Political Science, MS

Department of Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Vision Statement

The Department of Political Science's vision is to provide quality research, teaching, and service for our students, community, and academic field in order to produce qualified individuals and advanced knowledge to benefit communities regionally, nationally, and internationally.  UNO is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a doctoral and research institution.  We value diversity among faculty, staff, and students and recognize its essential contribution to campus culture and development of knowledge.  The Master of Science in political science offers a broad foundation in the discipline with a high degree of interdisciplinary collaboration, if desired.  Some students enter the program with the intention of continuing on with their PhD, while others use the program to prepare themselves as practitioners in the fields of education, government, intelligence, law, journalism, non-profit, or lobbying.  Students can earn the degree completely on-line, on-campus, or blended (on-line/on-campus). 

Program Contact Information

Kristin Broyhill, Academic Program Coordinator (APC)
275 Arts & Sciences Hall (ASH)
402.554.4121
kbroyhill@unomaha.edu

Gregory Petrow, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
275 Arts & Sciences Hall (ASH)
402.554.3991
gpetrow@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Other Program-Related Information

Online Delivery

  • The Department of Political Science offers a program to earn a master’s degree for which all courses can be taken online. Many of our students are mid-career professionals seeking a better understanding of the subject matter from fields such as; education, military, and public service.  Others are more traditional students who intend to continue onto a PhD.  Our program has been in place since 1969 and we currently have over 80 active students. There are several advantages to UNO's online MS in political science (PSCI):
    • High-quality curriculum from a distinguished university. UNO is one of 88 institutions of higher education nationally classified as a doctoral/research university, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching—out of the 4000 academic institutions it categorizes. In addition, UNO received a first-tier regional best ranking in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges.
    • Low tuition from a convenient, accessible location—your computer. Students can select courses that are taught entirely online. It is very rare for our courses to have specific times in which you are required to be online.
  • The UNO PSCI master's program affords its students an environment that serves as an incubator for acquiring the skills necessary for students’ desired careers, and for developing a self-understanding that will enable students to succeed both professionally and personally. Students are assured of a high-quality degree program that not only meets but exceeds national standards of education in political science.
  • Our Flexibility: our program offers flexibility to tailor an area of specialization. This flexibility encourages students to create an approved 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. We accept up to 9 hours of graduate-level transfer credit, graded at a B or above, from another accredited institution that has not been applied towards another degree or completed program.  In addition, students can apply up to 12 approved elective credit hours of courses outside the field of political science.

3+2 Program

The Department of Political Science has developed a program through which high caliber UNO undergraduate students can obtain a joint Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in political science within a five-year period. During this program, students may complete up to 4 upper-level PSCI required courses for their undergraduate major as a graduate student. These courses will count towards their undergraduate major requirement as well as their graduate electives. These 4 courses will be spread out between their junior and senior years. Students must graduate with their BA/BS before starting their graduate-only seminars.

  1. Student must be an undergraduate student at UNO majoring in political science or international studies (a PSCI minor is highly recommended for international studies students).
  2. Student must have a GPA of 3.5 or above.
  3. Must have at least sophomore status when applying and have three to four semesters left in their BA/BS program.
  4. Student must apply to the program (specifying that they are applying as a 3+2 student) and provide all supplemental materials.

Before starting graduate work, students are expected to complete PSCI subfield introductory courses (1100, 2000, 2210, 2310, and 2500) and 2-3 (3000/4000) level political science courses.

At this time this program is only applicable to on-campus students. Please inquire with the Department of Political Science academic program coordinator for more information about this program.

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: June 15  (February 15 if interested in scholarship or graduate assistantship)
  • Spring: October 15 (September 15 if interested in scholarship or graduate assistantship)
  • Summer: March 15

Program Specific Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree or previous Master's degree with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  • 15 credit hours in political science-related courses is preferred.  The selection committee looks for previous coursework in American government, political theory, international relations, comparative politics, and social science (quantitative) methodology. Students without the above undergraduate background in political science may be admitted on a provisional basis and be required to take prerequisite courses before starting graduate work.  Students must earn a grade of B or above in each of these courses.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a former professor (preferred), supervisor, or individual that can speak to one's academic potential in a graduate program. If students have recently graduated from UNO, it is expected that one of the letters will be from a UNO political science faculty member. It is preferred that students use their references' institutional (.edu) or professional email.
  • Personal statement (1-2 pages) explaining why the applicant is seeking admission into this program, how his/her academic/professional experiences can contribute to his/her success in this program, and how this program will contribute to his/her future academic/professional ambitions.  
  • Submission of an academic, research-based writing sample. The sample must be written in English, include citations, and be a minimum of five pages in length. This writing sample can be a previous assignment. If no such paper exists, the applicant should contact the academic program coordinator for an alternative assignment.
  • Professional Resume
  • Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English.  Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the U.S., OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.  A minimum score of 80 on an internet-based TOEFL, with no sub-score under 15, or the IELTS and PTE English proficiency tests are also accepted. Those scores must translate to the minimum internet-based TOEFL equivalent to be considered for admission. Passing with a minimum score does not guarantee admission into the program.

