BA/MA in Political Science

Political science explores the concerns and issues that animate public life. Using both humanistic and scientific approaches, it studies how political communities attempt to reconcile the claims of justice, power, liberty, and authority.

Our students focus on the study of politics while advancing their skills in writing, analytical thinking, and quantitative reasoning. For our most advanced students, we offer the chance to pursue advanced coursework in the final year of undergraduate study, write a thesis under the supervision of a faculty mentor, and graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in as little as four years.

The application should be made no later than November 1 of the junior year. Applicants must have completed four political science courses, including one course at the CAS PO 505 level or higher, by the time of application. Students should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 overall and 3.7 in the major. Also required for application is a detailed two- to three-page plan of study listing a coherent cluster of courses and seminars at the graduate level in political science outlining the proposed specialized area of study, identifying faculty and other resources to support the program, and indicating how the course of study will enhance the student’s intellectual and career development.


The BA/MA program of study must be approved by the director of advanced programs or the academic advisor, as must any subsequent changes.

Required MA Courses

A minimum of 36 four-credit courses is required. Required coursework includes:

  • at least two graduate-level field seminars from among GRS PO 711, 741, 751, 771, and 791
  • two methods courses from among CAS PO 502, 840, 841, and 842
  • and four elective courses at the CAS PO 505-level or above

MA Thesis Requirement

Students must complete a master’s-level thesis in order to be eligible for the degree. The potential advisor should be identified at the time of application. A thesis agreement between selected faculty and student is required upon acceptance to the program.

For specific information concerning the program, contact the Department of Political Science. For specific information about formulating a plan of study and other application requirements, please refer to the BA/MA Programs description.