Be a part of the solution.

We emphasize research and teaching that links theory with real world issues and action through politics, public policy and administration. Join us to develop the critical thinking, analytic, writing, and intentional communication skills you need to examine and change the forces that shape our world, and opens doors to a multitude of career possibilities.

Explore Political Science and Public Affairs careers
Student Interns at Nevada State Legislature

Academic programs

The Department of Political Science offers a range of academic programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Political science is the study of governments, power, decision-making, public policy and political behavior in local, national and international politics.

Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs

An interdisciplinary major exploring a range of topics from international environmental studies to political economy.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Secondary Education

Combines political science with secondary education, preparing students for state licensure and teaching certification in social studies.

Minors in Political Science

Minor in political science with options in general, foreign affairs, public administration and policy, American government, and more, including Asian and Latin American studies.

Accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Political Science

A five-year program to earn both B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science or public administration.

Master of Arts in Political Science

Covers the discipline's substance and methodology, focusing on sophisticated political analysis.

Master of Public Administration

Develops understanding of public programs' environments and enhances managerial skills.

Ph.D. in Political Science

Provides advanced study in politics and policy, emphasizing research methods and allowing for personalized study paths.


Political science and international affairs majors offer excellent pre-law training, education and exposure. Our degrees prepare you for the rigorous analytical reasoning and clear, logical, written and oral communication skills you will need for law school, for a career in law, or in a related field.

Find out about pre-law
People sitting in courtroom during trial

Department highlights and announcements

Two Ph.D.s awarded at Spring Commencement

The department was proud to have two Ph.D. graduates at the Spring Commencement ceremony. Jordyn Green and Keely Eshenbaugh were awarded their doctoral degrees after successfully defending their dissertations early in 2024. Dr. Green was supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Koebele and Dr. Eshenbaugh was supervised by Dr. Ian Hartshorn, marking the professors’ respective first Ph.D. graduates in the department.

Department of Political Science confers 76 degrees

During Spring 2024 commencement, the Department of Political Science awarded 76 degrees—68 Bachelor of Arts, six Master of Arts (M.A. and MPA), and two Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Congratulations to all the graduates!

Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society induction

In May 2024, the department inducted 10 new members into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor society for political science. Honor society members are political science majors who rank among the top one-third of their class.

Political Science articles in Nevada Today

Lahontan Reservoir Dam in 2014

University awarded nearly $1.8M for collaborative research project to study rural perception of climate change

NSF’s EPSCoR RII Track-2 program funds 11 projects in highly-competitive process

Head shot of Jelena Subotic.

Religious Studies Committee presents Jelena Subotic for Kutten lecture

Departments of Political Science and Gender, Race and Identity collaborate to host guest speaker, Jelena Subotic

Nevada Election Survey Project poll finds 52% of Nevadans plan to vote for Cortez Masto

University of Nevada, Reno election poll shows Sisolak and Lombardo in a close race for governor, Cortez Masto leading Laxalt for U.S. Senate

Nevadans begin to vote in state and national competitive races


Scholarship opportunities

Thanks to the generosity of alumni and other donors, the Department of Political Science has a number of scholarships specific to Political Science and/or International Affairs majors. Some, such as the Adam Gregory Thomas Legislative Internship Scholarship Endowment, support the Nevada State Legislature Internship program, others, such as the Senator William J. Raggio Free Enterprise Scholarship Endowment, support students’ expenses. There are many more, with support and awards ranging from about $500-$4,500.

New student scholarships

Your application to the University is your scholarship application. No further applications are required. Applications received by February 1 are given priority consideration.

Continuing student scholarships

If you are a continuing student, to be eligible to be considered for scholarships and awards, you must complete the Graduate & Undergraduate Scholarship (GUS) Application in your MyNEVADA account between October 1 and February 1 annually by going to Student Center, Supplemental Forms, Scholarship Application. The GUS application is available until May 31 but scholarship application preference is given to those that complete by February 1. The GUS application is required to be eligible for scholarships/awards.