Frequently Asked Questions | Department of Political Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Graduate Advisor?

Dr. Glen Biglaiser -

Is financial assistance available?

Answer: Our financial assistance is in the form of teaching and research assistantships and teaching fellowships. We normally provide assistantships and fellowships to 25-30 students an academic year. Of these, 8-10 awards are to new students. Assistantships are competitive and require that the student work for 10 or 20 hours a week (depending on the award). Master's degree students who continue to perform well (both in his/her assistantship job and academic performance) can expect to be funded for four semesters. Doctoral degree students who continue to make satisfactory progress towards his/her degree can expect to be funded for 8 semesters. See for more information about applying for funding opportunities in the department.

Do I need to take the Graduate Record Exams?

Answer: Yes, the Graduate Record Exams is required of all applicants to the graduate program in Political Science. If you took the GRE several years ago, you may use those scores for your current application.

Can the GRE requirement be waived?

Answer: No. We use GRE scores as one of the indicators of a prospective student's future academic performance.

Can my GMAT or LSAT scores replace the GRE?

Answer: We do not accept the GMAT or the LSAT.

Who can I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

Answer: We prefer that your recommendation letters come from professors who know your academic work. If this is not possible and you have graduated more than 5 years before you apply for our graduate program, we will accept letters from work supervisors or other people who know you (but not from your relatives).

What is the difference between the M.A. and the M.S. program?

Answer: The difference between the two programs is that the M.A. program requires foreign language credit hours while the M.S. program requires research methodology credit hours.

How long does it take to complete the M.A., M.S. or the Ph.D. program?

Answer: The length of time to completion of degree depends from student to student. However, on average the M.A./M.S. degree can be completed in two academic years. For the Ph.D. degree it is reasonable to be able to complete all degree requirements in five years (of course depending on how fast the student completes the dissertation research and writing).

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