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MA Political Science and American Politics

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I would like all the advice you have on choosing a Master's program for PolSci.

I have been admitted to different programs of which my top choices are:


George Washington

American University

University of Virginia


I am interested in focusing my Master's in American Politics and eventually apply for a Ph.D. in Political Science at top programs (Princeton, Stanford, Yale, UCSD)

I have to make a decision this week so any help would be very appreciated!

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Select the one that allows you take classes with PhD students. 

My understanding is that NYU, GW, Columbia, put you in classes taught by adjuncts. UVA puts you in a class with the PhD students.

You should ask the departments. 

If your goal is to apply for graduate school, having classes with PhD students makes your grades more informative and it also means you accomplished something. If you take classes with professors, rather than adjuncts, you might be able to make a relationship and get good letters of recommendation. But you'd need to be their RA or something else, because a letter like "I have met X 2 months ago and X was good in my class" is not going to cut it. How long are these MA programs?

Also, the department you go to might admit you into their PhD in case you strike out. Getting into those top programs is hard and just doing an MA is not going to give you a big enough edge to get in. This is why this strategy might end with you just having a big debt. 




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Hi! I believe we are in the same situation, except I aim for comparative politics :) I am inbetween NYU and GW, but will probably go for GW. 

I, too, think taking classes with PhDs are important, and as far as I know GW does that (that's what is written at their website at least). They don't have a separate course curriculum for masters.

Columbia is one year I guess? It might not be wise to go there since you wont be able to familiarize yourself with professors; and I remember that the program didn't have a thesis track. 

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