  • GRE scores are not required for admission, however, students are welcome to submit them. 
  • Official transcripts from all attended institutions. Please note that although the Office of Graduate Studies forwards applications to departments for review with unofficial transcripts, students cannot enroll until all official transcripts have been received. Due to this, the Department of Political Science has elected to wait for official transcripts before reviewing applications.  

Degree Requirements

Required: Methods Seminar3
SEMINAR IN THE RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Required: Three Core Subfield Seminars9
SEMINAR IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
SEMINAR IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
SEMINAR IN POLITICAL THEORY
SEMINAR IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS
Required for Non-thesis Students: One Additional Seminar (from list below or remaining subfield seminar)3
SEMINAR IN POLITICAL ECONOMY
SEMINAR IN LEADERSHIP
SEMINAR IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
SEMINAR IN FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY
SEMINAR ON INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGY
SEMINAR IN SPECIAL TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Required: Four Elective Courses (from remaining seminars or list below)12
QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
URBAN POLITICS
THE PRESIDENCY
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF NEBRASKA
CONGRESS AND THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
STATE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
THE JUDICIAL PROCESS
LGBT POLITICS
POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY
PUBLIC OPINION AND POLLING
WOMEN AND POLITICS
LATINO/-A POLITICS
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL RIGHTS
POLITICAL PARTIES
INTEREST GROUPS
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: FOUNDATIONS
CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: THE FEDERAL SYSTEM
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL LIBERTIES
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF EAST ASIA
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
GENDER AND GLOBAL POLITICS
THE POLITICS AND PRACTICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION
GLOBAL SECURITY ISSUES
INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY
UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY
INTERNATIONAL LAW
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF LATIN AMERICA
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
CLASSICAL POLITICAL THEORY
EARLY MODERN POLITICAL THEORY
LATE MODERN POLITICAL THEORY
AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THEORY
DEMOCRACY
EUROPEAN POLITICS
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF GREAT BRITAIN
POLITICS OF FRANCE
POLITICAL VIOLENCE, INSURGENCY, AND TERRORISM
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF RUSSIA AND THE POST-SOVIET STATES
ISLAM AND POLITICS
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF CHINA AND EAST ASIA
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF LATIN AMERICA
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
POLITICS AND FILM
READINGS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
ADVANCED SPECIAL TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Required: Capstone
Non-thesis Capstone3
POLITICAL SCIENCE INTERNSHIP
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Thesis Capstone6
THESIS
Total30

Notes on Courses:

Courses may not be available every term or may only be offered on-campus or online for said term. 

It is expected that students will successfully complete PSCI 8000 within the first half of their program.

A student who does not have sufficient background in one or more subfields may be required to take a provisional undergraduate course before taking its equivalent graduate seminar.

Electives may be taken outside of the political science department with approval from the graduate chair. The course must be related to political science. 

Students who were undergraduate students at UNO cannot take a dual-listed course at the graduate level if they have already taken the course at the undergraduate level. For example, if they completed PSCI 4270/ENVN 4270 Global Environmental Politics as an undergraduate student, they cannot take PSCI 8276 Global Enviornmental Politics as part of their MS degree. 

Students may not count more than 6 credit hours of courses ending in 8-5 (for example, 8265) towards the completion of their degree.

Notes on Exit Requirements

All students begin this program as a non-thesis student. Students who would like to complete a thesis may petition to do so after completing 15 credit hours, but at least one term before he/she plans on starting his/her thesis. To petition to change to the thesis track, a student must request an application from, and submit it to, the academic program coordinator during the time specified above. The graduate chair will then evaluate whether a thesis track is the best option for the petitioning student. If denied, a student may appeal once in a following term by going through the same process. During a petition, the graduate program committee will review the application.

All students are expected to pass comprehensive exams in three out of the four subfields. These exams will be administered as part of the subfield seminar courses. 

