Skip Navigation

Graduate Admissions Information - MA


The MA in Political Science only offers Fall Admission. The MA in Public Policy offers both Fall and Spring Admission.

Application Deadlines

MA in Political Science (Fall Admission   Only)

  • International Applicants:   May 15
  • Domestic Applicants (Early Consideration):  May 15
  • Domestic Applicants (Rolling Admission):  July 1

MA in Public Policy (Fall and Spring Admission)

  • Fall Admission, International Applicants: May 15
  • Fall Admission, Domestic Applicants: July 10
  • Spring Admission, International Applicants: October 15
  • Spring Admission, Domestic Applicants:  December 15


Application Requirements

A complete application consists of the following documentation:

  • Stony Brook University   online application  including statement of purpose.
  • Applicants must have an earned baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree.
  • Three letters of recommendation. These letters should be academic, but consideration will also be given to non-academic letters. Letters are   must be  uploaded online by the recommender.
  • Transcripts should be uploaded as part of your application. In addition to the upload, two   official  transcripts from each institution you’ve attended (even if a degree was not issued) should be submitted to the department. If you’ve previously attend Stony Brook University, you will not be required to send an official SBU transcript, but are required to upload an unofficial version of the SBU transcript for review purposes.
  • GRE and TOEFL scores reported directly to Stony Brook ( code 2548).
  • Proof of Permanent Residency is required for students who declare themselves as Permanent Residents
  • Application fee of $100 (credit Card).

Completed applications are reviewed by the committee on a rolling basis. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All application materials are due by the posted deadline.


Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should sufficiently describe your reasons for applying to the Master's program in Political Science program at Stony Brook University. Your statement should address:

  • Research Interests
  • Background in Political Science
  • Career plans
  • Additional interests or information that can assist the admissions committee in evaluating your application.

The Statement of Purpose should not exceed two double spaced pages (approx. 500 words).


GRE Scores

All applicants must submit GRE scores, even if they have completed an advanced degree. Applicants who are waiving the GRE scores for another test score (i.e. LSAT, GMAT, etc) must have prior approval from the program director prior to submitting the application AND must notify the Graduate Program Coordinator,   Carri Horner  after submitting their application so a waiver can be added to your application. Failure to do so can result in applications appearing to be incomplete and therefore not reviewed.

Q: Do you have a minimum GRE score or GPA Requirements?
A: No. We review many aspects of a candidate's application including your academic performances (UG and Grad), your letters of recommendation, statement of purpose and GRE scores (or other scores if the director gives approval to waive the GRE's for LSAT/GMAT/etc.)

Q: What happens if my official GRE/TOEFL scores or official transcripts arrive after the application deadline?
A: If we haven't received official scores or transcripts by the time the admissions final committee begins review, we will consider your application with the unofficial scores and transcripts submitted in your online application. However, we will need to receive official scores from ETS and official transcripts before making an official offer of admissions.

Q: How old can my GRE scores be?
A: GRE scores are only valid for five years. It is highly recommended that submitted scores are more recent (within three years).



These scores are required for applicants who declare a language other than English as their native language. The Graduate School will not accept any test scores that are more than 2 years old based on the application deadline date. For example, TOEFL exams taken prior to September 2016 will not be accepted for Fall 2018 applications.

The department of Political Science does not waive language score requirements.

Minimum Scores:

IELTS: Overall score of 6.5, with no subsection recommended to be below 6

TOEFL: 80 for Master's level; 90 for admission to a doctoral program and to be eligible for consideration for TA/GA support

There are no exceptions for these minimum score requirements.

Completing the Application  

Click here for the online application

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of my letters of recommendation might arrive after the deadline. Is this acceptable?
Please note that as soon as you enter your recommender’s e-mail address in your application and save it, they will be sent a link (even if you have not submitted your application). It is therefore recommended that you do this as early in the application process as possible.

Your letter writers should submit their letters by the posted deadline. Applications with missing letters of recommendations will still be reviewed by the committee for consideration. While recommenders may upload outstanding letters after the deadline , there's no guarantee they will be read by the committee.

Can letters of recommendation be submitted via snail mail or Interfolio?
No. Letters of recommendation should be submitted through the online application system.
Where should I send my official transcripts?
Att: Carri Ann Horner
Political Science
Stony Brook University
S707 Social and Behavioral Sciences  
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4392
Can you tell me if you received my transcripts/test scores/letters of recommendation?
We will update all applicant application status pages online (weekly). Please note that due to the volume of documents we receive, it can take several business days for updates of materials to be reflected.

If you have uploaded your transcripts, but we have not received the official mailed versions, your status will show it as either “missing” or “received unofficial.” The system will not show the status of your application as “complete” however your file can still be reviewed.

Test scores usually take longer as they enter a central database before being manually applied to applications.

I asked ETS to send my GRE scores in a previous year. Do I need to resubmit my GRE or TOEFL scores?
As long as the scores are within the time frame listed above, we should be able to retrieve them.
Is there any additional information for international prospective students?
More information for prospective international students can be found   here.
Can I contact someone before applying to discuss my interest in the program?