Department of Political Science

University at Buffalo, SUNY
520 Park Hall (North Campus)
Buffalo, New York 14260

Phone: 716-645-3441
Fax: 716-645-2166

Professor Michelle Benson, Director of Graduate Studies,

Mary O’Brien, Graduate Coordinator,

To apply to the graduate program, click here.

For questions about the graduate program, please email your questions to


General information about our Graduate Programs

A variety of graduate programs leading to an M.A. or Ph.D. degree in Political Science are offered by the Department of Political Science at the University at Buffalo. These programs are designed to meet the needs of students with differing interests and career orientations.

Traditionally, the Ph.D. has been the degree required for those planning a career in teaching and research at the college or
university level. For this purpose, the Department’s Program provides an introduction to the various fields within Political
Science, grounding in the intellectual and analytical traditions and practices of the discipline, and specialization within selected sub-fields. Fields of study at the graduate level are American politics, comparative politics, international politics, and public law.

The Department’s doctoral program now affords, in combination with work taken in other disciplines or subject specialties, an entry into other career paths as well. For example, the Department sponsors, with the faculty of Law and Jurisprudence, a dual M.A./J.D. and Ph.D./J.D. programs in Political Science and Law. This program develops competencies appropriate to a broad range of career interests.

The Master’s degree similarly may serve quite diverse purposes related to intellectual development and to both academic and other professional career goals.

Professionalization Series for Graduate Students

The Graduate Program sponsors a series of six informal seminars in which

different faculty and advanced graduate students discuss aspects of becoming

a successful political scientist. These informal seminars address very practial

aspects of the profession that were not directly raised in substantive graduate

courses. Below are the set of rotating topics addressed in the seminar

meetings of the professionaliztion series:

                              Undergraduate Teaching,

                              Taking Comprehensive Examinations,

                              Professional Conference Participation,

                              Job Search & Interview Process,

                              Writing a Dissertation, and

                              Journal Manuscript Submission.

Professionalization seminars are held in Park 502 and all political science graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend and participate.


Prof. Jim Gimpel and faculty and graduate students at meeting about the journal review process.

Professor Jim Gimpel, of the University of Maryland and editor of American Politics Research, conducted the professionalization meeting on April 7, 2009 on submitting manuscripts to professional journals and dealing with the review process.

As a result of this professionalization series and the successful mentoring of graduate students by the Department’s faculty, an unusually large number of our graduate students are professionally active. It is especially noteworthy that five graduate students published articles in professional journals in 2009-10 and several others had manuscripts under review. Participation in professional meetings is quite high. In 2009-10, 16 of our graduate students made a total of 21 research presentations at professional meetings ranging from the American Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, the Northeastern Political Science Association Meeting, the International Studies Association Meeting, to the New York State Political Science Association Meeting and the Crossing Borders Annual Conference.