Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based star polymers with a cationic core were prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) for in vitro nucleic acid (NA) delivery. The star polymers were synthesized by ATRP of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA). Star polymers were characterized by gel permeation chromatography, zeta potential, and dynamic light scattering. These star polymers were combined with either plasmid DNA (pDNA) or short interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes to form polyplexes for intracellular delivery. These polyplexes with either siRNA or pDNA were highly effective in NA delivery, particularly at relatively low star polymer weight or molar ratios, highlighting the importance of NA release in efficient delivery systems.