Dept. of Political Science

Five Year BA/MA

Available to political science majors only, this program allows students to complete a BA and MA in five years instead of six, with three years of undergraduate coursework, a fourth year of combined undergraduate and graduate coursework, and a final year devoted exclusively to graduate work. The program is open to students who have:

  • Achieved junior status.
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or better, and a GPA in their major of 3.5 or better.
  • A minimum grade of B in POLS Y205: Elements of Political Analysis.
  • Completed at least 60 of their undergraduate credit hours and at least 15 of their political science credit hours at IUPUI.
  • Completed the 12 hours of introductory-level required undergraduate courses for political science.

Interested students may declare their interest in the program to the Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science as soon as they start at IUPUI, in which case particular efforts will be made to advise them in their choice of courses during their first three years, and students will be encouraged to engage themselves in the research activities of faculty, and to more actively develop mentoring relationships.


Eligible and interested students must apply for admission to the BA/MA program no later than April 1 of their junior year, submitting a personal statement of goals, abilities and reasons for pursuing the MA degree; a sample of academic writing (a term paper from a political science course is preferred); and three letters of recommendation, of which at least two must be written by full-time members of the political science faculty. Applications will be reviewed by the departmental graduate admissions committee.

During their senior year, students whose eligibility has been confirmed must:

  • Take the GRE, and for final admission to the MA program must achieve scores on the revised GRE General Test of 150 or better in each of the verbal and quantitative elements, and 4.5 or better in the analytical writing element. 
  • Complete and pass POLS Y490: Senior Seminar the first time they enrol in the class with a grade of at least a B. This may then be double counted as an elective in the MA program.
  • Complete and pass POLS Y570: Introduction to the Study of Politics and POLS Y580: Research Methods in Political Science with a grade of at least B-. These may then be double counted as electives in the political science undergraduate major.

Upon meeting these three requirements, and upon completing all the requirements for their BA, students on the BA/MA track must apply for formal admission to the MA through the Graduate Admissions Office; they should do this no later than April 1 of their senior year. The establishment of eligibility for, and participation in, the BA/MA program does not automatically guarantee acceptance into the graduate program. BA/MA students admitted to the MA will take their remaining four graduate courses in their fifth year, as well as completing their thesis. The double counting of nine hours of undergraduate and graduate credit means that BA/MA students will only be required to take a total of 146 semester hours of coursework for their BA and their MA, rather than 155 (122 + 33).

When taking graduate courses in their senior year, students will be charged undergraduate tuition rates. After earning the BA degree, students formally admitted to the Graduate School will be charged graduate tuition rates for their coursework.