Graduate opportunities

Excellent faculty, high-profile research opportunities and the flexibility to explore special interests 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. The focus areas on the master's and doctoral levels are American government and public law, comparative government and politics, international relations, and political theory. You can also develop expertise in survey research and statistical analysis.

While pursuing your degree, you'll examine politics from both substantive and methodological aspects. A deep understanding of these aspects can lead to an academic career in research, writing and teaching, or a professional career in public service or the private sector.

Outstanding Support

Our faculty members are outstanding teachers and distinguished researchers. They're considered among the most productive in the nation in terms of research. They have:

  • Earned recognitions from the American Council on Education, American Political Science Association, Fulbright Scholar Program and International Studies Association, among others.
  • Written articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics and Political Research Quarterly.

For its contributions to the field, our department was selected by the American Political Science Association to house the American Political Science Review, the premier research journal in the discipline. UNT was the first university in Texas to house the journal.

Research opportunities

Our faculty have participated in high-profile research regarding school choice, political campaigns and elections, American public law, democratization in the Third World and international peace. Recent research has been supported by:

  • The Ford Foundation
  • The Fulbright Fellowship program
  • The Minerva Initiative-U.S Department of Defense
  • The National Science Foundation
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities

Because of our close student-faculty research collaboration, students get involved in research early in their graduate education. You may participate in grant-funded research as a paid assistant or aid faculty members on publications. Each opportunity can lead to being published in some of the discipline's leading academic journals on your own or in collaboration 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 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 admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School®, which are outlined at In addition, you must meet the following program requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum of 24 credit hours of undergraduate or graduate work in political science
  • Acceptable GPA on the last 60 credit 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
  • 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 credit 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 our website.

Ph.D. degree

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

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

Additional information on the doctoral program can be found at our 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 Dec. 22 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 at the financial aid website or graduate school website.


Glen Biglaiser, Professor; Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles. Latin American politics; political economy of the developing world.

Bethany Blackstone, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Emory University. Judicial process and behavior; Congress-court interactions; congressional politics; American political institutions.

Regina Branton, Professor; Ph.D., University of Arizona. The politics of race and ethnicity; political behavior; electoral politics; methods of social science research.

Marijke Breuning, Professor; Ph.D., Ohio State University. Foreign policy decision-making; development cooperation; foreign aid; ethnic politics; women/gender and politics; the politics of intercountry adoption.

Tony Carey, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Stony Brook University. African American politics; racial and ethnic politics; political and social identity; political psychology; experimental methodology; survey methodology.

Jacqueline DeMeritt, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Florida State University. State-sponsored killing; human rights; violent political conflict; research methods and formal theory.

Ashley English, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Minnesota. American politics; gender and politics; political representation; public policy; bureaucratic politics; interest groups and social movements.

Andrew J. Enterline, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Binghamton University. International relations; conflict processes.

Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, Professor and Department Chair; Ph.D., Texas A&M University. American political institutions.

Diego Esparza, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of California-Riverside. Role of police in politics, public security reform; military behavior in public security crises; specialization in Latin America.

J. Michael Greig, Professor; Ph.D., University of Illinois. International conflict; civil conflict; conflict management; peacekeeping; externally imposed polities; contagion effects.

Paul Hensel, Professor; Ph.D., University of Illinois. International conflict.

John Ishiyama, Professor; Ph.D., Michigan State University. Political parties and democratization (Russia, East-Central Europe, Africa); ethnic politics and conflict; scholarship of teaching and learning.

Kimi L. King, Professor; Ph.D., University at Buffalo. Public law; civil rights and liberties; conflict resolution; judicial decision-making; international humanitarian law; gender rights.

Ko Maeda, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Michigan State University. Political institutions; political parties; elections.

Valerie Martinez-Ebers, Professor; Ph.D., Ohio State University. Race, ethnicity and politics; Latino politics; public policy; political tolerance; politics of rock and roll.

T. David Mason, Regents Professor; Ph.D., University of Georgia. Causes of civil wars; land reform; East Asian politics.

James Meernik, Regents Professor; Ph.D., Michigan State University. International relations; American political institutions.

Elizabeth A. Oldmixon, Professor; Ph.D., University of Florida. Religion and legislative policymaking; legislative behavior on foreign and domestic issues; mobilization of religious interests.

Philip O. Paolino, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Duke University. Mass political behavior; survey research; political methodology.

Richard S. Ruderman, Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Chicago. Classical political philosophy; liberalism; contemporary political theory; American political thought; leadership.

Andrea Silva, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of California-Riverside. Latino politics; immigration politics; racial and ethnic politics; representation in the United States.

Lee Walker, Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Florida. Comparative judicial politics; Latin America; comparative democratization; comparative political behavior; and political methodology.

Wendy Watson, Senior Lecturer; Ph.D., Ohio State University. Judicial politics; constitutional law; law and social policy; crime and punishment in America; voting behavior; research methods.