Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

Dual BA/MA in Political Science

The dual BA/MA program allows our best undergraduate Political Science majors to pursue the BA and MA in a shorter period of time than if both programs were pursued separately.  Students typically complete the dual BA/MA program in 5 years, as opposed to the 6 years if both programs were pursued separately.  

Degree Outcomes and Professional Success

The dual BA/MA in Political Science offers students:

  • An overview of the theories and scholarly literature devoted to four major Political Science subfields:
    • American Politics (study of U.S. institutions and political processes).
    • Comparative Politics (study of political processes in various regions of the world, such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East).
    • International Relations (study of global processes throughout the international system).
    • Political Theory (study of political philosophy ranging from Ancient to Modern and Contemporary political thought).
  • Methods training, including research design and statistical analysis, that will enable the successful candidate to effectively design and conduct research.
  • Enhanced ability to express their thoughts in writing (all Political Science graduate classes include a significant writing component).
  • Preparartion for purposeful careers in politics, government, international affairs, law, the non-profit world, journalism, business, education, social services, and other professions, as well as for further graduate (PhD) study at professional schools and institutions of higher learning, both in the U.S. and abroad.

We also encourage our BA/MA students to take advantage of additional learning opportunities:

  • Advanced methodological training
  • Advanced language training/proficiency in a language other than English
  • Advanced research skills
  • International, cross-cultural experience
  • Professional development and experience
  • Networking opportunities

Who may apply to this program?

Junior political science majors with an overall GPA of at least 3.30. Students must apply by the end of their junior year, since they will have to take one graduate course in each semester of their senior year.

How does this program work?

Students admitted to the program may apply up to 12 semester hours of credit earned toward the 120 semester hours needed for the BA toward the 30-hour requirement for the MA degree. The 12 hours must include at least 6 hours of 400- or 500-level credit and may include up to 6 hours of 300-level credit. The 12 hours of credit applied toward the MA degree are in addition to the 33 semester hours of credit normally required for the undergraduate political science major. The application of the 12 hours of credit toward the 30-hour MA requirement means that students will only be required to take 18 additional semester hours of coursework beyond the 120 hours required for the BA degree. As a result, students will be able to complete the MA degree in less time than normal. The two graduate courses that students take in their senior year will count towards their major in PLSC.

How do you apply?

Junior political science majors meeting the minimum GPA requirements are eligible to apply for admission. You must follow the normal admission procedures for application to the MA program, except that the requirement to submit GRE scores does not apply. You must submit a completed application, which includes a personal statement of goals and reasons for pursuing the MA degree, along with three letters of recommendation; your Loyola transcript will be supplied by the department. There is no application fee.

Acceptance will be on a rolling basis, with a June 1st application deadline.

What about tuition costs?

Until you have satisfied all of the requirements for the BA degree, you are classified as an undergraduate and pay undergraduate tuition and fees. After you have satisfied all of the requirements for the BA degree, you are classified as a graduate student and pay graduate tuition and fees. You should note that full time graduate study normally involves taking three courses (nine semester hours), which means that your tuition will be significantly lower in your fifth year of study, based upon the current fee schedule.

Where can you find out more about the BA/MA Program?

For further information, please contact Professor Molly Melin, Graduate Program Director. E-mail: mmelin@luc.edu.  Office phone: 773.508.8647.