Master of Arts in Political Science admissions

How to apply

The Master of Arts in Political Science program accepts applications for admission to start in the fall or winter terms. For a decision on regular admission, the application deadlines are:

  • Fall: July 1
  • Winter: November 1

Applications completed after these deadlines will be considered if space is available. If there is no space available, applicants who meet our qualifications will be advised to reapply for the next available semester.

Application materials

The following documents must be submitted before applications are considered for admission. Materials can be completed or uploaded via the online application:

  • Official copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, both undergraduate and graduate
  • A personal statement: A two to three-page essay describing your educational and professional goals as they relate to the master's program
  • One letter of recommendation from an instructor and/or employer
    • Letters from faculty instructors, particularly those who understand challenging graduate programs, are preferred. The primary purpose of the letters should be to provide further evidence that the applicant can succeed in a rigorous graduate program
  • Optional: Graduate Record Examination scores
    • Applicants with a cumulative GPA below 3.30 must submit GRE scores in order to be considered for admission. Applicants with a GPA of 3.30 or higher are not required to submit GRE scores, although they may wish to do so, especially if they are considering continuing on to the Ph.D.
  • See additional university requirements for international applicants

Apply for graduate admission


The decision to admit a student for master's work will be based on an evaluation of that student's qualifications as evidenced in the following ways.

Previous educational experience and undergraduate record

To qualify for regular admission, a student must have a strong background in political science or other social sciences (particularly coursework in American politics and policymaking), and an upper-division (last two years) undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better. Students lacking such undergraduate coursework will be required to take prescribed coursework in addition to the minimum required for the degree.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

Applicants for admission to the program must take the verbal, quantitative and analytical aptitude sections of the GRE. The department must receive the results of the GRE before the student's application will be considered. Normally, a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 290 (1000 on the old scale) will be required for admission, with a quantitative score of at least 141 (450 on the old scale). For further information on the GRE, go to the GRE website at

The GRE code for Wayne State University is 1898. The code for political science is 1902.

English language proficiency (for international applicants)

Students who do not speak English as a native language must demonstrate English language proficiency. More information about requirements can be found in the Graduate School's English proficiency requirements.

Two letters of recommendation

Submitted from persons able to offer assessments of the applicant's character and academic ability.

Personal statement

Briefly outline your reasons for seeking a master's degree.

Supporting materials

You have the option to provide additional supporting materials, such as an example of previous work that may be indicative of the student's ability to perform at the graduate level.

Transfer of credits

In work toward the master's degree, credit beyond the 24 credits that must be earned in residence may be transferred from accredited graduate schools, provided such credit is B or better and certified as graduate-level credit on an official transcript. For example, a master's student in a 33-credit program would need to earn at least 33 credits overall – comprised of a minimum of 24 credits earned in residence and no more than nine transfer credits. Credits earned in residence may include those under the dual election arrangement with the University of Michigan, provided that prior approval is obtained from the graduate director.

Only those credits specifically approved by the graduate director may be transferred. Credits will be accepted or rejected for transfer on the basis of whether or not they were earned in graduate courses comparable to those offered at Wayne State University and represent work that fits into the student's overall program of study. Decisions on these matters will be made by the graduate director in consultation with members of the graduate faculty. They may be appealed to the Graduate Studies Committee.

Students requesting transfer credit should be prepared to present information on the nature and content of the courses involved. This may take the form of course descriptions, syllabi or reading lists, examinations and papers.


For more information, please contact Academic Services Officer, Detonya Clark.