For More Information

For more information about the graduate programs in politics, consult the "politics" section in the Brandeis University Bulletin or contact:

Professor Bernie Yack

For complete information about how to apply to this program, visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences web site.

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Master of Arts in Politics

In two semesters, complete a methodologically rigorous M.A. degree in politics with a specialization in American or world politics, International Relations, political theory, or democracy and cultural pluralism.

This intensive academic experience is geared toward preparing students to do policy relevant work and/or to continue their work toward a Ph.D. degree here or elsewhere.

Students desiring to continue their studies toward the Ph.D. must apply for admission to that program.

Why Earn an M.A. in Politics?

Apart from intellectual curiosity and gratification, there are some practical reasons to seek the M.A. degree:

  • Enhanced credentials for doctoral program: The M.A. will significantly enhance your qualifications if you plan to pursue a full-time doctoral program; this can be especially useful if you seek to enter graduate school in a field outside your undergraduate major.
  • Material benefits: Having the M.A. significantly enhances your qualifications and pay in most public and private organizations.
  • Test the water: The one-year M.A. can help you decide whether the academic path is right for you — before you invest a great deal of time and resources in a multiyear doctoral program.
  • Transferable skills: The emphasis on research and writing will give you skills that are critical for every career path.

Why Brandeis?

It is certainly possible to earn an M.A. at many fine institutions, but there are compelling reasons why you should consider studying at Brandeis:

  • First-class training: The politics program is a highly selective program that trains students in the broad field of politics.
  • Dedicated mentoring: Brandeis is a small research university with an emphasis on small classes and genuine mentorship; each student has the opportunity to work closely with a distinguished scholar.
  • Scholarships: To enable qualified students to attend Brandeis, the graduate school has a scholarship fund that allows a partial reduction in the cost of tuition and fees.
  • Intellectual diversity: Brandeis has an array of graduate programs that complement and overlap with the graduate program in politics, including American history, Near Eastern and Judaic studies, sociology, and English and American literature.
  • Career support: The Office of Career Services helps to identify opportunities, design an effective resume, and prepare for interviews.
  • Library resources: Library resources include our own Goldfarb Library. In addition, the Boston Library Consortium allows graduate students to use books in major libraries throughout the area. Graduate students have full access to many nearby manuscript repositories. Brandeis is within easy commuting distance of some of the very best public and private libraries in the United States, including the Boston Athenaeum, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Public Library and the American Antiquarian Society.
  • Boston: Brandeis students partake of the rich intellectual and cultural environment of the Boston area — from a plethora of events at area universities to the array of museums and other institutions in metropolitan Boston.

The M.A. Curriculum

Students will be required to complete eight courses (with a grade of B or better) as follows:

  • One of the core field graduate seminars POL 213a (Comparative Political Institutions and Public Policy), POL 214b (Selected Topics in World Politics), POL 215a (American Political Development) or POL 216a (Liberalism and Its Critics).
  • Five courses from more specialized offerings, which are graduate-level courses (special topics courses or field seminars, as appropriate), seminars and upper-level undergraduate courses (seminars and advanced lecture classes) that offer additional work for graduate credit.
  • A two-semester sequence of directed study culminating in a completed master's project, which can be an original research project, a comprehensive literature review (a critique of a subfield of political science) or another type of undertaking that is appropriate for the student's course of study.