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Graduate Program

Master of Science Degree Course of Study

The UNO Master of Science in Political Science is a program that offers a broad foundation in Political Science with the possibility of interdisciplinary collaboration. Our students take seminars in American politics, global politics, foreign policy, political theory, and research methods.  Up to 18 hours of the program may be taken outside the discipline of political science.

The program offers thesis and non-thesis options; either generally takes two years to complete. Our courses prepare graduates for a wide variety of occupations, not solely in the realm of politics. Our faculty have received some of the highest honors for teaching excellence. We are also among the nation’s leaders in our research specializations; our work is published by the best academic presses or top-tier journals in the field.  Many of our faculty are also responsible for administering major nationally competitive grants and federal earmarks.

Political Science students study the origin, development, and operation of political systems and public policy. We will expose you to the issues of political organization, action, policy, and governance. Political science is a versatile discipline and helps develop skills and understanding useful in a variety of settings.

Our program offers the maximum possible flexibility to tailor an area of specialization because we allow 18 hours of credit outside of political science to be counted toward your degree. The flexibility in this program encourages you to create a program of study that incorporates interests in other disciplines such as communications, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, psychology, public administration, social work, sociology, teacher education, and urban studies.

You may structure programs of study to thematic interests such as democracy, diversity, globalization, homeland security, or informational organization by selecting elective classes with similar themes from different disciplines. Entire graduate certificates in related fields may be embedded in one's program of study.

We have two tracks of study: The Master’s Thesis track, and the non-thesis track. We recommend the thesis track for those intending to pursue a Ph.D., and we recommend the non-thesis track for all others. The vast majority of our students choose the non-thesis track, finding its greater flexibility encourages completion of the degree.

M.S. Thesis Options

Complete 30 hours (includes PSCI 8990: Thesis (6)).

Maintain a 3.0 overall grade point average.

Required Courses:

PSCI 8000 Seminar in Research Methods (3),

PSCI 8040 Seminar in American Government and Politics (3),

PSCI 8200: Seminar in Foreign and Security Policies (3),

PSCI 8250 Seminar in Global Politics (3),

PSCI 8300 Seminar in Political Theory (3), and

PSCI 8900 Thesis (6 hours).

Elective Courses: Complete 9 hours, no more than two (6 hours) of which may be 3---/8--5 courses.

At least 50% of coursework must be at the 8--0/9--0 level.

 M. S. Non-Thesis Option

Complete 36 hours total.

Maintain a 3.0 overall grade point average. .

Required Courses:

PSCI 8000 Seminar in Research Methods (3),

PSCI 8040 Seminar in American Government and Politics (3),

PSCI 8200: Seminar in Foreign and Security Policies (3),

PSCI 8250 Seminar in Global Politics (3),

PSCI 8300 Seminar in Political Theory (3), and

Capstone: 3 credit hours of PSCI 8910 Political Internship (3) or PSCI 8980 Research Tutorial (3)

Elective Courses: Complete 18 hours, no more than two (6 hours) of which may be 3---/8--5 courses.

At least 50% of coursework must be at the 8--0/9--0 level.

Graduate Minor in Political Science


The Department of Political Science offers a graduate minor to students pursuing graduate degrees in other programs at the University of Nebraska. The requirements for the minor are that the student complete a minimum of nine (9) graduate hours in political science courses, which must include Seminar in American Government and Politics, Seminar in Global Politics, and Seminar in Political Theory. The courses to be taken for the minor are to be approved both by the student's advisor in the student's major subject and by the graduate program committee chair in Political Science