Skip to main content Skip to navigation
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Graduate

Graduate Degrees in Political Science

The School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs offers the following degrees:

  • Ph.D. in Political Science
  • M.A. in Political Science (General)
  • M.A. in Political Science (Global Justice and Security Studies Certificate)

The Pullman campus awards the M.A. and Ph.D. in political science. Over the years, WSU has granted more than 225 M.A.’s and more than 100 Ph.D.’s in political science.

Our Ph.D. is designed to give students substantive flexibility in mapping out their program of study.  Students choose from one major foundational training area within which they will focus for their preliminary exams:

  • Institutions and Processes
  • Behavior and Psychology
  • Theory and Philosophy

Specialization Fields

  • American Politics
  • Global Politics
  • Public Policy/Public Administration

The foundational training area allows students flexibility in structuring their course loads  to take advantage of the areas of particular strength within our department, such as political psychology, global justice and security studies, philosophy, and gender, while building critical skills in research and methodology.

Admissions Information

The school recruits highly qualified students and admits a limited number of strong applicants. All students must apply to and be admitted into the Ph.D. program. Students entering with the B.A. degree obtain an M.A. after completing the matriculation exam in the second year.

The school does  offer a terminal M.A. in political science (general) and M.A. in political science (global justice & security studies certificate). The certificate program is practitioner-based and is intended for students seeking employment within the intelligence or defense communities. These M.A.’s do not lead to admission into the Ph.D. program.

Admission into both programs is granted in the fall semester only.

School Admissions & Applications Timeline

The school will do its best to review the applications received and notify all applicants in a timely manner. The deadline for admission applications is January 10; applicants will be notified of admission decisions before March 15. Students are encouraged to call the school if they have any questions regarding their application status.

To Apply

Please submit all required documents:

  1. An online application and fee to the Graduate School.
  2. An updated official college transcript showing your bachelor’s and/or master’s work sent to the Graduate School.
  3. A brief (1–2 pages) personal statement  addressing the student’s academic interest in political science, career objectives, and how their research interests fit the expertise of faculty and programs at WSU. This should be submitted to the Graduate School.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted to the Graduate School.  Letters should come from people that can attest to your academic ability to succeed in a graduate program (i.e., professors).
  5. An official copy of the TOEFL Examination (required for international students only). Please send directly to the Graduate School.
  6. A writing sample submitted to the Graduate School

School Contact Information

Graduate Director

Dr. Michael Salamone
Phone: 509-335-7569

Graduate Coordinator:

Diane Scott
Phone: 509-335-2545

Useful Links:

Graduate School
Schedule of Classes

School of Politics, Philosophy, & Public Affairs
Washington State University
801 Johnson Tower
PO Box 644880
Pullman, WA 99164-4880

Main Phone Number: 509-335-2544
Fax Number: 509-335-7990


Graduate Handbook

The School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Graduate Handbook was developed to use in conjunction with Graduate School Policies and Procedures.

Students are governed by the rules and regulations in the academic year they begin graduate work.