Political Science

Departmental Website



Earn your M.A. in Political Science with 2 Options: 1) A mix of online and face-to-face Political Science MA or 2) An online option in Public Administration and Public Policy. Complete your degree in 1-3 years, finding the pace that works for you. We provide a strong foundation in political science, research methods, public administration, public policy, and non-profit management and leadership. All courses are taught by department faculty, with full advising and mentoring provided. Besides strong job placement in a variety of public and private sector careers, we also have a strong Ph.D. and J.D. placement record, including University of Illinois-Chicago, Claremont Graduate University, Cornell University, University of Cincinnati, University of Pittsburgh, The Ohio State University, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, Purdue University, Texas Tech University, Southern Illinois University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Indiana University.


Public Administration/Public Policy Option (Online)

Graduate Certificates

Public Planning

Hours Required


Course Catalog Listing


Typical Starting Positions

State/local/regional government agencies, Non-profit and civic organizations, City and urban planning, Economic development, Private sector government relations, Protective services administration, Budget analysis, Human resource management, Public policy research, Campaign management, Lobbying, Legal advocacy

Well Known Companies that Hire EIU Graduates

Illinois Principals Association, Illinois Department of Transportation, City of Effingham, City of Arcola, South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development, Will County Governmental League, USDA Rural Development, Amazon.com, University of West Florida, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis, DePauw University, HOPE of East Central Illinois, Courage Connection of Champaign, IL, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Department of Defense, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, U.S. State Department

Research Opportunities

Our students regularly attend conferences, including the Illinois Political Science Association, the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the Illinois State University Conference for Political Science Students. In the past decade, students have made over 50 conference presentations. Competitive travel grants are available. Our students are regularly recognized for outstanding thesis research, including 6 thesis awards in the past decade alone. Students also work with faculty to co-author research, with over 40 publications in the past decade.

Student Professional Organizations

Pi Sigma Alpha honor society, American Political Science Association, Illinois Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association

Professional Development Opportunities

Key departmental opportunities include 1) internships, 2) career panels and forums, and 3) data analytic skills. The Graduate School hosts forums on careers and research, and provides leadership opportunities to graduate students through the Graduate Student Advisory Committee. The University also offers career planning services, research support through Booth Library, and online technical and software training opportunities.

Graduate Assistant Opportunities

Each year we offer 6 graduate assistantships (GAs) to competitive students. GAs work with faculty in exchange for a 9-month stipend and a tuition waiver for two semesters and one summer.

Faculty Listing


Faculty Honors & Awards

The Political Science M.A. program has earned a First Choice designation, based on our commitment to the highest standards of excellence.

Political Science, Coleman Hall 2345
Contact Name: Dr. Jeffrey Ashley, Graduate Coordinator
Contact Email: jsashley@eiu.edu
Coordinator Profile: https://www.eiu.edu/polisci/faculty.php?id=jsashley&subcat=
Web: https://www.eiu.edu/poliscigrad/