Non-Thesis Exit Requirement (3 credit hours)

Non-thesis students must take 3 credit hours of a capstone project. They may choose from PSCI 8980 or PSCI 8910.

  1. PSCI 8980: During a students' last 9 credit hours, students will work with one faculty member on a political science-related topic of their choice and will produce a research-based product at the end of the term.
  2. PSCI 8910: Students can only take one PSCI 8910 course during their MS program. For an internship to count as a capstone, students must have completed 15 credit hours. If a student completes an internship before completing 15 credit hours, it will count as an elective and he/she will need to complete PSCI 8980 as their capstone project. Students wishing to complete an internship must (1) have approval from the PSCI internship coordinator, (2) be hired for the internship before the term, (3) create a reading list with a faculty member that aligns with their internship, (4) complete 150 hours of documented work, and (5) turn in an end-of-internship assignment incorporating their readings and documenting their experience to the internship coordinator. Students may not already work for this organization or company. See academic program coordinator for more information and to start the approval process noted above. Internships will be taken as pass/no pass.

Thesis Exit Requirement (6 credit hours)

PSCI 8990: The first term of thesis includes the forming of the thesis committee and approval of one's thesis proposal. The second three credit hours will focus on writing and defending the thesis.

Students must have a minimum of 3 voting committee members. All committee members must be graduate faculty members with a Ph.D. and employed by UNO. One of the committee members must be from a non-political science field. Distance students may work with a faculty member outside of UNO, however, this member cannot be a voting member on the committee. Please refer to the graduate catalog's thesis guidelines for more detailed information.

Students must follow UNO's Graduate College's thesis submission guidelines and ensure that all paperwork has been submitted to the graduate office on time.

International Affairs Concentration

The international affairs concentration is a 15 credit hour/5 course subset of the Master of Science in political science program. If students wish to add this concentration onto their program, they must follow the proper change of program procedures.

Concentration Requirements

Required Seminars6
SEMINAR IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
SEMINAR IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS
Required: Three Elective Courses9
SEMINAR IN FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF EAST ASIA
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
SEMINAR ON INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
GENDER AND GLOBAL POLITICS
THE POLITICS AND PRACTICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION
GLOBAL SECURITY ISSUES
UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY
INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY
INTERNATIONAL LAW
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF LATIN AMERICA
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
DEMOCRACY
EUROPEAN POLITICS
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF GREAT BRITAIN
POLITICS OF FRANCE
POLITICAL VIOLENCE, INSURGENCY, AND TERRORISM
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF RUSSIA AND THE POST-SOVIET STATES
ISLAM AND POLITICS
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF CHINA AND EAST ASIA
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF LATIN AMERICA
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
Total15
*Other courses as approved by Graduate Chair.

Incomplete Policy

The Department will comply with the UNO’s Incomplete Policy.

In line with the UNO graduate policy on incomplete grades, the grade “I” is only to be issued due to a student’s illness, military service, hardship, or death in the immediate family after the student has completed a substantial amount of the course. The professor reserves the right to use his/her discretion in determining additional situations where a grade of “I” may apply and what “substantial” means for that course. It is expected that the student discuss this matter with the professor and create a plan of action towards the completion of this course in a timely manner. The professor also reserves the right to decide the consequences for a student who does not finish the course in the time agreed. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, an extended deadline, a permanent incomplete, or a failing grade for the course.

In-progress grades (IP) are only to be issued during the second part of a thesis project when a student is actively working towards its completion.

Standing I/IP Grades

Students with an I/IP can have a maximum number of 9 'active' credit hours.

If a student has 9 credit hours of I/IP grades (total from past terms), he/she may not enroll in new courses. A student may start enrolling in new courses as he/she reduces his/her credit hours of I/IP grades. Any student with an I/IP cannot have more than 9 ‘active’ credit hours at one time (includes current courses as well as I/IP grades).

I/IP Credit Hours New Credit Hour Allowance Total 'Active' Credit Hour Load
0 9 (full time) 9
3 6 9
6 3 9
9 0 9

The graduate program chair reserves the right to waive this policy for a student, based on compelling circumstances.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic dishonesty is a violation of the student code of conduct and is cause for a student to be dismissed from the program. Graduate students are expected to know what counts as academic dishonesty.

Instructors reserve the right to decide how to address issues of academic dishonesty in their courses. Students may be subject to (including, but not limited to): the failure on the specific assignment or failure of the entire course.

Faculty will report all instances of graduate student academic dishonesty to the Graduate Program Chair.

The student has the right to appeal this decision through the appropriate channels. Please see the student code of conduct for further information.