The department encourages applications from students who hold advanced degrees who wish to pursue a doctorate at Chicago. Students may use a prior Master's paper as the basis for the Master's paper with the consent of faculty readers. The final Master's paper must meet regular department requirements and standards. All other course and exam requirements remain the same. Your prior graduate work may allow you to move through the program at a quicker pace than the department requirements suggest.

Each year, some students apply to transfer to political science with Master's degrees from other departments at Chicago, such as the Committee on International Relations and the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences. Such students can be passed on to the PhD phase of the program if they have already completed six or more political science courses with high quality grades and have had their Master's paper approved by two faculty readers (one reader must be from the department's faculty). In this case, the student will not receive a second MA degree from the University.