Political Science, MA
The master’s degree under Option A requires a thesis. Option A is most appropriate for students who are preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or additional academic pursuits beyond the master’s degree. Under this option, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours, consisting of 20 to 24 credit hours of regular course work, plus a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be in the major (at least 18 credit hours for the Master of Education degree). The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 8 credit hours, excluding thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
Option A is not available for the Master of Professional Accountancy degree.
Thesis Requirements. The subject of the thesis shall be chosen from the student’s field of major interest and must be approved by the departmental Graduate Committee. The thesis should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations, state laws and institutional policies. Submission of protocols to conduct human subject or animal research is coordinated by the Research Responsibility offices. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research.
The thesis must conform to the required style and format described in Steps to Degree Completion. A copy of the thesis and abstract must be approved by the student’s major advisor and submitted for preliminary review to the Master’s Programs Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks (one week in the summer sessions) before the date of the candidate’s final oral examination. A candidate is not eligible for the oral examination until the thesis is completed and approved. After passing the final oral examination, the thesis must be electronically submitted to the Master’s Programs Coordinator for a final review prior to being uploaded to Digital Commons.
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The master’s degree under Option B does not require a thesis. Option B is most appropriate for students pursuing practice-based or professional careers in which the master’s degree provides suitable training. Under Option B, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree must be in the major. The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 15 credit hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
The Master of Professional Accountancy plan of study may not include a minor.
The Master of Education plan of study may not include a minor, but must include at least 6 credit hours of education courses outside the major.
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Accelerated Master's Programs allow University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate students to pursue this degree in an abbreviated timeline.
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Dual Degree programs allow students to be admitted to two degree programs simultaneously with approval of each Graduate Program Committee and the Dean(s) for Graduate Studies.
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Option A – 36 credits, Option B – 30 credits
Graduate study in Political Science offers students the opportunity to work with well known teacher-scholars in American politics, international relations, political psychology, and public polic
Students in the program have close working relationships with faculty and receive quality training for careers in academia, government, the nonprofit sector, and business. Graduate students often collaborate with faculty on research, publish articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, and present at conferences.
The department offers four main areas of study, including American politics, international relations, political psychology, and public policy. The department is also actively involved in several cross-departmental specializations, including Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and Women’s & Gender Studies, and has ties to other organizations on campus, including the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, the National Strategic Research Institute, and the Nebraska Public Policy Center.
For more information, visit https://polisci.unl.edu/graduate-student-resources.
Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
Water Resources Planning and Management
Women's & Gender Studies
Applying for Admission
Standard requirements for all graduate programs
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.
If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency
When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Additional requirements specific to this program
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL 100, IELTS 6.5.
- GRE (optional).
- Resume/CV: 1-2 pages.
- Personal Statement: This two-page statement should describe your immediate educational and long-term career goals and how graduate study in political science at Nebraska will help you achieve your goals. Discuss which area or research question within political science that you want to investigate during your graduate studies. If there is a particular faculty member with whom you wish to study, give that person's name and explain why you want to study with that person. You may also include other information, such as undergraduate research experience, internships, or other experiences you may have had to prepare you for advanced study in political science.
- Writing sample: One paper, no more than 20 pages. Example: a paper you wrote for a political science class.
- Potential faculty advisor (optional) and research interest.
- Three recommendation letters.
Admission Application Deadlines
Priority application deadlines are October 1 for spring admission and January 1 for fall admission.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.