Welcome to Villanova’s Graduate Programs in Political Science, where we train students as analytical social scientists and educate them about the broader underpinnings and implications of politics. 

Our students are deeply interested in politics and the domestic, international and ideational forces that shape it. They choose Villanova for many reasons, including: 

  • Exploring academia: Students join our MA program to enhance their credentials to apply for top-ranked PhD programs. We offer a special research track, which includes guidance on selecting and gaining entry to top doctoral programs.
  • Public service: Villanova is the ideal place for students interested in working for government at the state, local or federal level, and students who are seeking employment in the non-profit sector. We offer several courses in conjunction with the Department of Public Administration. 
  • Professional development: Teachers, military personnel, law enforcement officers and other individuals in the early or middle stages of their professional careers use the MA to upgrade their credentials or seek a better grounding in either domestic or international affairs. Students benefit from class discussion with peers from diverse backgrounds, methods training and an optimal balance between theory and practice. 
  • Certificates: Students can enhance their master's degree and earn graduate certificates in American Politics, International Politics, Applied Statistics, Non-Profit Management, and Teaching Advanced History and Government. 
  • Life-long learning: The Political Science Department welcomes life-long learners who would like to explore politics beyond the headlines. Our graduate program offers flexible scheduling and options that can lead to a master's including enrolling in up to two courses as a non-matriculated student or enrolling in a five-course graduate certificate in American Politics or International Politics.



The Political Science graduate faculty members are actively engaged in research and deeply committed to teaching. They regularly publish in the discipline's top journals and prestigious university presses. In recent years, faculty members have been awarded grants by the National Science Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Earhart Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Political Science faculty members have also served as visiting scholars at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Princeton University, the International Monetary Fund and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Several of our faculty members have also won national publication awards.

All courses are run as small, discussion-based seminars, which are capped at 15 students. Faculty members closely guide student research and writing. Our research workshops offer students an additional opportunity to interact with faculty outside the classroom. The Graduate Director also helps PhD-bound students in selecting and applying to graduate programs. Our alumni connections are strong, and we often invite Villanova Political Science alumni to speak to current students about career planning. 

Our program is flexible in terms of the degree requirements and the scheduling of courses. We individually discuss with students their course selection to assure it matches their overall academic and professional goals. Besides taking one course in each subfield and PSC 7000, Research Concepts and Approaches, students can concentrate in a particular subfield or take courses in all of them. Students also can petition to enroll in up to six credits in other Villanova graduate programs. Students can enroll in up to three courses per semester, or as few as a single course. All courses are offered at night to accommodate working students. 

The MA program offers students opportunities to partake in various aspects of scholarly research. Research assistants become closely involved in the faculty's research projects and co-author conference papers or journal articles. The department runs a faculty research workshop to which all students are invited. The university also offers summer research fellowships, and assists students in presenting their work at conferences. The Political Science Department regularly forwards announcements about lectures and conferences that occur at Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, the Constitution Center and other research centers located in and around Philadelphia. In short, for highly motivated students, there are ample scholarly opportunities to enrich their studies outside the classroom. 

Our program is ideal for students considering PhD programs, law school, or who are interested in government service, journalism, the nonprofit sector, foreign service or secondary education.

Frank Pryor
Graduate Program Director

Fathe Allen
Senior Administrative Assistant
Department of Political Science


February 1: For admission with funding consideration

August 1: For admission without funding for the fall

December 1: For admission without funding for the spring

If you have missed a deadline, please contact Program Director Frank Prior to discuss your options.

Begin your application.



Danielle Burns '20 CLAS, '21 MA

Political Science Grad Focuses on Combating Inequities in Healthcare

During her time at Villanova University, Political Science master's program graduate Danielle Burns '20 CLAS, '21 MA, focused her research on intersectionality, archival recovery, racial and gender equity, and global politics and development. Today, she serves as a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, working to create programs and initiatives to help combat health inequities and bias in the healthcare industry. READ MORE