Accelerated Degree Program

The Five Year B.A./M.A. Program

The Department of Political Science now offers a five year B.A./M.A. Accelerated Degree Program in political science and International Affairs. If you are admitted to this program, you may count some courses taken during your senior year toward both your B.A. and an M.A. This will enable you to complete both a B.A. and an M.A. in five years instead of the six that would normally be required.

An Opportunity for Deeper Learning

The Department’s M.A. programs in Political Science offer courses that can take you far beyond the undergraduate level. Those who have completed our M.A. have gone on to some of the finest graduate schools, launched careers in a variety of government agencies, and gained employment in various settings in the private sector.

Graduate courses in our program offer students the possibility to pursue topics of interest to them in more depth than they are able to in undergraduate classes. These courses couple smaller class sized and more opportunities for participation with an emphasis on the refinement of student research skills.

Program Information


The B.A.–M.A. program is open to both Political Science and International Affairs majors. Students applying to this program should be juniors, or in special circumstances, first semester seniors, must have completed three upper division courses in political science, and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better in their political science courses.

Applicants must submit a graduate school application form, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts to the director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science. Applicants to the five year B.A.–M.A. are not required to submit GRE scores.

Program Admission

If you are admitted to the Five Year B.A.–M.A. program, you will receive a letter that will guaranty your admission to our graduate program immediately upon completion of your B.A. You will, however, remain an undergraduate until that time, and thus will continue to have access to undergraduate financial aid.

Once in the program, any graduate seminars that you complete will count toward fulfillment of both undergraduate and graduate requirements. Please note, however, that graduate courses cannot be used to fulfill university core curriculum requirements.

B.A./M.A. Credits

The department strongly recommends that students in the Five Year B.A./M.A. program complete 12 credits that can be counted toward their M.A. during their senior year. This is the maximum number of graduate credits taken during the undergraduate period that can be counted toward the graduate degree. This will leave 18 credits (6 graduate courses) to complete during their year as a graduate student. Students might also consider starting the graduate program in the summer in between their fourth and fifth years and taking one graduate course during that summer. This would allow them, in their fifth year, to take three graduate courses in their fall semester but only two graduate courses in their spring semester. Taking a reduced load of courses in the final semester is recommended in order to leave time to prepare for the program's rigorous comprehensive examination process.

Additional Information

If you are interested in this program, please see the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science, Dr. Lowell Barrington. His office is William Wehr 468. Dr. Barrington can be reached at or (414) 288-5234.