Political Science

Upcoming courses

Courses in Political Science

Join us in the study of politics, public policy and administration

We emphasize research and teaching that links theory with real world issues and action through politics, public policy and administration. With a degree from our Department, you will be prepared to develop innovative approaches to current and emerging local, national and global challenges.

Highlights and announcements

Congratulations to the Department of Political Science students, faculty and alumni who were celebrated at our Annual Award and Recognition Ceremony on October 20, 2022! In addition to numerous scholarship and fellowship recipients, our department was pleased to present Alumna of the year awards to the following people:

  • Undergraduate Alumna of the Year: Sandra Douglass Morgan (BA Political Science, 1999); President, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Graduate Alumna of the Year: Rota Rosaschi (Master of Public Administration, 1991); Executive Director, Nevada Public Health Foundation

Political Science academic programs

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

Minors in Political Science

Students majoring in another field may minor in political science and choose from among four interest subjects: general, foreign affairs, public administration and public policy, and American government. In addition, we offer minors in Asian studies, Latin American studies, political communication and advocacy, and renewable energy.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science offers students five different areas of study, from American government and politics to international relations, helping them develop an understanding of the institutions and policies that underpin modern politics.

Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs

The Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs is an interdisciplinary major for undergraduate students that allows them to explore topics ranging from international environmental studies to international political economy and more.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Secondary Education

The Bachelor of Arts with majors in Secondary Education and Political Science provides students with a broad background in political science and allows students to take all the necessary courses to meet state licensure to teach social studies, together with secondary teaching certification.

Accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Political Science

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 or public administration degrees in five years.

Master of Arts in Political Science

The Master of Arts in Political Science broadly covers the discipline, in both substance and methodology, teaching students how to conduct sophisticated analyses of political institutions, processes and policies.

Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) develops student familiarity with the social, political and economic environment of public programs and helps advance their managerial skills.

Ph.D. in Political Science

The Ph.D. offers students rigorous advanced academic training in the study of politics and policy. The program provides a strong foundation in research methods and substantive content, and allows our students to develop a program of study that meets their individual interests and career goals. 

Pre-Law

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

News from the Department of Political Science

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

Three students - one boy and two girls (from left to right) - dressed in professional attire standing in front of a building and some bushes.

Students and faculty member return from Brussels after German Marshall Fund Forum

University of Nevada, Reno represented as one of two American universities at the forum

Three student attendees pose for a photo in front of the German Marshall's Fund Brussels Forum event sign.

Students Travel to German Marshall Fund’s annual Brussels Forum to Discuss a Changing World

Student activities, groups and scholarships

Model United Nations

Model United Nations logoInterested in international politics and affairs? Have you ever wondered how countries negotiate in formal settings? How do they persuade other countries to go along with their proposals? How much informal politicking goes on behind the formal presentations and votes? How effective are they at ameliorating critical problems such as famines and civil war? Find out and learn by participating in the Model UN Club, and by taking our IAFF300 Model United Nations course. Students in the Model UN course have the option of participating in the regional Model UN Conference that takes place late Spring, annually, in San Francisco. Thanks to the generosity of the Judy Nowland & Harry M. Chase, Jr. Scholarship Endowment, we have funds to pay students’ travel expenses.

For more information, contact Nicholas Seltzer.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha logoPi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for political science. Founded in 1920 at the University of Texas, its purpose is to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interests in political science. The Delta Xi chapter was established at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1964 and has inducted more than 900 members. Members enjoy the recognition of their achievement, the opportunity to participate in national conferences and leadership opportunities within the organization.

For more information, contact Nicholas Seltzer.


Political Science scholarships

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.

Don’t overlook these opportunities!

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 offered by OISS and many other University departments.

The student experience