Graduate Programs

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Graduate Programs

The Department of Political Science offers the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy

If you are considering attending graduate school to further your education, consider Northern Illinois University's political science programs. Our current graduate students have a wide array of political interests.  We invite you to visit our graduate student profiles

Recent graduates of NIU's political science programs have successfully served in a variety of fields and disciplines, and an advanced degree in political science can help create the solid foundation you need for success in your chosen field.


Academic Specialties

The Department of Political Science offers five fields for scholarly study:


Size of Program

The department has a distinguished faculty of nearly 25 members, including faculty in the Department of Public Administration, and it enrolls approximately 100 M.A. and Ph.D. students. It graduates around 10 M.A., and six Ph.D. students each year.


Time to Completion 
and Funding Opportunities

Although completion times vary, an M.A. can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. A Ph.D. for M.A. graduates who stay at NIU can be completed with an additional five to six semesters, which includes course work, comprehensive examinations, and dissertation writing. Approximately eighty percent of full-time graduate students secure assistantships or fellowships (with tuition waivers) from the department or other units in the university, such as the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Minority graduate students are eligible for the Rhoten A. Smith fellowships awarded by the graduate school.


Further Information

If you have specific questions about the graduate program, please contact the Graduate Secretary, ZH 415, 815-753-1013; or, Professor Scot Schraufnagel, Director of Graduate Studies, Office: Zulauf Hall 402, 815-753-7054; sschrauf@niu.edu.

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