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.

This 30-credit program allows current UConn undergraduates to begin graduate-level study during their senior year and complete a master’s degree with one additional year of graduate course work.

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

Program Features

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

Evolve through an intense semester of focused supervised research

Courses and Requirements

UConn undergraduates admitted to the program 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.

Electives

  • 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.

Required Research Presentation

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.

Admissions

Current UConn juniors and external candidates can apply to the program via the online application on the Graduate School's website.

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.

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 they apply.

Required Application Materials for All Applicants

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

  • An unofficial transcript demonstrating a minimum GPA of 3.5 in political science and closely related classes.
  • 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.)
  • 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 supervising their MA Independent Study (or POLS 5000).

Instructions for Current UConn Undergraduates

First Application Process

  • Visit the Graduate School’s Application Management web page.
  • Click “Create an Account to start a new application.”
  • Create account.
  • Follow instructions to get a temporary PIN.
  • Set your password.
  • Click “Start a new application.”
  • Under the question “To which type of program are you applying?” choose “Non-Degree Graduate.”
  • In the “Intended Program” section choose “UConn Accelerated UG to Grad,” then choose “Political Science.”
  • Fill out the application.

Second Application Process

You can submit a second application once you have filled out you BA Plan of Study and are ready to graduate with your undergraduate degree. This second application will finalize your admissions and officially enroll you as a graduate student.

  • Visit the Graduate School’s Application Management web page.
  • Click “Log in to continue an application.”
  • Log in using the password you created the first time you applied.
  • Click “Start a new application.”
  • Fill out demographic information and then under “To which type of program are you applying?” click “Master’s.”
  • Under “Application Management” click on “In Progress Application.”
  • Click “Continue” at the end of the informational page.
  • Under the "Intended Program” section, for “Levels of Study” choose “Masters,” for “Academic Areas” choose “Social Sciences,” and for “Program” choose “Political Science MA.”
  • Fill out an application using the information you submitted the first time you applied.
  • This time you’ll need to pay the application fee.

Instructions for UConn Alumni or Graduates from Another Institution

First Application Process

  • Visit the Graduate School’s Application Management web page.
  • Click “Create an Account to start a new application.”
  • Create an account.
  • Follow instructions to get a temporary PIN.
  • Set your password.
  • Click “Start a new application”.
  • Under the question “To which type of program are you applying?” choose “Masters.”
  • Fill out an application.
  • There will be an application fee.

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.

Important Deadlines

Application Deadline: May 1


RSVP for an information session

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

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
thomas.hayes@uconn.edu

Christine Luberto
Graduate Coordinator, Department of Political Science
Oak Hall, 4th Floor
christine.luberto@uconn.edu
860-486-2079