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Scholarships, Work Opportunities, and Financial Support

The Political Science department offers two forms of financial support to our MA students: Terhune Scholarships for incoming students and employment as Teaching or Research Assistants. In addition, there are multiple campus-wide scholarship and fellowship opportunities and extramural scholarships

We offer Terhune Fellowships to the top applicants and continuing students in our program each year, with amounts generally ranging from $1,000- $4,000. All those who have a complete application on file by February 15 for the Fall Semester are automatically considered for Terhune support. If you have been selected as a fellowship awardee, you will be notified at the same time as you learn of your admission to the program (generally by the beginning of March).

Download the Scholarship Application

The Graduate Equity Fellowship program provides support for economically disadvantaged graduate students, especially from groups who are underrepresented within their respective disciplines. Only legal residents of the State of California who can demonstrate significant financial need of $1,000, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) are eligible. Recipients must be classified or conditionally classified graduate students, maintain a 3.00 GPA, and must be enrolled for a minimum of nine units of graduate coursework each semester they hold the fellowship. Fellowships range from $500 to $4,000 for an academic year depending on the demonstrated need. Students may receive awards for a maximum of two academic years, but they must apply each year. Postbaccalaureate students are ineligible. Interested students should complete an application, obtained in the Graduate Division office, and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, obtained in the Financial Aid office. Both applications must be submitted by September of each year. 

TAs typically lead discussion sections as well as assist with grading exams and papers. This experience is especially valuable for those who think they might like to teach as part of their career. The department offers new TAs training and support as they learn the skills they need to be effective teachers.

For more information, please see the TA/GA Handbook on the Graduate Studies website.

Download the TA/GA Position Application

There are also some employment opportunities for graduate students as Graduate Assistants, who either serve as graders (without the responsibility for leading discussion sections) or as research assistants for faculty who have grant support to hire students to work with them.

For more information, please see the TA/GA Handbook on the Graduate Division website.

Download the TA/GA Position Application

There are two funding opportunities for Masters students that are competitive across the campus and that are based upon nominations by departments. The Political Science Graduate Admissions committee will select our top candidates to nominate for these awards each year. Students cannot apply for them directly. In previous years, our department has been awarded no more than one or two of these per year. 

  • The Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship (PGRF) is a university-wide competition designed to recruit non-resident graduate students who demonstrate outstanding potential for achievement in research or creative activity. Awards provide a waiver of non-resident tuition for the first year of an SDSU graduate program, and are renewable subject to good academic standing. Renewals provide a maximum of 5 semesters overall for master’s students. Nominations are accepted only for new, incoming students.
  • The Master's Research Scholarship directs institutional funding to support recruitment, retention, and timely degree completion for excellent master’s students engaged in scholarship advancing the university's goals for research and creative activity, with awards of $10,000. Nominations for these awards may be for incoming or continuing Master's students.
There are several other scholarships for which graduate students are eligible, including the Keith Behner scholarship for Political Science students (see our scholarships page). You may also be eligible for other, more general scholarships available either through the Scholarships Office at SDSU or from external sponsors. The SDSU scholarship application is available each year during one application period from November through the first Monday in February. Students need to submit only one application for the general SDSU scholarship program  in order to apply for any opportunity through the Aztec Scholarships portal. Students are also encouraged to work with the Scholarships Office to identify other, extramural funding opportunities. Also see a list of funding opportunities on the Graduate Studies funding page.
There is also need-based financial aid available through SDSU aimed to reduce or eliminate economic barriers to graduate study. For more information, visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

How to Apply

Graduate Advisor

Professor Kristen Maher
Office: Nasatir Hall (NH) 121
Email: [email protected]

Advising Hours (Spring 2024)

In-person office hours (NH 121): TH 2:30-4 p.m.
Please email to to make zoom appointments on other days/times.

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