Political Management

College of Professional Studies

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus, Other, Online Learning

Program Overview

The Master's Degree in Political Management prepares you to influence the political process, be successful, and make a positive difference in your community -- whether you want to work in the local, state, national, or international arena.

The Master's Degree in Political Management's 12-course (36-credit-hour) curriculum prepares aspiring political professionals  to take their place in the emerging profession of politics. Get outside of the classroom and gain hands-on professional experience that you can apply immediately in your career. You'll learn the strategy, tactics, and ethical principles you need for success.

The degree may be tailored to your specific career goals. You may choose to focus in one of the following areas, or work with your faculty advisor to select courses from several areas that meet your individual aspirations. Focus areas offered with this program include Advocacy Politics, Electoral Politics, and Advanced Political Skills.

Classes meet Monday through Thursday evenings on GW's main campus in Foggy Bottom. The degree can be completed in as little as one year; however,  students typically take two courses each semester, and finish in two years.

Advocacy Politics

If you want to work in lobbying, grassroots, corporate public affairs, or non-profit operations, the Advocacy Politics concentration will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to start shaping policy outcomes immediately.

Electoral Politics

If you plan to run for political office or want to manage political campaigns, the Electoral Politics concentration will provide you with a solid foundation to work in politics at the local, state, or national level.

Advanced Political Skills

Many skills in the field of professional politics work in both advocacy and electoral settings. If you dream of becoming a pollsters, communications consultant, or fundraiser, the Advanced Political Skills concentration will give you the flexibility to customize and hone your skills in a specific area of politics. Also, with the permission of the program director, students may design a three-course sequence that includes courses from each concentration.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – June 15
Spring – November 15
Summer – April 15

Standardized test scores:

Applicants with an overall undergrad GPA, including transfer credits, of 3.0 (no rounding of GPA) and above are not required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Applicants with an overall undergrad GPA, including transfer credits, below 3.0 must do AT LEAST one of the following:

  1. Take the GRE and request ETS to have official scores be sent to GW (school code: 5246).
  2. Submit a petition based on three or more years of relevant professional experience, consisting of a descriptive essay and a corresponding portfolio of work, as defined below.
  • Descriptive Essay
    In a descriptive essay of approximately 500 words, please describe in detail the nature, duties, and duration of your qualifying experience (as defined below) Please identify your direct supervisor and provide his/her current contact information. This essay should also place the portfolio materials in a context that demonstrates, in the applicant's view, an aptitude for graduate study in the program where admission is sought.
  • Portfolio
    A portfolio of work is a compilation of the most outstanding examples of your prior work, for example, research projects, writing samples or any published work. Your portfolio should include 1-3 pieces of work-related professional writing in the range of 500-1000 words.
  • Relevant experience is defined as follows: A minimum of three years of full-time (35 or more hours per week), professional, management-level experience that includes some combination of program responsibility, independent decision-making authority, official high-level outside contacts, budgetary responsibility and/or supervisory authority. For the Public Relations program the experience must be in a professional public relations capacity. “Relevant work experience” does not include internships, volunteering on a campaign, receptionist duties, or clerical responsibilities.


Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations (preferably one professional and one academic recommendation)

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.  Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be uploaded to your online application.  Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed, course-by-course evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. Please see the list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250-500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this field and describe your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also, discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

Additional requirements:

A resumé.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Office of Admission
College of Professional Studies
The George Washington University
44983 Knoll Square, Suite B56
Ashburn, VA 20147

M.P.S. distance education applicants only:
Admissions Processing Services
Attn: GW Online Programs
50 Northwest Point Blvd, 5th Floor
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Contact for questions:
CPS Office of Admissions
[email protected] ~ 703.299.9142 (phone) ~ 703.299.4144 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday