SKIP navigation

Graduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Admissions

    2. Funding

    3. Program Details

    4. Student Life

    5. Graduating


What is the deadline for applying to the Master's in Political Science (MS PSCI) program?

All application materials must be received by July 15 for applicants seeking to begin in that year's fall semester. For students interested in beginning the MS PSCI program in the spring semester, all application materials must be received by November 15. For the summer, the deadline is April 15.

How do you determine if an applicant is admitted to the MS PSCI program?

The general prerequisite for admission to the MS PSCI program is a four-year bachelors' degree from an accredited university. The following factors will be considered in determination of a student's admission status:

    - 15 undergraduate hours in political science

    - A GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

    - Two letters of recommendation (one must be from a college instructor or work supervisor if you are returning to school after time away)

    - An academic writing sample, minimum 5 pages in length. If one does not exist, please contact the graduate chair

    - Two official copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

    - If you are an international student from a non-exempt TOEFL country, a minimum internet-TOEFL score of 70

    - A completed oline graduate school application

    - application fee

    *A GRE or other graduate standardized test scores are not a requirement, but are welcome to be submitted along with the other materials.

How many students do you accept annually?

The numbers vary depending on the year. However, on average, 40 students are actively enrolled in the program (classroom-based and on-line). We typically admit 15-20 students per year.

Do I have to take the GRE?


Can my letters of recommendation be submitted via email?

No. UNO's graduate student application process requires that applicants provide the names and email addresses of two individuals who can address their qualifications for graduate study.  The recommenders will be sent an online recommendation form to complete. Please inform each of them to expect this correspondence from the UNO Graduate Studies Office. Please refer to the ' How to Apply ' section of our website for more information on the application process.

When will I be notified of whether or not I have been accepted?

You will receive an email from the MS PSCI Graduate Chair within two weeks of your application being completed. The Graduate College will notify you as well, approximately six weeks after your complete application packet is submitted.

If I am an international student, what TOEFL (Test of English Foreign Language) score does the MS PSCI program require?

The MS PSCI program requires a minimum score of 70 for the internet-based TOEFL, 5.5 on the IELTS, or a 44 on the PTE with no exceptions to this policy.

Are there any prerequisites for admission into the MS PSCI program?

We like to see 15 undergraduate hours in political science. However, when we review your application, we sometimes waive this standard. In addition, we can admit you provisionally, by requiring you take one or more core undergraduate courses. The most common undergraduate course we require is Research Methods (PSCI 2000: Introduction to Political Inquiry), in preparation for the Graduate Seminar in Research Methods.

Can I apply to the MS PSCI program online?

Yes; in fact, UNO requires all applicants to apply online. For more information on the application process, please refer to the ' How to Apply' section of our website.

Do I need to have my foreign application documents translated prior to submission?

Yes; please refer to UNO's International Studies website for more information.

How to Delay Enrollment

If you have been admitted to the MS PSCI program but need to delay your enrollment for a semester or two, you should contact the Graduate Studies Office and request your admission be postponed to the specified semester. The Graduate Studies Office can be reached by phone at 402-554-2341 or by e-mail at .



How to Apply for Graduate Assistantships, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

The University offers a number of Competitive Graduate Scholarships, Regent's Tuition Waivers, and Non-resident Tuition Scholarships. Awards are usually granted beginning the fall semester and are renewable for up to two academic years. Students interested in applying for an assistantship should inquire with the Graduate Director of Political Science if any are available, and if so, what the application deadline is. Those interested in funding from outside the department should consult the Graduate Studies website . In addition, all university funding opportunities will be advertised to our students over email. Those interested in applying for student loans should complete a FAFSA, available at the Financial Aid Office or online . The Financial Aid Office will contact students upon receipt of results of the FAFSA filing.

How much does it cost to get a MS PSCI?

The best resource and most up-to-date for determining how much it will cost you to pursue a MS PSCI is UNO's Cashiering/Student Accounts Office .


Program Details:

What is the MS PSCI?

The University of Nebraska at Omaha's Department of Political Science offers a Master's Degree of Science in Political Science. The MS PSCI degree has proven useful to the over 100 people who have gone on to teach, earn Ph.Ds, work in government, or work in politics.

