Campuses: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

              Virginia Tech Online (Virtual)

Instructions: Residential/On Campus

                                              Online Courses for Virtual Option  

The Department of Political Science offers a program of graduate study 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 MA 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.

Faculty Research Interests

Child Hunger



Human Rights

International Development

Refugee Issues


Nuclear Politics

U.S. Foreign Policy

International Relations Theory


Health Politics And Policies

Health Security And Pandemics

Global Health Institutions And Practices

Water Politics

The Complexity Theory


Complex Security

Cyber Conflict

Cyber Deterrence

Machine Learning and Big Data terrorism


African Studies

International Aid




Colonial Spanish

America Environmental Political Theory

History of Political Thought

International Relations Theory

Nature and Empire



Climate Security

Feminism And Gender

Fossil Fuels

Science And Technology


Comparative Politics


Media Effects


Popular Culture


Foreign Policy

International Security

Security Studies




Organizational Theory

Policy Rhetoric

The Presidency



Dark Web

Digital Hygiene

Economics of Information Security

Human-computer interaction



Elections Political


Presidential Primaries




Judicial Politics

Legislative Politics

Political Parties


Political Theory

Politics And Religion




Democratic Theory And Gender Politics

Revolutionary Movements

Reproductive Rights



Environmental Politics

Cultural Studies

International Political Economy

Modern Critical Social

Political Theory


Asian Politics

Comparative Politics





Comparative Politics

Constitutional Law

Judicial Politics

Political Theory



International Aid

International Relations




Constitutional Jurisprudence


Time And Temporality




Political Economy

Social Transformation



Ecological Modernization

Environmental Citizenship

Urban Politics


European Union

Foreign Policy

International Relations

International Security

Security Studies


Comparative Politics

Data Analysis



Political Theory


Food Politics

Hunger in America


Political Economy

Labor Standards

Political Ethics

Political History

Trade Policy



United Nations

International Development




Domestic And Global

Environmental Policy

Public Policy Analysis

Urban Ecology

Research Methods


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.

“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.

Related Programs

Students interested in applying to the Political Science (M.A.) degree should contact the program director, Scott Nelson, by email at 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

Karen Nicholson
Graduate Programs Coordinator
531 Major Williams Hall

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