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Why choose Villanova for an M.A. in Political Science?

Who Comes to Villanova?

Our students are deeply interested in politics and the domestic, international and ideational forces that shape it. They choose Villanova with one of three career goals in mind:

  • Academia: Students interested in an academic career. They join our program to enhance their credentials and enter top ranked Ph.D. programs.
  • Public service: Students interested in working for government at state or federal level, or are seeking employment in the non-profit sector. Students who have an interest in public service often take courses in the Department of Public Administration.
  • Professional development: Individuals in the early or middle stages of their professional careers. They upgrade their credentials or seek a better grounding in either domestic or international affairs. The diverse backgrounds of our students tremendously enriches the classroom experience as the Ph.D. aspiring students expound on the more scholarly aspects of the readings while mid-career professionals share their personal and practical experiences. Class discussions strike a good balance between theory and practice.

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Outstanding Faculty

The Political Science graduate faculty is comprised of faculty members who are actively engaged in research and are deeply committed to teaching. They regularly publish in the discipline's top journals or university presses. In recent years, faculty have been awarded grants by the National Science Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, Earhart Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities; were visiting scholars at Princeton, IMF, Center for Strategic and International Studies or have won national publications awards. For more details, please go to links on faculty directory.  Scholarship students become closely involved in the faculties' research projects and regularly end up co-authoring conference papers or journal articles. Several faculty also regularly comment in the local and national media on political developments in the US and abroad.  Several faculty members have been awarded or nominated for the Lindback Teaching Award - Villanova's most prestigious such award.

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Small Classes

All courses are run as small, discussion-based seminars, which are capped at fifteen students. Faculty members closely guide students' research papers and, if chosen by the student, supervise a six-credit thesis. Our regular faculty research workshops offer students an additional opportunity to interact with faculty outside the classroom. The Graduate Director also helps Ph.D. bound students in selecting and applying to graduate programs.

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Affordability & Assistantship

Course credits are competitively priced at rates comparable to public institutions. The Political Science program also awards each year a handful of assistantships.

Additionally, Villanova offers options to help finance your studies, ranging from tuition payment plans to full tuition scholarships.  To learn more about financing your education, click here.

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Challenging & Contemporary Curriculum

Our seminars center on key contemporary political issues and we discuss them in light of current scholarly debates in political science as well as their historical context. Each semester we offer courses in all three subfields: American Government, Comparative Politics/International Relations and Political Philosophy.  We also have certificate programs.

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Our program is flexible in terms of the degree requirements and the scheduling of courses. We individually discuss with students their overall course selection to assure it matches their overall academic or professional goals. Besides taking one course in each subfield and PSC 7000, 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 graduate programs. Students can enroll in as much as three courses per semester, or as little as a single course. All courses are offered at night to accommodate working students.

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Research Opportunities

The M.A. program offers students opportunities to partake in various aspects of scholarly research. Fellowship students, working as research assistants, become closely involved in the faculty's research projects and regularly end up co-authoring 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 oriented institutions located in and around Philadelphia. In short, for highly motivated students, there are ample scholarly opportunities to enrich their studies outside the classroom.

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Convenient Location

Villanova is located on the historical Mainline, in a beautiful western suburb of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia offers a wide variety of museums, libraries, concerts and professional sport teams. The campus is only thirty minutes from downtown Philadelphia. It is minutes away from all major highways and routes to and from major metropolitan areas such as: New York City, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Villanova provides ample parking and mass transit stops right on campus, and students can travel easily to and from the campus by car, bus or train.

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Successful Graduates

Our graduates attend doctoral programs (at such Universities as Cornell, Brown, NYU, Notre Dame, Penn State, Emory, UNC Chapel Hill), enroll in law schools (such as Georgetown, George Washington, Villanova, Emory), and pursue public service careers (such as the State Department, Department of Health, FBI, US Marine Corps, EPA, nonprofits, congressional staff work, K-12 teachers).

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Abigail Minor
Senior Administrative Assistant
Department of Political Science
Villanova University
Villanova, PA 19085-1699
Phone: 610.519.4710
Fax: 610.519.7487

Academics: Villanova University Liberal Arts and Sciences