Political Science (M.A.)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

          Virginia Tech Online (Virtual)

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

                                         Online Courses for Virtual Option  

This program is designed to provide students with a firm, broadly based grounding in the discipline of political science and a strong foundation in social science research methodologies.

ESTABLISHED IN 

1969

1.7/1

FACULTY/STUDENT RATIO

85 

M.A. STUDENTS

100%

COMPLETE A SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH PROJECT

Our master’s program in Political Science?

The Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science was established in 1969. Currently the program enrolls 10 to 15 full-time students on campus each year, and approximately 60-70 off-campus in the On-Line Master of Arts in Political Science Program (OLMA/PSCI). This relatively small scale provides excellent opportunities for close student-faculty interaction in both the residential and on-line MA programs of study. The department faculty is drawn from outstanding universities around The United States and abroad, and the department has strong expertise in all major sub-fields of political science. As active research scholars, members of the faculty regularly review research grants for major granting bodies in the U.S. and abroad.

Why Study Political Science Here?

Our faculty members serve as editors and/or on the editorial boards of Administration & Society; Capitalism, Nature, Socialism; Critical Policy Studies, Culture & Politics: An International Journal of Theory; Congress and the Presidency; Current Perspectives in Social Theory; Ethics, Place and Environment; Fast Capitalism; International Political Sociology; Latin American Perspectives; Law and Politics Book Review; the minnesota review; New Political Science; Organization & Environment; Peace Studies Journal; Presidential Studies Quarterly; Rhetoric & Public Affairs; Social Geography and Telos. In addition, the department also hosts the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture, one of the nation's first university-based, on-line "points of publication" for new scholarly work in international affairs, the humanities, social sciences, and the natural and physical sciences.

What You'll Study

Our graduate study program is designed to provide students with a firm, broadly based grounding in the discipline of political science and a strong foundation in social science research methodologies. The MA degree requires a minimum of thirty semester hours of graduate-level coursework including successful completion of a thesis. Each student will engage in an independent research project closely supervised by a committee of three faculty members selected by the student. Students are required to submit and orally defend a thesis proposal in the academic term preceding the semester in which they plan to write the thesis. The completed thesis will be evaluated by the student's faculty committee, consisting of at least three members and must be successfully defended before that committee in an oral examination.

Careers of Program Graduates

The Master of Arts Program covers all subfields of the discipline, and it prepares students for careers in academic life and government such as pursuing a doctoral degree in political science or entering a career in a public agency, non-profit organization or private research organization. Our graduates have taken professional positions in government agencies, political organizations, and research institutes.

MA Program In Political Science with Residential Option

This degree program is also offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center.

On-Line MA Program In Political Science

The On-Line Masters of Arts (OLMA) in Political Science is identical in course content, requirements, and work-load to the residential MA degree program. Building upon the experience and expertise of Virginia Tech faculty in teaching on-line undergraduate courses through the Virginia Tech Cyberschool since 1995, this on-line learning site is aimed at place -bound students, who want to earn a graduate degree, but are unable to begin a residential degree program at Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg. Participants in this On-Line Master of Arts program complete their course work over the Internet through asynchronously conducted on-line graduate courses. In addition, VTOnline, Virginia Tech's virtual campus, provides access to the university's many administrative, financial aid, library, and student support services.

Our Faculty 

Research Interests

  • Child hunger
  • Economics
  • Gender
  • Human rights
  • International development
  • Refugee issues

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collaborate
Dr. Clair Apodaca

Research Interests

  • Nuclear politics
  • U.S. foreign policy
  • International relations theory

 

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collaborate
Dr. Paul C. Avey

Research Interests

  • Health Politics And Policies
  • Health Security And Pandemics
  • Global Health Institutions And Practices
  • Water Politics
  • The Complexity Theory

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collaborate
Dr. Gabriel Blouin-Genest

Research Interests

  • Complex Security
  • Cyber Conflict
  • Cyber Deterrence
  • Machine Learning and Big Data terrorism

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collaborate
Dr. Aaron F. Brantly

Research Interests

  • African Studies 
  • International Aid 
  • Politics 
  • Postcolonialism

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collaborate
Dr. Ryan C. Briggs

Research Interests

  • Colonial Spanish 
  • America Environmental Political Theory 
  • History of Political Thought
  • International Relations Theory 
  • Nature and Empire

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collaborate
Dr. Mauro J. Caraccioli

Research Interests

  • Anthropocene 
  • Climate 
  • Security Feminism And Gender 
  • Fossil Fuels 
  • Science And Technology

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collaborate
Dr. Cara Daggett

Research Interests

  • Comparative Politics 
  • Government 
  • Media Effects 
  • Politics 
  • Popular Culture

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Francois Debrix will head up the graduate program in ASPECT

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Dr. Francois Debrix

Research Interests

  • Foreign Policy
  • International Security 
  • Security Studies
  • Terrorism

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collaborate
Dr. Priya Dixit

Research Interests

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Research Interests

  • Government 
  • Organizational Theory
  • Policy Rhetoric 
  • The Presidency

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collaborate
Dr. Karen Hult

Research Interests

  • Cybersecurity 
  • Dark Web 
  • Digital Hygiene 
  • Economics of Information Security 
  • Human-computer interaction

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collaborate
Dr. Eric Jardine

Research Interests

  • Caucuses 
  • Elections Political 
  • Campaigns 
  • Presidential Primaries

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Dr. Caitlin E. Jewitt

Research Interests

  •  

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Research Interests

  • Elections
  • Government 
  • Judicial Politics 
  • Legislative Politics 
  • Political Parties

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Jason Kelly, Assistant Professor, Political Science, CLAHS.

