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Admission Requirements
  1. Check that you qualify

    All students must meet the following criteria in order to apply to the program:
    • An undergraduate degree received by the program’s start date.
    • International applicants whose undergraduate degrees are not from English-language institutions should have a TOEFL iBT score of at least 80 or an IELTS overall score of at least 6.5. Please see The Graduate School's website for further details.
  2. Gather official documentation

    • Official transcripts of all undergraduate coursework and any previous graduate coursework.
    • Two current recommendation letters from professors qualified to judge the applicant's ability to complete graduate studies.
  3. Draft your three required statements and update your resume or curriculum vitae

    • Personal statement: In this single-spaced, 1-2 page statement, applicants should describe their educational and professional background and their future educational and professional goals. They may also include other information that they think would be of interest to the admissions committee.
    • Statement of language proficiency & prior international experience: In the first paragraph of this statement, applicants should indicate the extent of their study of at least one language other than English. They should indicate which language(s) they have studied, the extent and nature of their studies, and the degree of proficiency that they have attained. Then, in the rest of the statement, applicants should summarize briefly any experiences they have had living and/or traveling outside of the United States.
    • Statement of policy interest: The program's course of study requires each student to specialize in one of two policy tracks: economic and social policy or foreign policy and internal security. In the statement of policy interest, applicants should indicate which track they prefer and why. The preferences expressed on this statement are not binding; admitted students will have the opportunity to change their preferred policy track specialization once they have enrolled in the program.
    • A resume or curriculum vitae.
  4. Submit your application materials and pay the application fee via the JMU Graduate School’s online application system

    • Material can be submitted online and should include: your official transcripts, Personal Statement, Statement of Language Proficiency, & Prior International Experience, Statement of Policy Interest, resume or CV, and two letters of recommendation.
  5. Submit a writing sample

    Applicants must submit a writing sample that showcases their ability to carry out academic and/or policy-relevant research. This example should be 5 pages or longer in single-spaced formatting and 10 pages or longer in double-spaced formatting.

    • Applicants will upload this sample through the online application system in .pdf or .docx format.
  6. Optional: apply for a program assistantship and/or research assistantship

    • There are two graduate program assistantships tied directly to the program: (1) Social Media & Website and (2) Communications & Recruitment. Each program assistantship also includes some research components.
    • In turn, there are ten research assistantships available for the class of 2023-2024.
    • Applicants who are interested in applying for any or all of these available positions should consult the assistantship page for more information and for application instructions.

Our Admissions Committee conducts a holistic review of every application to assess each student's capabilities for success in this graduate program. If you have questions about the application process for the M.A. in Political Science, please contact the program's Executive Director, Dr. Charles Blake at

Important Dates and Deadlines
  • Monday, May 22, 2023 
    • Final application deadline for the 2023-2024 academic year. Applications received between February 16 and May 22 are reviewed on a space-available, rolling basis as they are received.
    • Contact Program Executive Director Dr. Charles Blake with questions.
Application Checklist

✓ Check that you qualify

✓ Gather official documentation (transcripts, letters of recommendation)

✓ Prepare a writing sample with academic and/or policy-relevant research

✓ Draft your three required statements

✓ Update your resume or curriculum vitae

✓ Submit your application materials via The Graduate School

✓ Optional: Apply for Federal Financial Aid

✓ Optional: Apply for a program and/or research assistantship

Links and Contact Information

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