can aim for the certificate knowing that those courses will also count toward a master’s degree if they choose to continue on. Iowa State graduate students in other fields may want to pursue the certificate to improve their credentials on the job market if their interests overlap with public management and policy. For example, doctoral students in higher education and education administration can earn all 9 of their “outside” credits in the GCPM coursework, add the 6 more elective credits, and earn a GCPM along with their Ph.D.

GCPM Program Details

Graduate Minor

Students in other graduate programs may obtain a minor in political science by completing at least 9 credits of political science courses, including one of the proseminars. Interested students should consult the Graduate College Handbook for additional information on graduate minors.