Political Science MA Accelerated Master's Degree

The Department of Political Science offers an Accelerated MA degree program that allows students to earn their undergraduate degree in Political Science, International Relations, or Public Policy Administration and their MA in Political Science in as few as 10 semesters of full-time study. The Political Science MA program does not require a thesis, but all students are required to complete an exit project.

The combined program requires a minimum of 141 credit hours.  Students accepted to the Accelerated MA degree program will be permitted to count up to 12 credit hours at the 4000 or 5000 level or higher toward both the undergraduate and MA degrees; these courses may require additional work as assigned by the instructor. The remaining 21 credit hours for the MA degree must be at the 6000 level. 

Any 4000-level course taken before admission to the Accelerated MA program will apply to the undergraduate requirements only. Students are encouraged to work closely with the Undergraduate and Graduate Directors to ensure that required courses are timed appropriately. It is strongly recommended that students meet with the Graduate Director as soon as possible and ideally before their Junior year.


Students must have fulfilled the core curriculum requirements of the undergraduate major (with the exception of POL SCI 3000 and POL SCI 4950) prior to applying for the Accelerated MA program.

Admission Requirements

Provisional Admission

Applicants are considered for provisional admission if they meet the following criteria:

  • Completed 60 undergraduate credit hours
  • Achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Submitted two letters of recommendation from faculty

The Graduate Director, in consultation with the Undergraduate Director, will determine whether the student can apply for provisional status. Graduate courses completed by undergraduate students who have been provisionally admitted to Accelerated Master’s program will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate; however, these courses will count toward the master’s degree. These courses must be approved before the semester starts. Therefore, it is recommended to apply for provisional status as a junior, preferably in the first semester of junior year.

Graduate Admission

Students should apply for admission to the graduate school in their final semester in undergraduate status. Students should meet with the Graduate Director each semester. Applicants are considered for graduate admission if they meet the following criteria.

  • Are in their final semester in undergraduate status
  • Completed 30 hours in Political Science with a grade point of 3.0 or higher
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 since being granted provisional status

Final decisions concerning graduate admission are made by the Graduate School in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Students admitted to the graduate program must take graduate courses until the completion of the master’s degree. 

Program Requirements

Junior/Senior Year Courses
POL SCI 6410Introduction to Policy Analysis3
POL SCI 6401Introduction to Policy Research3
Two POL SCI Graduate Electives6
Final Year Courses
Select three of the following:9
Proseminar in Public Law
Proseminar in American Politics
Public Administration: Theory & Practice
POL SCI 6450
POL SCI 6450
Proseminar in Comparative Politics
Proseminar in Urban Politics
Proseminar in International Relations
Two POL SCI Graduate Electives6
Exit Project, Internship or Thesis6
Total Hours33

Awarding of Degrees

The student may apply for and receive the bachelor’s degree in the semester when all the undergraduate requirements are completed. In their final semester in undergraduate status, the student must apply and be admitted to the graduate program, to begin the following semester. The student will apply to receive the master’s degree in the semester that the requirements for the graduate degree will be completed.

If the student fails to enroll for more than one year after receiving the bachelor's degree, the student can still earn the master’s degree, but the graduate-level credits earned as an undergraduate cannot be used for the graduate degree.