Political Science (PhD, MA)

Program Overview

Binghamton University’s Political Science Department ranks 19th in the world. Offering both Master of Arts (MA) and doctoral programs, our department has developed curricula to help individual students meet their particular goals within the field. The primary goal of the PhD program is to educate scholars who plan to continue their professional and scholarly development by contributing to the field of political science through teaching and research. The MA has two tracks: in one, students are required to write a master’s thesis; in the second, students must complete a comprehensive exam. Despite differing requirements, each track provides graduates with exemplary advanced training suitable for policy analysis, journalism or other professional careers. Graduates of Binghamton University’s political science programs go on to work in academia, research institutes, government and private industry.

The organization of the program is based on two convictions:

  • that political science is a unique subject matter that requires specialization;
  • that in the next generation all social sciences, including political science, will rely increasingly on systematic evidence and quantitative analysis.

Our program seeks to shape and encourage young professionals who will be ready and able to assess and contribute to this fast-changing field in a fast-changing world. We emphasize a broadly-based theoretical understanding of political behavior and institutions, coupled with the ability to carry out systematic empirical analysis. PhD students choose a primary and secondary substantive focus on American politics, comparative politics or world politics; MA students need only develop a specialization in one substantive area.

Graduate students work closely with faculty members to select their specializations. Faculty research areas in the Department of Political Science include:

  • international relations and foreign policy
  • human rights
  • political parties
  • campaigns and campaign finance

Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Political Science
  • MA in Political Science

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

Program Size Brings Opportunities

Our small size allows for extensive interaction between graduate students and faculty; our graduate students frequently co-author conference papers and articles with the faculty. The program’s size also has allowed us to develop and maintain a strong alumni network, which allows us to consistently place our graduates. Our PhDs have accepted jobs at institutions including Vanderbilt University, University of Georgia, Kansas State, University of California (Irvine), LSU, University of Mississippi, Old Dominion University, University at Buffalo (SUNY), University of Maryland and the University of North Texas.

While the program’s size has clear and certain benefits, it also requires that students carefully plan their programs of study. For instance, we take great care in course sequencing, and therefore do not normally admit students at mid-term (for the spring semester). Also, a small size carries with it a restriction on the variety of student interests we can accommodate, so we look most favorably on applications from prospective students whose substantive interests match our faculty expertise. We ask that prospective applicants review our faculty’s research interests and consider how well our substantive interests coincide.

After You Graduate

PhD students of our program have excellent placement rates for teaching positions at colleges and universities both nationally and internationally.

Admission Requirements


There are many funding and scholarship opportunities at Binghamton. We encourage prospective students to review available program-specific scholarships and awards, and visit the program's website for additional information. PhD students who are registered and/or certified full-time will receive a scholarship that covers the cost of broad-based fees (this does not include international student fees). Note: Master's students are generally self-funded, although funding opportunities occasionally arise.

For more information, visit the Political Science website.