University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 
    Sep 29, 2022  

BA/MA or MPA Accelerated Program, Political Science

The College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Political Science offer outstanding undergraduate students an accelerated path to completion of an MA or MPA degree. The BA and MA and BA and MPA programs employs an accelerated curriculum that allows students to complete 108 undergraduate credits and 30-36 graduate credits (15 credits must be at the 700 level or higher) in 5 years. Students begin graduate coursework in their 4th year. Students admitted to this program will complete all undergraduate degree requirements before formally advancing to graduate standing. The program culminates in either a thesis or non-thesis MA or MPA degree suitable for students pursuing careers in public service, public administration, non-governmental organizations or further study in a PhD program. The program emphasizes the cross-disciplinary nature of the social sciences and provides students with the analytical tools needed in that environment.

The graduate credits completed in the fourth year may apply towards University credit total (120) or specific Political Science major requirements as approved by the Department. Students admitted to the accelerated program will take PSC 780  in their first semester of the dual credit program unless specifically exempted by the Graduate Director. Students in the BA/MA must take PSC 782  and two other graduate courses (600 or 700 level) in consultation with the Graduate Director. Students in the BA/MPA program will take PSC 780  and three additional courses (600/700 level) in consultation with the Graduate Director. All students must complete the Accelerated Degree Form and consult the Undergraduate Director and the Graduate Director.

Admission Requirements
Students apply to the program during their junior year; the graduate committee considers applications for the fall admission cycle.

  1. Student must have completed 75 credits toward their BA degree
  2. Political Science Major or other approved social science major at UNR
  3. 3.5 GPA overall; 3.5 GPA within major; any exceptions to this will need approval from the Graduate Committe
  4. Student must complete an Application to Pursue Accelerated Degree Program form and have it approved
  5. GRE 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 verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1000. These will be adjusted to the new GRE scaled scoring methodology by the Department’s Graduate Committee
  6. Student must have selected a faculty advisor with whom to work on their graduate degree
  7. Letters of Recommendation from 2 department faculty members and one from outside the department
  8. Statement of Purpose must accompany the application
  9. Student must meet all admission requirements of the Graduate School
  10. All application material should be submitted through the Graduate School, following normal graduate admission procedures.

Program Guidelines

These guidelines comply with Graduate School rules and regulations and established practices for accelerated BA/MA programs at the university.

  • Twelve credits of graduate work may apply to both the BA and MA/MPA degrees (  to be completed in the first semester of the senior year and   to be completed in the second semester of the senior year).
  • Students must be admitted to the program before graduate courses can be taken.
  • Students who do not finish the requirements for the MA/MPA will be allowed to finish their BA degree; graduate coursework completed will not revert to undergraduate credit.
  • Students begin graduate coursework in the first semester of their 4th year.
  • The graduate degree culminates in a thesis or non-thesis MA/MPA degree.
    • Students planning on entering a PhD program later will be strongly encouraged to complete a thesis under their faculty supervisor.
    • Students entering the work force with no plans for a PhD will be encouraged to complete the examination non-thesis option.
  • Students will be ineligible for departmental consideration for graduate funding on normal funding lines.
    • Students will be completing requirements for two degrees; adding teaching or research responsibility on top of that seems unrealistic if not unfair.
  • Students will be departmentally ineligible for admission to the PhD program, though the graduate committee may make exceptions to this rule under extenuating circumstances.
    • This is to avoid the student receiving all degrees from the same institution.
  • Students must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA in both BA and MA or MPA 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 the BA degree.
  • Undergraduate credit will not count toward graduate credit coursework.
  • Students should note that the graduate courses they will be required to take while they are seniors in the BA program do not apply towards the 12 credits required for full time status for financial aid. Therefore during each semester in the senior year, 12 undergraduate credits should be taken in addition to the graduate-level courses. The graduate-level courses will require payment of graduate credit tuition.
  • Program of Study (POS) must be complete after the student’s first semester in the program.

View the Accelerated Degree Form

View program requirements for the Political Science, B.A.  

View program requirements for the Political Science, M.A.  

View program requirements for the Public Administration and Policy, M.P.A