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Political Science College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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Graduate Program in Political Science

Master of Arts in Political Science

The primary aim of our program is to foster an understanding of government and politics in general and also to promote the development of analytic and other scholarly skills.

Our view of the discipline is broad and, in some respects traditional. We encourage students first to acquire a good foundation in basic course work and the tradition of political discourse along with some exposure to the many subfields of political science before pursuing more specialized interests.

The 30-unit program, which students customize to meet their interests and career goals, is designed to fit the needs of working professionals with classes held in the evenings.


David Andersen-Rodgers, Professor and Graduate Coordinator
(916) 278-7095

About the Program

The Master of Arts program in Political Science is designed to orient the student toward critical investigation of problems in government and politics, and to improve the student's ability for independent study. This program is of special value to teachers of government in the public schools, to persons who contemplate public service or politics as a career, and to persons planning additional graduate study leading to the doctorate. The program offers three concentrations, as decribed below.

Admission Requirements & Procedures

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall admissions: February 28
  • Spring admissions: September 15 (students will be admitted for spring on a space available basis)

Admission as a classified graduate student in Political Science requires:

  • A baccalaureate degree and
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 units attempted and 3.0 in the major.
  • GRE scores are no longer required.

All prospective graduate students, including CSUS graduates, must complete the following:

  • Submit Online Application, Fees & Documentation

    1. Complete Online Application at least one week before the deadline to allow time for all steps of the application process to be complete before the deadline
    2. All post-baccalaureate/graduate applicants must pay the $70 in U.S. funds, non-refundable application fee. Said fee is required for each application filed and is required at the time the application is submitted.

    3. Submit transcripts and other documents to the Office of Graduate Studies by the Application Deadline for your program. Please see the Transcripts section for details. Applicants with foreign documents are required to submit their transcripts one month prior to the application deadline to allow time for evaluation (see Applicants with Foreign Documents for more information).

    Applicants will be also be prompted to upload the below items through Cal State Apply during the application process:

    • Statement of Purpose: A written statement explaining your interest in obtaining a Masters of political science from Sacramento State and your background and qualifications that would make you a strong fit.
    • Writing Sample: A demonstration of the quality of your academic work. May be a paper from a class or other work that demonstrates your ability to successfully write and do research at the graduate level.
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for successful graduate study. We prefer letters from faculty familiar with the applicant’s academic work, but we understand some people applying have been out of school for several years.

    Please note: A University Application is always required and incomplete applications will be denied.

    Transcripts and Academic Records

    • Effective from the Spring 2024 admission cycle: Students will be required to attach unofficial transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended in the U.S. to their Cal State Apply application. Students who attended a college or university outside of the U.S. will need to have their official transcripts evaluated before submission (more information on document evaluation is available on the Applicants with Foreign Documents webpage). These applicants will need to submit evidence of foreign document submission to an approved evaluation agency in their Cal State Apply application, rather than an unofficial transcript.
    • If students are offered admission to their degree program, they will be required to submit one (1) OFFICIAL transcript from ALL colleges and universities attended, in university sealed envelopes or through the university’s e-transcript service, directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the application deadline. Applications will not be processed until all transcripts have been received.
    • If you attended Sac State as an Undergrad and have not taken any coursework elsewhere since, we do not need a copy of your transcripts (since they're already on file from your time as an Undergrad).
    • Official transcripts must be in by a deadline date if the student is offered admission to their degree program. E-transcripts are preferred.
    • If you have questions about transcripts, please contact us via telephone or email.

    Submission of Transcripts

    • Please do not have the university send transcripts through their e-transcript service BEFORE you apply. If your application is not yet in our system, your transcripts may not be matched to your application resulting in delays.
    • Electronic transcripts must be sent directly to The Office of Graduate Studies via an official University e-transcript service.
    • Transcripts already on file with CSU, Sacramento need not be resubmitted unless there is additional coursework to be reported. If you completed your Undergrad coursework at Sac State, we do not need your transcripts again.
    • The average processing time for transcripts is 1-2 weeks after they are received. This time may be longer during peak times, so please allow adequate time for processing. Also, allow additional processing time if the name on the transcript does not match the name on your application.

    For electronic transcripts submission systems that allow you to enter an e-mail address, please use the following e-mail address:

    It is the responsibility of the applicant to enter the correct e-mail address and to confirm that the Office of Graduate Studies has received their transcript(s).

    Physical transcripts for those institutions that do not send official transcripts electronically can be addressed to:

    Office of Graduate Studies
    California State University, Sacramento
    Riverfront Center, Room 215, MS 6112
    6000 J St.
    Sacramento, CA 95819

    Please note: Applicants who attended foreign institutions are required to submit transcripts one month prior to application deadline, in order to allow time for foreign credential evaluation. Please see Applicants with Foreign Documents section for details.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Information

All students enrolled at a CSU campus pay a per-semester systemwide tuition fee, in addition to campus mandatory fees. Non-resident students also pay a per-unit fee, and students enrolled in some graduate business programs have an additional per-unit fee. Please see below for a detailed breakdown.

Admitted graduate students are eligible to apply for the Douglas McDaniel Memorial Scholarship, the Livingston Fellowship, and the Donald R. Gerth Scholarship in Political Science which are available to be awarded each year. Students seeking additional financial assistance should contact the CSUS Financial Aid Office.


The Graduate Coordinator advises all prospective and incoming students.

Once a student is established in the program, the professor the student works most closely with and who supervises their thesis or comprehensive exams can serve as their advisor.