What are the different ways I can pursue an MS PSCI degree?

On the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha, or on-line.

What is the relationship between the MS PSCI program and the University?

The MS PSCI program is a component of the department of political science, which is located on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and is a unit of the College of Arts & Sciences. The University of Nebraska at Omaha is one of four major campuses of the University of Nebraska system. Other campuses include: University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) located in Omaha.

What should I know about the MS PSCI program's faculty?

We regularly publish with top presses and in top academic journals. Most recently, our work has appeared in Political Science Quarterly, American Politics Research, and Political Research Quarterly. We have published books with Congressional Quarterly, Routledge, and the Brookings Institution Press. The university also regularly recognizes us for our teaching and service:


  • Dr. Randall Adkins - College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Research Award, 2014
  • Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado - UNO Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, 2013
  • Dr. Carson Holloway - College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 2013
  • Dr. Jody Neathery-Castro – College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Award, 2011
  • Dr. Randall Adkins – Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award, 2010
  • Dr. Randall Adkins - College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 2007
  • Dr. Jody Neathery-Castro - College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 2007
Student Life:

The class I want/need to take is full! What can I do?

If you've tried to register for a class, but find that the class you want/need to take is closed, call the Graduate Program chair, Dr. Gregory A. Petrow, at 402-554-3991 to be put on a waiting list, if available. Being placed on the waiting list is not a guarantee that you will be enrolled in the class. You will be given notification via email, should a spot become available and at the discretion of the course instructor.

How Long Will It Take Me to Earn the MS PSCI?

The MS PSCI program is structured to accommodate both full-time and part-time students. Courses are scheduled so students can typically complete the program in two calendar years; however, all students must complete the program within ten (10) years.

How long do I have to complete the degree?

Credits older than ten (10) years will not be counted toward graduation requirements. For example, if you have credits older than ten years that are necessary for graduation, you will have to take that course again before being eligible for graduation.

How many classes and credit hours are required to earn a MS PSCI?

For both the thesis and non-thesis track, 30 credit hours (10 courses) are required and the student must maintain a 3.0 GPA

How Flexible is the Program?

Very. You can take 15 hours outside the department and have them counted toward your degree requirements.

How to Obtain Academic Advising

Upon admission, you will receive a letter from the Graduate Studies Office which includes a copy of your plan of study as well as the name of your academic advisor. Your plan of study is also readily available on mavlink, and details your progress through the program. Dr. Gregory A. Petrow, Graduate Program Chair, is also available for assistance and can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 402-554-3991.

It may be valuable for you to communicate at least once each semester with your advisor. Graduate students will find that they need guidance at many points in their program and that they can benefit from faculty advice. Developing a relationship with your advisor can be valuable beyond academic issues of course planning (professional development, career planning, etc.).

How to Add, Drop or Withdraw from a Class

Students may drop or add a course using mavlink through the end of the first week of the semester. After the first week of classes, students must process a drop/add form, available at Registrar's Office. Students in the online program should contact the Academic Program Coordinator for assistance.

Explain the capstone project.

Please visit our capstone project webpage .

Do students have to take comprehensive exams

No, there is no requirement for a comprehensive exam.

What time of day are courses usually offered?

We have five core seminars that we require all students to take. Each semester we offer one of them on Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. We also offer one of them on-line. Other courses are offered during a variety of times, during the school day, and during the evenings. In addition, all students can choose to take on-line classes.

May I transfer credits from another institution/program?

Yes. The MS PSCI program, pending approval, allows up to ten (10) graduate semester credits hours (where a grade of B or higher has been earned) to be transferred from another accredited college or university. However, transferred credits can only be used for elective credits, all core credits must be taken at UNO.



How to File for Graduation

During what is expected to be the semester of graduation, and prior to the posted deadline, students should complete an application for degree which is available through a student's mavlink account. Deadlines for application are posted in UNO's academic calendar.

How to Qualify for the Social Science Honor Society

Pi Gamma Mu is a national honorary society for social science students. Internationally, there are 150 chapters with a membership of over 20,000 individuals. The UNO chapter was founded in 1978.  Generally, membership is extended to MS PSCI students in the upper 35 percent of the class, with at least 20 semester hours in social sciences and an average grade therein of "B" or better.