Political Science - Five Year BA/MA Dual Degree

UNH Political Science teacher

Highly motivated students with a strong academic record can complete both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Political Science in just five years.  Given that both a BA and an MA can be attained in 10 semesters, undergraduates may well find the five-year program financially attractive and beneficial.

Five-year BA/MA program students must fulfill ALL program requirements for both the BA and MA programs in order to receive both degrees. Students admitted to the five-year program can take three graduate-level courses in their senior year, thereby starting their graduate studies as they complete their undergraduate education.

Students should apply before April 1st of their junior year. Applicants must complete the UNH graduate studies application, including three letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters must be from a member of the Political Science faculty. Applicants should have at least a 3.2 GPA, both within the Political Science major and overall at UNH.

Please note:  Effective immediately the Political Science Department will be waiving application fees for the first 20 applicants.  Additionally, GRE scores will be waived for current Political Science majors applying to the 5 year program.


Fourth/Senior year

Three graduate level courses (9 credits) taken in the senior year.

All three "double-count" toward both BA and MA degrees.

In order to earn graduate-level credit for a course, students must achieve at least a B-.

Fifth year

Non-thesis option: Seven classes (21 credits) and a comprehensive exam in late spring.

Thesis option: Five classes (15 credits) and 6 thesis credits.


  • Students must complete their BA before formally entering the MA program.
  • For most students, the non-thesis option is more likely than the thesis option to result in graduation in May of their fifth year of studies.
  • Summer classes can be used to complete either/both degrees.
  • Unsatisfactory performance in the fourth year of studies will terminate participation in the five-year program.  Students must achieve B- or better in all Political Science courses and maintain a GPA of at least 3.2.

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Contact Information

Lawrence C. Reardon
Associate Professor of Political Science
Director, M.A. in Political Science
214B Horton Social Science Center
20 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

Phone:  (603) 862-1858
Fax: (603) 862-0178
Email: chris.reardon@unh.edu

Heather Austin
POLT/IA Advisor and Academic Department Coordinator
Department of Political Science
312C Horton Social Science Center
20 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-1767
Email: heather.austin@unh.edu