Undergraduate political science majors may apply for admission to the political science M.A. program during their junior year of study. If accepted, they will begin taking some graduate courses during their senior year. Nine hours of graduate coursework taken during the senior year will count toward both graduate and undergraduate degree requirements. This will cut approximately one semester off the normal time required to complete both degrees. Many students, though not all, should be able to complete the requirements for both degrees after 5 years of full time study at Texas Tech. Students may follow one of two tracks toward completion of their B.A.-M.A. degrees: the Thesis Track or the Comprehensive Exam Track.
Except for double counting nine hours of graduate coursework, all other requirements for each degree must be met by each student in the program, barring any exceptions noted below. Students interested in the program should strive to complete all, or nearly all, of their general education requirements by the end of their junior years, and have begun upper division coursework to satisfy major and minor requirements. Students who have not done so may still be able to enter the joint degree program, but should expect that more time may be necessary to complete the requirements for both programs.
Students interested in this program should not take the POLS 3310 course required of majors prior to a decision on their application to the joint degree program. If accepted into this program, you will be required to take a special section of POLS 3310 designed for students in this joint degree program.
Under the thesis plan, the student is required to complete 24 hours of course work plus 6 hours of thesis for 30 hours total. Under the thesis option, students declare a single major field of study drawn from American politics, comparative politics, or international relations. Under the guidance of a thesis chair and committee thesis students will write, and must successfully defend, a thesis to receive the M.A. degree. For a more detailed discussion of the basic requirements, students should consult the Graduate Handbook.
Comprehensive Examination Track
Under the comprehensive examination plan, students complete 36 hours of graduate courses. The student must declare a major field drawn from American politics, comparative politics, or international relations, along with a minor field drawn from these three or from political methodology, public administration, or public policy. At the culmination of the students coursework s/he must pass written comprehensive examinations in each field. For a more detailed discussion of the basic requirements, students should consult the Graduate Handbook.