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Political Science

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College of Liberal Arts and Social Science

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Master of Science in Political Science


In AUM’s Master of Science in Political Science (MPS) program, graduate students gain rigorous, advanced training in core political science ideas and leading-edge research and statistical methodology. This in-depth training program in political science is designed for students who seek academic or professional careers. It provides an opportunity for students to:

  • Explore American politics and international relations
  • Receive advanced training in research methods
  • Gain significant skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Take electives in comparative politics and data analysis
  • Undertake independent research on a topic of interest under faculty guidance

The MPS program offers students two primary areas of specialization: American Politics and International Relations. The former explores American institutions and the interplay between public opinion and policymaking. The latter explores a variety of topics including U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the global economy, and more.

All courses meet in the classroom. A low student-faculty ratio ensures that each graduate student receives hands-on training from faculty members who are experts in their fields. See the MPS Brochure for a brief overview of each participating faculty member’s research areas. 

Our graduates are well positioned for a variety of career paths. Recent graduates have continued their studies in the Auburn University-Auburn University Montgomery Joint Ph.D. Program in Public Administration and Public Policy and in law school. Others have accepted positions with public sector organizations.

  • What kind of electives are available? Elective classes will depend on the specialization you choose. They could include Comparative Politics, Southern Politics, Congressional Politics, The American Presidency, Democracy and Democratization, Developing Countries, and more.
  • Is this master’s degree program affordable? Tuition at AUM is lower than many other major universities, and eligible master’s candidates are considered for scholarships (such as the Graduate Focus Scholarship) on a merit basis. Some research assistantships are also available.
  • I’m interested in political polling and research. Do you cover that? The non-partisan, non-special interest AUM Poll surveys Alabamians on preferences regarding political candidates and public policies. Through the elective course POLS 6972, graduate students can get hands-on experience with survey research and data analysis.
  • Other than politics as a career, why should I select this program? As part of a liberal arts education that enhances skills in analytical reading, research, analysis, and writing, those with an advanced political science degree are good candidates for jobs in business, finance, consulting, government work, the foreign service, and teaching.

Why AUM?

Our differences are our strengths!


AUM is honored to have received many national and regional awards over the years. U.S. News & World Report named AUM one of its Top Public Schools for 2021, and Yahoo! Finance honored us as one of the Most Affordable Universities for 2021.


We think a high-quality, graduate education should be affordable. Tuition rates for many of our programs are lower than at comparable universities. In addition, scholarship or other kinds of tuition assistance may be available.


AUM offers a close-knit community where students and faculty get to know each other by name and develop valuable professional networks. We are able to keep class sizes small to facilitate group projects and personalized learning.


We understand that one of the main reasons you are here is to expand your career options. That’s why our programs are practical and often apply to your current work situation. You’ll also have the opportunity to get valuable career assistance.

We Have the Answers

Ask Us Anything

Check out Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth on this page to begin exploring your options. Contact us so we can get you the answers you need.

Our graduates pursue a variety of careers in law, government, education, nonprofits, consulting, journalism, policymaking, and lobbying. Some continue their education in programs such as the Auburn University-AUM Joint Ph.D. Program in Public Administration and Public Policy.

Students are not required to have a political science degree. Other requirements may apply. See application instructions for details.

Application Requirements

Applications are accepted throughout the academic year. See the program’s application instructions for details on the application process. Students are encouraged to start the program in the fall if possible, but are welcome to begin in the Spring term.

Degree Options

Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth

With this master’s degree, you have many career possibilities. Here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (or another source, if noted). 

Career/Job TitleEntry-level EducationJob Growth 2020-2030Annual Median Salary
Political ScientistMaster's degree9% (As fast as average)$122,510
Urban and Regional PlannerMaster's degree7% (As fast as average)$78,500
Policy AnalystMaster's degreeNot available$76,162 (

Note: Salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education, training, demographics, and industry. Available data represents job titles across industries and may not be specific to your job category.

Learn More

Quick Facts

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

At AUM’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, you will have powerful learning experiences, working side by side with professors who have real-world experience.

Our academic departments include Communication and Theatre, Criminal Justice, Economics, English and Philosophy, Fine Arts,  History and World Cultures, Political Science and Public Administration, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, and Army ROTC. To help you pay for college, you might qualify for one of our scholarships.

Official Degree Name

Master of Science in Political Science


This degree requires students to meet on campus. Students in these courses enroll in a program to connect in a campus setting and to collaborate using a variety of technological and educational tools. Professors play an inspirational role in building relationships among teams and individuals in this setting. The criteria for many programs can only be met with In-Class coursework. Be sure to check with your advisor to understand the best route to take.

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