Accelerated B.A./Master's Programs

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts Political Science Program

The Accelerated B.A./M.A. combination degree option allows undergraduate students to pursue coursework to complete their Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts political science 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. 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. More specialized interests are developed through independent courses and projects students take as part of the curriculum.

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Administration Program

The Accelerated B.A./M.P.A. combination degree option allows undergraduate students to pursue coursework to complete their Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration degrees in five years. This accelerated program employs a curriculum that allows students to complete 120 undergraduate level credits and 36 graduate level credits in five years. Undergraduate students begin graduate level coursework in their fourth year. The program culminates the M.P.A. degree suitable for students pursuing careers in public service, public administration, nongovernmental organizations or further study in a Ph.D. program outside the University of Nevada, Reno.

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. Courses in research methods provide the skills necessary in today's complex government agencies and activities. A track of specialization provides the student with additional competence in an area linked to individual interests and/or career goals.

Admission requirements

Admission to the accelerated programs is competitive; a limited number of applicants are accepted each year. A departmental graduate committee makes admission decisions. To be considered, all applications must be complete. Please note that the Graduate School, which has to approve all applicants, has its own deadlines and regulations.

Application deadlines

Students apply to the program during their junior year.

Minimum Scholastic Requirements

  • GRE required. GRE exam should be taken during the student's fall semester, junior year, with application submitted in the spring semester; in line with current admission requirements, students must have a combined 1000 verbal and quantitative GRE scores. These will need to be adjusted to the new GRE scaled scoring methodology by the Department's Graduate Committee.
  • Student must have completed 75 credits toward their B.A. degree
  • Political science major or other approved major at the University of Nevada, Reno
  • 3.5 GPA overall; 3.5 GPA within major; any exceptions to this will need approval from the graduate committee
  • Three letters of recommendation: two department faculty members; one from outside the department
  • Statement of purpose
  • Student must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate School
  • All application material should be submitted through the Graduate School, following normal graduate admission procedures

Program guidelines

  • Six credits of graduate work may apply to B.A. degree program
  • Students must be admitted to the program before graduate courses can be taken
  • Students who do not finish the requirements for the B.A./master's will be allowed to finish their bachelor's degree; graduate coursework completed will not revert to undergraduate credit
  • Students begin graduate coursework in their first semester of their fourth year
  • Degree culminates in a thesis or non-thesis master's degree
    • Students planning on entering a doctoral program later will be strongly encouraged to complete a thesis under their faculty supervisor
  • Students must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA in both degrees coursework; anything lower will result in probation with a semester to raise it to 3.2 or above. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program to finish their bachelor's degree
  • Undergraduate credit will not count toward graduate credit coursework
  • Graduate credit will not count toward undergraduate credits needed to meet financial aid requirements. With regard to financial aid, students should note that graduate courses do not apply towards the 12 credits required for full-time undergraduate standing. In most cases, 12 credits should be taken in addition to the graduate-level courses. The graduate-level courses will require payment of graduate credit tuition. Students should discuss their financial aid options with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship.
  • Program of Study (POS) must be completed after the students first semester in the program.

Areas of emphasis

  • American government and politics
  • Comparative government and politics
  • Political theory
  • International relations
  • Public administration and public 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.

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. Political scientists also share a common interest: the public arena of human society, the uses of power and persuasion, and the ideas that shape social and political movements and governing institutions. You will learn how to evaluate evidence and arguments, and understand political dynamics in the U.S. and across the globe. You will be able to contextualize events and processes, setting them in historical and comparative perspective. Our classes and our for-credit internship programs provide many opportunities for you to apply what you learn in real-world work contexts.

The major prepares you for careers that demand critical and innovative thinking, evidentiary synthesis and analysis, and reading, writing, and speaking about complex organizational and public matters. These skills and knowledge will enable you to go on to be successful in any of a number of fields: law, political campaigns and lobbying, governmental and non-governmental organizations, media, business, the military, education, and social and political movements. 

Internships/career opportunities

The department connects students in the major with a number of different organizations for internships. Students are able to broaden their exploration of political life by augmenting coursework with real-life experience. Political science and international affairs internships offer students the opportunity to explore potential careers in the field, network, apply coursework, build their résumé and receive academic credit. Internship opportunities are available at the local, state, national and international levels in various public, non-profit and private organizations. The department often helps place students for internships in Congress, the U.S. Department of State, Nevada legislation and more.

Review the political science handbook.

Check out the Department of Political Science

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