Graduate Study

Are you ready to take the next step? You can find a masters program to help you achieve your goals, whether you are interested in pursuing a job in government or a policy-related field, improving your credentials to advance in your career, or preparing for a Ph.D. or J.D. program.

Trivia nights are a popular activity among students. Pictured here are:
(left side, from front to back) Andrew Lipp, Nathan Hoffman, Jacob Martin
(right side, from front to back) Abdullah Muhammad, Olivia Horvath, Jacob Wilson

You can even choose to live in Ames, one of the highest ranked places to live in the country, while earning your degree or enroll in our low-residency online M.A. with a public policy emphasis.

You can design your degree with a traditional thesis or a more flexible and applied creative component.

You can offset the cost of your degree. We are one of the few M.A. programs in political science that can offer funding to our strongest applicants. If you are not sure how competitive you would be for funding or admissions, we can help you determine that before you apply.

We also offer several other degree options. We have a Graduate Certificate in Public Management and policy requiring only five courses, all of which can be applied toward the M.A.  We are one of the home departments for the Master of Science in Cyber Security, and you can also pursue a joint JD/MA degree.

We would love to talk with you about building an educational option that fits your goals.

Completing the Information Request Form to learn more about graduate study at Iowa State will generate a mailing to you from the university’s Graduate College.  Students who submit a free pre-application by going to the following link and selecting political science will receive a tentative admission decision within one week:

For more information about the Department of Political Science contact:
Professor Mack Shelley, Director of Graduate Education, 515 294 1075

Admission and Funding Standards

We do not have a required minimum GPA. We prefer a GPA over 3.0, but we also know GPA may only tell part of the story and look at each application holistically. We do not require the GRE for admission.


Graduate Student Resources

You can find useful information in the American Political Science Association’s new book, Strategies for Navigating Graduate School and Beyond.