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Welcome To The Political Science Graduate Program

Our graduate program in political science gives students a unique start to their academic careers. At SIU, our M.A. and Ph.D. program features 

  • Faculty mentors who prepare graduate students for successful careers as researchers and teachers;
  • Four-year assistantships with additional fellowship opportunities;
  • Graduate seminars centered around aspects of political behavior in a way that cuts across traditional subfields;
  • Resources and opportunities available only at a comprehensive research university;
  • Diverse community in a beautiful region of the country;
  • Small cohorts of students from around the world;
  • High placement rate in faculty positions around the country and the world.

“Southern Illinois was the best possible choice for me. It has a great faculty in political behavior. I have learned just as much from the faculty outside the classroom as I have in the classroom. The Morris Fellowship provided the resources I need to thrive in graduate school. The size of department was a selling point because it gave me a chance to interact with professors and graduate students in ways I couldn’t at larger departments. I have been given the best possible chance to succeed in the program while also being prepared to enter into a career in the field.” 
David Searcy, PhD 2019

What we do best:

Our graduate program attempts to balance the highly-focused study needed to develop research expertise with a breadth of study that prepares students to teach a wide range of courses. We do this by focusing our curriculum that focuses on political behavior topics that cut across traditional subfields. Students choose one of the four concentrations:

  • Ethnicity & Nationalism
  • Judicial Decision-Making
  • Political Communication
  • Public Management

The faculty teaching in these concentrations come from a diverse background. Some focus on regional politics, such as the politics of the Post-Soviet region, the Middle East, or the United States. Some have research agendas that include the study of international relations, religion and politics, or public policy. The result is a unique educational experience that gives our students focused training in a way that cuts across traditional subfields to give students a broad understanding of political science.

For more information on applying to the graduate program, see “For Applicants” page.