Florida State University

Political Science

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Masters of Applied American Politics & Policy

The MAAPP program is a Masters of Science degree designed for those who seek active careers in a number of political fields: Campaigns, Fundraising, Political Communications, Lobbying, Legislative Affairs, etc. Unlike the traditional graduate program in Political Science, which is designed for individuals with career paths in academia and research, MAAPP offers practical experience and a diverse set of skills for those interested in careers as political operatives. Florida State University’s MAAPP program has two distinct advantages over other political science programs of this type: flexible enrollment options including evening courses for students holding full-time jobs during the day, and the significant political networks available due to our location in Tallahassee, the capital city of the third-largest state in the U.S.

Currently enrolled undergraduate students at FSU may qualify for the Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway where up to 12 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework will count towards requirements for both degree programs (BA/BS and MS). More details are available in the Student Guide for the Combined Pathway and Application.

Application Process

1. Fill out the University application form online by going here. You will be provided links to the department materials you need to submit along with the University application. Please note that the application for entry into the MAAPP program is listed under the major name “Applied American Politics and Policy.” Applicants should select the Campus/Location as “Main Campus-Tallahassee.” The degree is a Master’s of Science.

2. Department Application: Department Application Form 

3. An OFFICIAL copy of transcripts from all previous universities/colleges attended must be submitted to the following address:

Florida State University
Office of Admissions
A2500 University Center
282 Champions Way
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

Students having earned a bachelor’s degree from FSU are not required to submit paper copies of transcripts.

4. Statement of Purpose (approx. 500 words), detailing your interest in the program and career goals, as well as any other important information you wish for the Admissions Committee to consider.

5. Arrange for your GRE scores to be sent to the University’s Graduate Admissions Office. (The University’s code is 5219).

6. International students must also submit TOEFL scores to the University’s Graduate Admissions office. Per University requirements, a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based examination or 550 on the paper-based examination, are required for admission into the program. Other English proficiency examinations will not be accepted.

Applicants will receive notification of the admissions decision after all admissions materials have been received and reviewed.

Requirements

Students are admitted to the MAAPP program in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The University’s deadlines are: July 1 for fall term; November 1 for spring; and March 1 for summer. The admission committee will conduct an initial review of applications for the Fall semester for applications submitted prior to April 15. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials as early as possible, since the total number of spots in the program and for any given semester is limited.

Students applying for the program should have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their upper-level coursework at the undergraduate level (GPA is calculated beginning with the semester the student reaches their sixtieth credit hour as listed on undergraduate transcripts).

The University requires the completion of a graduate-entry examination. The MAAPP program will accept the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a target score of 149 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the exam, or the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) with a target score of 151. Materials are submitted electronically to the department via the University’s graduate admissions application system. While these examination scores are not firm minimums for admission into the program, and a comprehensive review of the applicant’s file will be completed by the admissions committee, test scores well below these may be grounds for denial of admission to the program. The applicant’s personal statement of goals and interests, along with the departmental admission form, are also required. No letters of recommendation should be submitted for applicants to this program.

FAQs

How does the MAAPP program differ from a regular advanced degree in political science?

The MAAPP program is a terminal Master of Science degree designed for those who seek active careers in a number of political fields: Campaigns, Fundraising, Political Communications, Lobbying, Legislative Affairs, etc. Unlike the traditional graduate program in Political Science, which is designed for individuals with career paths in academia and research, MAAPP offers practical experience and a diverse set of skills for those interested in careers as political operatives. Florida State University’s MAAPP program has two distinct advantages over other political science programs of this type: flexible enrollment options including evening courses for students holding full-time jobs during the day, and the significant political networks available due to our location in Tallahassee, capital city of the third-largest state in the US.


How long will it take to complete the MAAPP degree?

The MAAPP program is designed so that, taking a full-time course load of twelve (12) credits over three consecutive semester, a student can potentially earn the MS in one calendar year. Once admitted to the program, students have up to seven (7) years to complete the requirements for the MS degree. Certain required courses are only offered once per calendar year, so students wishing to complete the program in the quickest manner possible should take these courses as they become available. The list of semesters in which certain courses will be offered is available as part of the program orientation, or can be reviewed on the program website.


What are the application deadlines for the program?

The MAAPP program adheres to the University’s admissions deadlines: July 1 for Fall; November 1 for Spring; March 1 for Summer. Our largest admissions semester is Fall, and students have the option of submitting all materials for application review (transcripts, examination scores, and required documents) on or before April 15 for an “early decision.” This is highly encouraged for Fall applicants, as the program can only accept a limited number of students at any one time due to the need to ensure manageable class sizes, and to adhere to these requirements the Department reserves the right to deny applications on a competitive basis as it reaches its maximum enrollments.

For more information on graduate admissions and links to the application, please visit the Graduate Admissions Page.


How do I apply?

For information on graduate admissions and links to the application, please visit the Graduate Admissions Page.


What are the costs of the on-location and online program?

Tuition costs for the online program are the same as for on-location courses: $479.32 per credit hour for Florida residents and $1,110.72 per credit hour for non-Florida residents. Note however that a $93.00 per credit hour fee is added to cover on-line expenses.


Can I take courses without being admitted to the degree program?

While courses for the MAAPP program are reserved to admitted students during standard registration, there are a number of options for non-MAAPP students to enroll in these courses.

Students in graduate programs other than MAAPP can request addition to MAAPP courses on a space-available basis. The course instructor would need to grant the student written permission to add into the course, and this permission would be brought to the Department’s Academic Coordinator (533 Bellamy) so he/she can be manually added to the course over the major cap.

Undergraduate students can take advantage of the combined bachelor’s/master’s pathway to take up to twelve (12) credit hours of MAAPP coursework prior to their matriculation into the MAAPP program. Permission to pursue the combined BA or BS/MS pathway must be obtained in advance of entry into any graduate-level course as an undergraduate. The Academic Dean’s Office of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (101 Bellamy) can provide more information about the dual program.

Non-degree students also have the option of taking courses in the MAAPP program, on a space-available basis. Interested students must first complete the official University Admissions Application. Once accepted to pursue coursework on a non-degree basis, permission should be obtained from the course instructor to be added to the course, and brought to the Department’s Academic Coordinator (533 Bellamy) so the student can be manually added to the course over the major cap.

Can I use my existing job as the site of my internship?

The MAAPP program requires that 12 hours of credit be attained through an internship/practicum, POS5945. While certain jobs may not meet the requirements for the internship (including allowing for the completion of a final project), many governmental jobs do meet them. The Program Director must approve all internship locations prior to enrollment in the POS5945 course for credit, and can often approve a student’s regular full-time employment provided it meets these requirements. Any questions about MAAPP internships should be directed to the Program Director.


What are the job prospects of students completing the MAAPP degree?

MAAPP graduates have an excellent record of job placement in local, state, and federal positions, as well as in the private sector. Some have used the MAAPP program for training prior to continuing on to law school and careers in law and lobbying. Since 2000, the program has awarded over 250 Master of Science degrees. Furthermore, networking opportunities while in the program have allowed for our students to have an advantage in entering the fast-paced world of politics; some successful program graduates have returned to teach courses for the program. We welcome students with a wide variety of career aspirations.


How do I contact the Department with additional questions?

The primary contact for admissions questions is the Academic Coordinator for the Department:

Elisa Kuchvalek 
533 Bellamy Bldg. 
P.O. Box 3062230 
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2230 
Email: ekuchvalek@fsu.edu 

The Program Director for MAAPP also is available to answer program-specific questions: 
Dr. Brad Kile 
227 Bellamy Bldg. 
Email: bkile@fsu.edu