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Admission FAQs for Prospective MA Students


See our M.A. Program FAQs for more general information about the program.

What are the minimum requirements for admission?


The minimum requirements for admission to our Master's program are as follows:


  • Bachelors degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0;
  • three academic letters of recommendation;
  • One academic transcript from each school you have previously attended;
  • statement of purpose;
  • results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and;
  • for international students, results from the TOEFL* or TOEFLC* (Test of English as a Foreign Language).



How can I apply?


Applicants can apply via mail or the web, but online applications are preferred. The online application can be found here. We also prefer that applicants submit most of their documents online, including letters of recommendation, the personal statement, writing samples, and resume. The only credentials that must be mailed separately are academic transcripts and any submissions that are not word-processed documents (e.g., videotapes, artwork, photocopies of articles). Students applying on-line should also note that all supporting documentation must be submitted before the January 4th deadline of the respective year they are applying for.



When is the application deadline?


The application deadline is the January 4th prior to the Fall semester you are applying for. In the case where January 4th falls on a weekend day, then the deadline will fall on the Monday immediately following.  While applicants are guaranteed consideration when submissions are received by January 4th, if spaces are still available, applications received after that date will be considered on a rolling basis.



Is there anything else I need to know about the application process?


It is very important that you send your application and supporting documentation in one package. Your physical application will be sent to various offices, and it is possible that any credentials that are sent separate from your application may not make it into your file in time for review.  For this reason, when possible, have the application components sent to you in a sealed envelope and, without opening the documents, include it in your submission.



Must my bachelor's degree be in Political Science in order to apply?





Who should write my letters of recommendation?


The Graduate School requires that at least one letter be from an academic.  For the others, you should choose individuals who are best able to evaluate whether you are qualified for an MA program in Politics.  Usually, but not always, the best people to get these letters from are academics.  However, if you have been out of school for a number of years, you may want letters from non-academics, but please remember that they are not always in a good position to tell the admissions committee what we need to know.  Choose references that are in the best position to give the admissions committee relevant information, remembering that at least one of these must come from an academic.



What must I include in my statement of purpose?


This should be clear and concise statement of what you want to accomplish while enrolled in the MA program.  One or two pages should suffice.



Can the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) be waived?


No. Under no circumstances can the GRE be waived. They are required for all students. Please note that GRE scores are valid for only five years. Should your GRE scores expire before the application deadline for the year you are applying, then you must retake the GRE and submit the new scores.



What are the minimum GRE scores for admission?


Based on past accepted applicants, the median scores fall into the 80th percentile for each section of the general GRE exam. For information on the GRE please visit the official website at www.gre.org.



Can the TOEFL be waived for international students?


International students can waive the TOEFL or TOEFLC only if their first language of instruction at the institution in which they received their degree was in English. Or if the official language of the country in which they reside is English. The TOEFL or TOEFLC cannot be waived under any other circumstance.



Can the Master's program be done on a part-time basis?


Yes, the Master's program in politics can be completed on a part-time basis. Part-time students usually take one to two courses a semester.



What is the typical amount of time it takes to complete the Masters Program?


Students can complete the Master's program in as little as 9 months, though it is a very intensive route. On average, students take a year to a year and a half to complete the program. Part time students usually finish in 2 to 3 years. There is a time limit of 5 years for students to complete the program.



How can the language requirement be satisfied?


The language requirement must be satisfied post admission. Any language coursework completed prior to being admitted will not satisfy this requirement.


There are three ways to satisfy the language requirement:


      students can take a language proficiency exam,

      students can take a departmental statistics course, which substitutes for a language,

      or students can take an undergraduate, second semester, intermediate language course and earn a grade of B or better.



Can the language requirement be waived?


Students can petition to waive the language requirement only if;


  • a student is a foreign national whose first language in not English,
  • or a student has conducted field research in a language that is not English.


Student's who petition to waive the language requirement via field research must produce supporting documentation from the institution who supervised their research.



Can I take courses without being in a degree program?


Applicants may apply as non-degree students, but they still must meet all the admissions requirements and deadlines set for applicants pursuing a degree.



Can I transfer from the Master's Program to the Doctoral Program?


Rarely does a student transfer from the Master's Program to the Doctoral Program, but it does open opportunities at other universities. 



Can I enroll in the Doctoral program once I complete the Master's Program?


Once a student has completed the Master's program, he or she may apply to the Doctoral program, but acceptance is by no means guaranteed.



How can I get an application?


New York University no longer mails hardcopy application bulletins. The application and all applicable information are available online from Graduate Enrollment Services at www.nyu.edu/gsas/Admissions/.



How much is tuition?


For current tuition rates and fees please visit the New York University Bursar's office at www.nyu.edu/bursar/tuition.



Is there funding available for Master's students?


In general there is no funding available from New York University for Master's students. Students are encouraged to obtain funding from external sources. For more information on funding resources please visit the Financial Aid Department at   www.nyu.edu/financial.aid.


The only instance in which a Master's student is eligible for funding is through the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP). To be eligible for the TIP, a student must have been awarded an external scholarship, fellowship, or grant. For more information on TIP please visit www.nyu.edu/gsas/admissions/financial_gsas.



Is there an open house or information session I can attend?


The Graduate School of Arts and Science hosts one open-house per year, usually in November. For more information please contact Graduate Enrollment Services at (212) 998-8040.



Can I meet with faculty or sit in on a class?


This is entirely up to the discretion of the specific faculty member. Contact information for our faculty can be found at www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/politics/office_hours.  When addressing faculty we request that you keep your questions academic in nature. Administrative questions can be directed to the Graduate Administrative Aide, Carlos Rios.