M.A. Admissions

Admissions Process

Applicants must submit an application online through the Cal State Apply website. 

CSU Apply Application Instructions

For questions about the status of your application, please call the Office of Admissions and Recruitment: (323) 343-3901.


  • The application deadline for admission in Spring 2022 will be in October 2021.
  • The application deadline for admission in Fall 2022 will be in March 2022.

MA Program Application Requirements

  • Mailing of all undergraduate transcripts to the Cal State LA Admission Office.
  • In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants must have a grade point average in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of 3.00 or better and a major in political science. Majors with GPAs below 3.00 may be admitted at the discretion of the department’s graduate admissions committee after completing prerequisite or conditional courses, if necessary.
  • Non-political science majors who have a GPA of 3.00 or better may be accepted on a conditional basis. They must first complete the following conditional prerequisite courses from the upper-division foundation core: POLS 3710, 3720, 3730, and 3740 (minimum of three courses with earned GPA of 3.3 or above). Students will not receive graduate credit for these prerequisite courses. Non-political science majors with GPAs below 3.00 may be admitted at the discretion of the department’s graduate admissions committee after completing prerequisite or conditional courses.

  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must come from a professor or an individual capable of evaluating the applicant’s intellectual and academic qualifications.
  • A statement of purpose. A letter is required stating the applicant’s purpose in applying for graduate study, the particular area of specialization or interest (American politics, global politics, or political theory), any special research interests, plans for future occupation or profession, and any additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating the applicant’s preparation and aptitude for graduate study at Cal State LA. The essay should be specific, well-organized, and well-written. The statement of purpose is considered an integral element of the application.
  • Inclusion of a writing sample is highly recommended, but not required.

Cost of Attendance 

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the tuition and fees for full-time, in-state graduate students is $8,216.00. Out-of-state graduate students are assessed an additional $396.00 per course unit (approximately an additional $1,188 per 3-unit course). More detailed information about the cost of attendance can be found at: http://www.calstatela.edu/financialaid/cost-attendance. Information on financial aid is available at: www.calstatela.edu/financialaid.

Note that CSU tuition and fees may change on an annual basis. 

International Applicants 

The department welcomes applications from students with degrees from outside of the United States. The following information may be of assistance: 

Graduate Advisor

Questions about the admissions process can be directed to the Graduate Advisor, Prof. Michael McLendon, who can be reached at: [email protected].

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