Fifth-Year Master of Arts in Political Science

Earn your Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in political science from UConn in just five years.

Current UConn undergraduate students have the opportunity to complete a master’s degree in political science through an expedited program. The 30-credit Political Science Fifth-Year Master’s Program allows undergraduates to begin graduate-level study during their senior year and continue for a fifth year after completing undergraduate requirements.

This program is optimal for students considering advanced graduate study. The curriculum offers rigorous training in research methods, through which students gain the skills they need to conduct their own independent research. Fifth-year master’s students also take graduate-level seminar courses that explore a variety of sub-fields and interests.

Through this coursework and training, fifth-year master’s students:

  • build capacity to undertake independent research,
  • focus on professional development tailored to individualized goals,
  • gain in-depth familiarity with at least one subfield in political science, and
  • evolve through an intense semester of focused supervised research.

UConn students can apply starting their junior year. Students must identify a faculty member they wish to work closely with during their master’s degree. It is recommended that students reach out to this faculty member before beginning the application process.

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Program Details

Courses and Requirements

Students can take at least one graduate course per semester of their senior year. Courses can be chosen from the program’s required or elective options. Six credits can be counted toward both the BA and MA plans of study, so long as they are from courses required for the fifth-year master’s program.

Required Courses

  • POLS 5000: Independent Study in Political Science (3 credits)
  • POLS 5605: Quantitative Methods (3 credits) – Introduction to the data analysis techniques most often used by political scientists. Requires no previous background in statistics.
  • POLS 5615: Qualitative Methods (3 credits) – A survey of qualitative research methods. Training in use of case studies, comparative historical approach, interviewing and focus groups, ethnography and interpretive methods.
  • POLS 5620: MA Project I
  • POLS 5625: POLS Professional Development (3 credits) – Exploration of careers that involve researching and thinking about politics.


  • At least two courses (6 credits) in one of the five POLS subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, or Public Law.
  • The remaining three courses (9 credits) can be taken anywhere in the University so long as they are graduate-level classes approved by the student's advisor.

All 5th Year POLS Master’s students must present the research conducted in POLS 5000: Independent Study in Political Science at the 5th Year Student Spring Research Conference at the end of the student’s fifth year to a committee of three examiners typically composed of their major advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and one additional POLS faculty member.

Costs and Fees

Students enrolled in the fifth-year master’s program will face no additional costs during their senior year. The price of the six credits that will count toward the master’s degree are included in their existing fees and tuition.

While fees vary year-by-year, the costs of the fifth year include the general University fee, the infrastructure fee, the graduate flat fee, and the in-state tuition for nine or more course credits. For more information, please visit the Bursar's Office website.

You may well be eligible for continued financial aid. To find out, please visit the financial aid website.

Admissions and Applications

UConn juniors can apply to the program on the Graduate School's website. Applicants will need to create an account and fill out the Application Creation Form for the Fifth-Year Master of Arts in Political Science.

Students applying for admission to the fifth-year master's program are required to submit:

  1. An unofficial transcript demonstrating a minimum GPA of 3.5 in political science and closely related classes.
  2. Two letters of recommendation on official letterhead speaking specifically to the applicant’s research potential. It is recommended that one letter comes from a faculty member who will supervise their research during the MA. (Students must submit the names of their two recommenders as part of their web application to the program. Recommenders will be notified via email and asked to submit their letters via the Graduate School's website.)
  3. A personal statement outlining the applicant's:
    • Research interests
    • Prior relevant academic experience
    • Proposed plan of study
    • Identification of faculty with whom they would like to study, including the faculty member who has committed to supervise their MA Independent Study (or POLS 5000)

Potential applicants are urged to meet with an undergraduate academic advisor to assure that they can fulfill all of their existing BA requirements while beginning their MA study. Students are not required to take the GRE.

Application deadline is May 1

Important Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: May 1
Information Sessions: All sessions are 1/2 hour and held online.

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Contact Us

For questions or for more information about the Fifth-Year Master of Arts in Political Science, please contact:

Thomas Hayes
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Political Science
Associate Professor of Political Science
Oak Hall, 4th Floor

Christine Luberto
Graduate Coordinator, Department of Political Science
Oak Hall, 4th Floor