Department of Political Science

Named 2015 College of Arts and Letters Department of the Year by students

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Contact Information
Phone. (619) 594-6244
Fax: (619) 594-7302

Nasatir Hall 126
Mail Code: 4427
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego CA, 92182-4427
Office Hours: M-F 8:30-4:00

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Last Update: 5/12/15


Fall 2014 Cohort

Graduate Adviser

Professor Latha Varadarajan
Office: Nasatir Hall 124

The Political Science Department offers a Master of Arts degree that enrolls a new class of about 15 students every year. Approximately fifty students are enrolled in the program at any one time. Our recent cohorts have included students from Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Colombia, Ukraine, Somalia, Iraq Mexico, as well as the United States.

The program is academically rigorous, offering a variety of courses in the four subfields of American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory. The two-year degree comprises of ten courses providing students a strong foundation in theory, methods, as well as an understanding of a broad range of topics. In the past few years our seminars have covered subjects such as the Arab Spring, gender and politics, immigration and border politics, international law, imperialism, revolutions, religion and politics, and American democracy.

Students work closely with the department’s sixteen full-time faculty, each nationally and internationally recognized. Many faculty take on graduate students as research assistants, giving students a first-hand opportunity to work alongside a distinguished scholar in a field of shared interest.

The program is designed to suit the needs of students with a variety of professional goals and academic backgrounds.

Students seeking an M.A. degree as a springboard to enter Ph.D. programs, receive an advanced training in Political Science theory and research design, develop a specialized area of expertise, and pursue original research in a M.A. thesis. Many of our graduates have gone on to join prestigious doctoral programs in various disciplines.

Students seeking additional training and credentials for a career in government, nonprofit organizations, public interest groups, research organizations or business have also found our program exceptionally valuable. The flexibility of our program enables students who are employed in such fields to enroll part-time.   Our public policy emphasis in particular is designed to enhance job placement through an internship in an organization relevant to a student’s interests. 

Why San Diego State University?

SDSU is the largest campus in the California State University System and has a national reputation for academic excellence. In each of the past six years, SDSU was recognized as “the top small research university in the country”, based upon data from the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. Last year, faculty members across SDSU were awarded over $145 million in grants and contracts, and reported close to 1,500 research projects under way. Moreover, our geographic location on the U.S.-Mexican border, cosmopolitan context and diverse population provide unique opportunities for local fieldwork and research.

SDSU maintains close library ties to other local universities, including the University of California, San Diego, where students can also arrange to take up to a semester’s worth of coursework (including PhD-level courses in political science). Past students have also taken advantage of the opportunity to take courses at the California Western School of Law and universities around the world via SDSU’s inter-university agreements.

San Diego State University