Jun 29, 2022  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Arts - Political Science

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.

Post-Bachelor’s Professional Paper Track Admission Requirements:

  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.

Integrated BA-MA Professional Paper Track Admission Requirements:

Accomplished UNLV undergraduates may apply for an Advanced Program Track after completion of 75 credit hours (Junior Standing). Students must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the Advanced Program Track:

  1. 75 credit hours (Junior Standing)
  2. Completion of at least 13 Political Science undergraduate credits including: PSC 101, PSC 200, PSC 211, PSC 231.
  3. The student must have earned a GPA within the Political Science Major of at least 3.5.
  4. Submission of two letters of recommendation from professors (at least one of which must be from a UNLV Political Science Department faculty member) and a completed Enrollment Request form to the Political Science department no less than two weeks before the beginning of the semester for which they would like to register for graduate courses.
  5. Department chair AND Graduate coordinator’s approval OR Approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.

All admissions to Subplan 2 (Integrated BA-MA Professional Paper Track) will be conditional on earning a B or better in the 700 level courses in which they are enrolled while in undergraduate status. 

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.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s Professional Paper Track

Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements

Subplan 2 Requirements: Integrated BA-MA Professional Paper Track

Total Credits Required: 21

Course Requirements

Methods in Political Science - Credits 3-6

If PSC 701 is taken while students are in the BA program, it will be waived.
Proseminar Courses - Credits: 3-6

Students will take 2-3 of the following courses while in the BA program. Those courses will be waived.
Directed Readings in Political Science - Credits: 6

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.
  7. Additional Degree Requirements for Subplan 2: Students must complete 9 credits of 700 level courses from among PSC 701, PSC 710R, PSC 740, PSC 760R, and/or PSC 780R. Requirements related to 700 level courses taken while in the BA program will be waived.

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.