B.A. / M.A. Program

Superior students may earn both the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts degrees upon satisfactory completion of four years of college work. Students are selected for this program at the end of their junior year. During their senior year, students in the program will be enrolled in graduate level coursework and will write an appropriate Master's Thesis. Admission to the BA/MA program is highly selective and decided by the department faculty when evaluating all of the Honors applicants.

  1. Interested students should apply to participate in the College Honors Program during Spring Semester of their junior year. Exceptionally qualified students who meet specific criteria: (1) a minimum average of 3.5 overall, (2) a minimum average of 3.75 in political science courses, and (3) a minimum of 20 semester hours in political science courses of which at least 16 semester hours must be at the 300 level or above may be invited to join the B.A./M.A. program during their senior year.
  2. Students selected for the program must complete an application to the Graduate School, take the General Test of the GRE, and have GRE scores sent to the Graduate School. Letters of recommendation and a "statement of purpose" are not necessary. Although admitted to the Graduate School, the student will continue to register through the College.
  3. Students in the BA/MA program do not register for or participate in the departmental Honors Tutorial (POLS 495/499). They are, however, required to meet all College level requirements in order to graduate with honors (A Master's thesis fulfills the honors thesis requirement.) It is the students responsibility to contact the College Honors Coordinator to confirm College obligations and requirements.
  4. During the senior year (after admission to the Graduate School), the student must take at least 32 semester hours and write an acceptable thesis. Twenty (20) hours must be in course or seminar work, not including Directed Study (597R) or Thesis Research (599R). Twenty-four (24) hours must be in graduate level (500 or above) coursework. No more than 4 semester hours may be in Thesis Research (599R). As part of the 24 graduate hours, the student must complete the following courses with a grade of B- or better:

    POLS 507 Research Design and Data Collection
    POLS 508 Data Analysis

    Satisfactory completion of graduate-level work requires a grade of "B" or better in 16 of the 24 graduate hours.

  5. The student must complete an M.A. thesis. During Fall Semester and before December 1, the student must do the following: (1) in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies set up a research committee to supervise the thesis and (2) submit a copy of a research proposal for the thesis to each member of the committee. Students who have not submitted an acceptable research proposal by the last day of Fall Semester will be excluded from the program.
  6. During Spring Semester the student must do the following:
    January: File application for degree with both College and Graduate School
    March: Complete final, acceptable thesis and schedule defense date with committee
    End of March: Successfully defend the thesis
    Early April: Submit final version of thesis per Graduate School guidelines and deadline

    The student is responsible for meeting all format and submission requirement. Consult the "Instructions for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations" available from the Graduate School for specific requirements.
  7. Students in the BA/MA program who do not complete the MA thesis requirements will still receive the BA degree upon satisfaction of the regular BA requirements (36 hours of satisfactory work in political science). Students must complete 132 hours to graduate in May. If 599R is taken and not completed in the Spring, the student must wait until August to graduate with the BA unless the student has 132 hours of other credits.
  8. Students who do not meet the April deadline to have the MA degree conferred in May, may do so in time for an August degree by registering for Graduate Residence in the Summer term and submitting an acceptable thesis by the deadline for a Summer degree.

For further information, you may contact the departmental academic degree program coordinator, Rosy Gomez.