Political Science

Master's and Doctoral Programs


Graduate opportunities

Excellent faculty, high-profile research opportunities and the flexibility to explore special topics of interest are the reasons you should pursue a graduate degree in political science at the University of North Texas.

We offer course work leading to a Master of Arts, Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Political Science.

You will learn from faculty members who are outstanding teachers and distinguished researchers. They have:

  • earned recognition from the American Political Science Association, the Fulbright Scholar Program and the International Studies Association, among others
  • published numerous books
  • written articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Political Science Review and Political Research Quarterly

Our course work and research focus on American government and public law, comparative government and politics, international politics, political theory, teaching methodology, and public administration. You may research unique topics of interest with faculty members.

We have housed the International Studies Quarterly, one of the world’s top international studies journals, and currently house the American Political Science Review, the world’s premier journal in political science. This partnership reflects our academic strength and creates research and internship possibilities for you. UNT is the first university in Texas to house the journal.

Bright career outlook

A political science degree prepares you for a variety of careers. In addition to teaching and research positions in academic settings, you can work in:

  • all levels of government
  • journalism
  • international business
  • international risk analysis
  • political campaign organization

You can also develop special expertise in survey research and statistical analysis. These skills are in high demand in the public and private sectors.

Research opportunities

Our department has participated in high-profile research regarding school choice, political campaigns and elections, American public law, democratization in the Third World, and international peace. Faculty members have also won research grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Because of our close student-faculty research collaboration, students get involved in research at an early stage of their graduate education. You may participate in grant-funded research as a paid assistant and aid faculty members on publications. As a result, you have the opportunity to publish in some of the discipline’s leading academic journals on your own or by collaborating with faculty members.

We encourage students to attend and present research papers at national and regional political science conferences. Funding is available to attend conferences.

UNT belongs to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, which is the world’s repository of social science research data, and also to the European Consortium for Political Research. Our library system also has a large collection of U.S. government, United Nations and related international agency documents.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

No single criterion determines your admission to the master’s or doctoral program. You must complete the Toulouse Graduate School’s admission requirements, which are outlined in the catalog. In addition, you must meet the following program requirements:

  • bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • minimum of 24 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate work in political science
  • acceptable GPA on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate study
  • acceptable GRE scores on the verbal and quantitative sections
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate your academic potential (Letters from professors are preferred, but letters from employers or others may be submitted if faculty references are not available.)
  • 500-word statement of purpose stating your primary area of interest in political science and your career objectives
  • academic writing sample
  • a one or two-page curriculum vitae or résumé listing academic background, awards and honors

Degree requirements

M.A. and M.S. degrees

The master’s degrees require a minimum of 30 semester hours with at least 24 within the department. Completion of a thesis and an oral exam are required, and a minor outside the department is optional. All work for the master’s degree must be completed within six years of the time master’s credit is first given, which includes any credits transferred from other institutions.

Additional information about the master’s programs is available at the department website.

Ph.D. degree

This degree requires a minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree or 60 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. You will choose three areas of study in political science and take qualifying examinations in two. The three areas include a major area and two supporting areas.

You will plan a program of study with an advisory committee, which includes a major professor. The committee also administers the departmental examinations, approves your dissertation topic and judges the completed dissertation.

Additional information on the doctoral program can be found on the Department of Political Science's website.

Financial assistance

Our department awards several teaching fellowships and assistantships to help you pay for your graduate education. The application deadline for these positions is Jan. 31 each year. Research assistantships are available for students to work with faculty members holding research grants. University-wide competitive scholarships are also offered. Information about other financial assistance programs is available on the websites for the Financial Aid office or the Toulouse Graduate School.