Aspire to be more knowledgeable about politics?

Require better research, writing, and analytical skills?

Desire to be a more competitive in the job market?

Then consider a MA in Political Science at Appalachian State University!

Students from many different undergraduate backgrounds have chosen the MA in Political Science - anthropology, sustainable development, communications, history, international/global studies, sociology, philosophy, & political science

Our program is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers – in government, in non-profits, and in the private sector—as well as further graduate work at the doctoral level. Students in our program may choose from one of three concentrations: American Government, International Relations/Comparative Politics, or Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis. With a student/faculty ratio of nearly 2 to 1, we are able to provide our students with the individual attention they expect and deserve. We accept students with many different undergraduate degrees; a political science bachelor's degree is NOT a requirement for the program. While we have three basic curriculums, the interests and aspirations of our students are quite diverse and therefore we allow each student, in consultation with the program directors, to develop a program of study which meets his or her unique interests and aspirations.

As the only stand alone Master degree in political science within the UNC system, we focus on developing the skills and knowledge our students will need to pursue their chosen careers in government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.   In particular, we emphasize enhancement of the following:

  • Information literacy and advanced research skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Professional writing
  • Quantitative/data analysis
  • Data organization and management
  • Advanced knowledge in one or more substantive areas of political science
  • Practical skills for those interested in campaigns or electoral activities
  • Cost-benefit Analysis
  • Survey design and implementation
  • Professional development through internship experience

For those students interested in more advanced graduate study, some of our graduates have continued their studies by moving onto doctoral programs and/or law school, while others have chosen to teach at community colleges and/or secondary schools.  Several are well-respected professors at universities across the country. 

We encourage any individual interested in our program to schedule an on campus meeting to see our campus and meet with some of our faculty and students to discuss how our program fits their academic interests and aspirations.  


Dr. Renee Scherlen
Director of the MA Program 


Dr. Renee Scherlen
(828) 262-6094
scherlenrg [at] appstate [dot] edu 

M.A. Director
Department of Government & Justice Studies
350H Anne Belk Hall
Boone, NC 28607

QEP Global Learning