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Dr. Jason Kelly

Research Interests

  • Political Theory 
  • Politics And Religion
  • Terrorism 
  • Violence

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Research Interests

  • Democratic Theory And Gender 
  • Politics Revolutionary Movements Reproductive Rights 
  • Globalization

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collaborate
Dr. llja A. Luciak

Research Interests

  • Environmental Politics 
  • Cultural Studies 
  • International Political Economy 
  • Modern Critical Social 
  • Political Theory

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collaborate
Dr. Timothy W. Luke

Research Interests

  • Asian Politics 
  • Comparative Politics 
  • Gender 
  • Government 
  • Immigration

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Deborah Milly, Assoc Professor, Political Science.

collaborate
Dr. Deborah Milly

Research Interests

  • Comparative Politics 
  • Constitutional Law 
  • Judicial Politics 
  • Political Theory

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collaborate
Dr. Wayne D. Moore

Research Interests

  • Ethics 
  • International Aid 
  • International Relations 
  • Politics

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collaborate
Dr. Scott G. Nelson

Research Interests

  • Autonomy 
  • Constitutional Jurisprudence 
  • Thoreau 
  • Time And Temporality
  •  Individualism

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collaborate
Dr Luke Philip

Research Interests

  • Albania 
  • Political Economy 
  • Social Transformation 
  • Transnationalism

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Dr. Besnik Pula

Dr. Besnik Pula
Dr. Besnik Pula

Research Interests

  • Ecological 
  • Modernization 
  • Environmental Citizenship 
  • Urban Politics

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collaborate
Dr. Andrew J. Scerri

Research Interests

  • European Union 
  • Foreign Policy 
  • International Relations
  • International Security 
  • Security Studies

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collaborate
Dr. Ioannis Stivachtis

Research Interests

  • Comparative Politics 
  • Data Analysis
  • Economics
  • Government 
  • Political Theory

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collaborate
Dr. Charles L. Taylor

Research Interests

  • Food Politics 
  • Hunger in America

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Dr. Courtney I.P. Thomas

Research Interests

  • Political Economy
  • Labor Standards 
  • Political Ethics 
  • Political History 
  • Trade Policy

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Edward Weisband, Edward S. Diggs Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences, Political Science

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Dr. Edward Weisband

Research Interests

  • Ngos 
  • United Nations 
  • International Development 
  • Peacebuilding Policy

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collaborate
Dr. Laura Zanotti

Research Interests

  • Domestic And Global Environmental Policy Public Policy Analysis 
  • Urban Ecology 
  • Research Methods

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Political Science Research Highlights

“The Learned Man of Good Judgment: Nature, Narrative, and Wonder in Jose de Acosta’s Natural Philosophy,” History of Political Thought (forthcoming, 2017).

“World-Viewing as World-Making: Feminist technoscience and the aesthetics of the Anthropocene.” In Worldviews in Science, Technology and Art in International Relations, eds. Madeline Carr, Renee Marlin-Bennett and Jatinder P. Singh. New York: Routledge, 2017.

“The Chicago Clan: The First Chiefs of Staff in the Obama White House” (with David Cohen and Charles Walcott), Social Science Quarterly 93 (December 2012): 1101-1126.


Jewitt, Caitlin E. 2014. “Packed Primaries and Empty Caucuses: State and Party Rules and Voter Turnout in Presidential Nomination Contests.” Public Choice, 160(3-4): 295-312.

Students interested in applying to the Political Science (M.A.) degree should contact the program director, Scott Nelson, by email at scnelson@vt.edu or by phone at 540-231-5629.

Visit our office at 519 major Williams Hall, 220 Stanger Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061 

Domestic Application

Spring: January 1

Summer I: May 1

Summer II: June 1

*Fall:  August 1

International Application

Spring: September 1

Summer I: January 1

Summer II: February  1

*Fall: April 1

*Deadline for early decision admission with Graduate Assistantships consideration for Fall: February 15

CONTACT US

Scott Nelson

Director of Graduate Studies

519 Major Williams Hall

540-231-5629

scnelson@vt.edu

Karen Nicholson

Graduate Programs Coordinator

531 Major Williams Hall

540-231-6572

karenn@vt.edu

Department of Political Science
531 Major Williams Hall (0130)
220 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-6571