Jun 26, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Arts - Political Science

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Plan Description

The Department of Political Science offers a general Master of Arts degree with concentrations in American politics (including public policy and public law), comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Students can normally expect to complete the program in from one-and-a-half to two years. The graduate program in political science is designed to prepare graduate students for doctoral studies, teaching positions at secondary schools and community colleges, or employment by government agencies, research centers, or private industry. 

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

  1. The following department application materials must be uploaded into the online application:
    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores
    2. Two letters of recommendation by recommendation providers (academic references preferred)
    3. A personal statement explaining why you want to enter the Master’s program
  2. Applicants must possess a baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  3. Applicants must submit satisfactory GRE General Test scores. Minimum scores are 153 on the verbal and 144 on the quantitative sections of the exam; we also consider the analytical writing score. In unusual circumstances, students who do not meet the above criteria may still be admitted.
  4. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements

Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements

Degree Requirements

  1. PSC 701 – Research Design and Methodology must be completed among the first 12 credits.
  2. New students are assigned to the graduate coordinator for advising. Students will declare an advisor by submitting the Advisor Declaration Form to the Department before the completion of 12 credit hours. Each student must consult with his or her advisor and the graduate coordinator every semester before enrolling in courses.
  3. A minimum of 30 credits to be completed must be pre-approved by the graduate coordinator to be counted toward the M.A. Each student must complete the six core courses (see below) as well as six credits (two courses) in one area of Political Science (American politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory); and six credits of PSC 795.
  4. With department approval, students may complete a maximum of 6 graduate credits from outside Political Science. Students must obtain the permission of the Political Science graduate coordinator prior to enrolling in courses outside of Political Science otherwise the courses will not count toward the M.A. in Political Science. Courses from outside the Department that include an undergraduate component cannot be used for the degree. Independent Study (PSC 791) cannot be used to fulfill a core or elected requirement.
  5. The candidate must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA at all times in order to remain in good standing. Only those courses in which a student receives a grade of B or better may be used for graduate credit.
  6. In addition to the required coursework, in consultation with his or her advisor, a student will prepare and present a professional paper. The professional paper will be supervised by a committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.

Plan Graduation Requirements

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his or her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his or her professional paper by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

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