Political Science

Master's and Doctoral Programs

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 with focuses in various areas. The focus areas on the master's and doctoral levels are American government and public law, comparative government and politics, international relations, political theory and methodology.

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 academic careers as top-tier researchers, writers and teachers or professional careers 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 recognition from the American Council on Education, American Political Science Association, Fulbright Scholar Program and International Studies Association, among others
  • Published numerous books
  • 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 is the first university in Texas to house the journal.

The department also houses the Human Security, Democracy and Global Development research cluster, a consortium of faculty experts focused on conflict resolution strategies, the protection of human rights and the promotion of economic development, health and neighbor relations.

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. Recent research has been supported by:

  • The Fulbright Fellowship program
  • The National Science Foundation
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The Ford Foundation

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 Toulouse Graduate School's admission requirements, which are outlined in our catalog. 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 aren't 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 Jan. 15 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 the graduate school site.