Master's Program in Political Science


The goals of the M.A. program are:

  • To offer students advanced course work in their field of interest within political science.
  • To provide students who are interested in advanced academic preparation with challenging course work and research opportunities to pursue their Ph.D. in political science.

  • To provide students with advanced course work and training to further their current career or to expand their future career choices.

The courses in political science cover a full range of the discipline, both in terms of substance and methodology. Courses in research methods provide the skills necessary for sophisticated analysis of political processes, institutions and policies. More specialized interests are developed through independent research courses and projects tackled by students.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the master's program is competitive; a limited number of applicants are accepted each year. To be considered, all applications must be complete and submitted through the University’s Graduate School. Please visit the Graduate School website

Application deadlines

A departmental selection committee makes the admission decisions in three cycles.

  • Fall admission with funding consideration: The application deadline is February 15 for admission with funding consideration in the following fall semester.
  • Regular fall admission deadline (with no request for funding): April 15
  • Spring admission: The application deadline is November 1 for admission the following spring semester. (Assistantship offers generally are not made for the spring admission cycle.)

Minimum Requirements

  • Undergraduate Degree (B.A./B.S.)
  • Minimum 2.75 overall GPA (B.A./B.S.) or a 3.0 GPA for last two years of B.A./B.S.
  • GRE Scores: Verbal and Quantitative scores should be a minimum of 154, though some exceptions are made for students based on upon their skill set and other qualifications (or GMAT, LSAT equivalent)
  • 18 credit hours (6 courses) of coursework in the social sciences

Please note that these are minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Students are admitted on an increasingly competitive basis. We take into consideration a student’s overall record, as well as the department’s ability to accommodate a student’s research/teaching interest.

Application materials need to be mailed to the Graduate School. Please check the Graduate School website for additional information and deadlines:

To Apply

The following documents must be submitted to the Graduate School, University of Nevada, Reno:

  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • GRE/GMAT/LSAT scores
  • Three letters of recommendation of which a minimum of two are from professors with whom you have taken and completed coursework.
  • Statement of Purpose
    This one-to-two page statement should be 500 words, double-spaced, and printed in a standard font. In this statement you should discuss your career and educational goals and how those goals fit into the research specializations of the department. Please make sure your name at the top of the each page.

Graduate Special

Students may apply for Graduate Special status and register for classes. Up to nine graduate credit hours taken as a graduate special can apply toward the M.A. degree.

The graduate special classification is for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who wish to take graduate courses but do not plan to pursue a program leading to an advanced degree, or for applicants who do not meet the requirements for admission to regular graduate standing.

Admission to Graduate Special status does not constitute admission to graduate standing in the Graduate School. With Graduate Special classification, a student may enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit and may satisfy the teacher certificate requirements. Although there is no limit to the number of credits that may be earned as a graduate special student, a maximum of nine semester credits may be applied toward a program of study. Graduate Special students are not eligible for financial aid, including student loans.