Master of Science in Political Science (SM)

The MIT Political Science master's program prepares students to uncover essential insights into the workings of societies and governments in the 21st century. Master's students develop the skills and knowledge to evaluate and promote effective public policies.

How the master's program works

The one-year MIT Master of Science in Political Science is designed for students who want to build proficiency in applied research so that they can pursue successful careers in government, business, and public policy. Students interested in an academic career should read more about the PhD in Political Science.

The MIT Political Science master's program emphasizes intensive preparation in a single field of study:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Models and Methods
  • Political Economy
  • Security Studies


1. Six subjects

You must satisfactorily complete a minimum of six graduate subjects. At least four of those subjects must be completed here at MIT Political Science. You may take the remaining two subjects at MIT or through cross-registration at Harvard University.

2. Sixty-six units

You must satisfactorily complete a program of study of at least 66 units—42 of those units must be G-level subjects acceptable to the department.

3. Three semesters

The master's program requires a minimum of three semesters—typically fall, spring, and summer (summer tuition is subsidized by MIT).

4. Master's thesis

As a candidate for a master's degree, you must complete and defend a thesis that is approved by two members of the faculty.

5. 3.5 GPA

You must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 in all subjects applied toward fulfillment of the requirements for your master's degree.


Questions? Consult the MIT Political Science Departmental Handbook or a member of the staff in the MIT Political Science Graduate Office.