Program at a glance

How much does it cost? 

Learn more about how to afford a degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

How can I learn more?

Request information about our programs and sign-up to connect with a recruiter.

How do I apply?

Open to all undergraduate students. Applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED. Learn how to apply.

What will I learn in a political science degree program?

Political science majors in the College of Liberal Arts will learn how governments interact with individuals or other governments and examine the results of those interactions. Students choose courses from five areas of study: American government and politics, comparative government and politics, political theory, international relations, and public administration and public policy. As they progress through the major, they develop writing and critical thinking skills, as well as a better understanding of the world around them.

Political Science B.A. Handbook

Why study political science at the University of Nevada, Reno?

The Political Science Bachelor of Arts degree program emphasizes research and teaching that links theory with real-world issues and action through politics, public policy, and public administration. Political science encompasses the "political"—issues, institutions, behavior, power and public resources.

Areas of emphasis in the political science program

  • American government and politics

    The American politics subfield focuses on the political behavior of the public U.S. political institutions and how they interact. Topics include public opinion, voting, campaigns and elections, political psychology, political identity, Congress, the presidency and bureaucracy, the courts, the media, state and local governments, and interest groups.

  • Comparative government and politics

    Comparative politics seeks to understand and explain socio-political, economic and historical outcomes through comparisons of socio-political, economic and cultural entities and forces between and within countries. Comparativists study political institutions, political organizations, political behavior across state and sub-state venues with a goal of understanding the how and why of politics in a variety of contexts.  

  • International relations

    The international relations field covers interactions, cooperation and conflict among states and between states and non-state actors. Topics of study include theories of international relations, conflict, foreign policy, national and international security, international law and organizations, global environmental policy, human rights, human security and international political economy.

  • Political theory

    The political theory area includes political philosophy and its history, contemporary political ideologies, democratic theory and political ethics.

  • Public administration and public policy

    This field includes topics such as foundations of public service, public human resource management, organizational theory and behavior, public budgeting, public policy process, policy analysis, policy implementation and a variety of substantive topics such as environmental policy, and energy politics and policy.

  • Minor

    The Department of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno also offers a minor in political science. Students can choose to study from four interest subjects: general, foreign affairs, public administration and public policy, and American government. In addition, the department offers a minor in political communication and advocacy.

  • Accelerated B.A./Master's Programs

    The Accelerated B.A./M.A. combination degree option allows undergraduate students to pursue coursework to complete their Bachelor of Arts in political science and Master of Arts or Master of Public Administration degrees in five years. This accelerated program employs a curriculum that allows students to complete 120 undergraduate level credits and 30-36 graduate level credits in five years. Undergraduate students begin graduate level coursework in their fourth year. The program culminates in either a thesis or non-thesis M.A. or MPA degree suitable for students pursuing careers in public service, public administration, nongovernmental organizations or further study in a doctoral program outside the University of Nevada, Reno. 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. The courses in public administration are designed to increase the student's understanding of the internal organizational environment and to help the student develop needed managerial skills. Courses in public policy give the student an understanding of the social, political and economic environment in which public programs develop and operate. More specialized interests are developed through independent courses and projects students take as part of the curriculum.

You can afford the University of Nevada, Reno

46% of undergraduate students receive financial aid

Almost everyone is eligible to receive financial aid. If you think your family’s income is too high to qualify for financial aid, you might be surprised.

50%+ of all students graduate with no debt

That's right. More than half of our students leave the University of Nevada, Reno with no student debt.

Life's a journey. Honors makes it meaningful.

At the University of Nevada, Reno Honors College, our students maximize their unique gifts and passions through a series of personalized experiences that deepen their capacity for transformative societal impact.

Visit the Honors College
Four honors students standing near Manzanita Lake; one is holding a soccer ball.