Political Science Graduate Programs


Acquire the skills to become successful in the public or private sector at a domestic or international level.

Focused on the study of politics, government policies and domestic and international issues.


Thank you for your interest in the Master of Arts or Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of South Dakota. Our goal is to continuously meet the needs of our students and to ensure the highest quality education possible. At this time our department is suspending new applications to these degree programs due to a number of factors including reduced faculty resources. The department is committed to graduate education and suggests you consider the Master of Public Administration program or one of our two online degrees, the Master of Science in Administration or the Executive Master of Public Administration. If we can answer any further questions about the change please contact political.science@usd.edu.

Master of Arts (M.A.)

A program designed to advance understanding and explanation in the fields of American politics & public policy, and international relations.

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

A program designed to advance understanding and explanation in the fields of public administration and policy and American political institutions that is able to accommodate non-traditional students maintaining full-time employment, as well as traditional students who make doctoral studies their primary professional focus.

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  • American Politics and Public Policy (M.A.)
  • International Relations (M.A.)

Emphasis Areas

  • American Political Institutions (Ph.D.)
  • Public Administration and Public Policy (Ph.D.)

Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit earned
  4. Completion of at least 12 credit hours in Political Science at the undergraduate level (M.A. applicants only)
  5. Three letters of recommendation
    Letter of Recommendation Form
  6. Statement of Purpose
  7. Any relevant professional experience and/or public service (applicants should submit a current curriculum vitae or resume)
  8. Official copy of GRE scores
  9. Additional requirements exist for international applicants. For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Political Science in the current graduate catalog.

Application Deadline

  • March 15 to be considered for an assistantship
  • July 15 for enrollment

The Classroom & Beyond

  • Faculty led study trips to Italy and Ireland are now available. Political science, criminal justice and international studies majors are eligible to receive Farber Funding.

  • This active club organizes trips, brings speakers to campus, hosts an evening film series and sponsors other social and academic activities throughout the year.

  • A wide variety of internship experiences are available to students, who are especially encouraged to intern with the U.S. Congress and the SD State Legislature.