Accelerated B.A. in Political Science (Legal Studies)/M.A. in Political Science


The Accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Political Science provides exceptional undergraduate students in the Political Science program an avenue toward accelerated completion of a Master’s degree. This degree program mirrors the curricular and assessment requirements of the existing Master’s degree program and allows undergraduates to begin taking graduate-level courses when they have completed 90 credit hours toward their baccalaureate degree, thus reducing the calendar time necessary to complete the degree. No undergraduate course may count toward the accelerated Master’s degree. The Accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Political Science is a highly competitive program.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Employers want employees who can work collaboratively in groups. The B.A. in Political Science develops these skills by requiring students to work on group projects (presented in front of the instructor and peers), identify clear roles within the group (e.g., spokespersons/team leaders), and present the findings of the group in a public forum.  The M.A. in Political Science further develops this skill.
  2. ​Employers want employees who have solid writing and compositional skills. The B.A. in Political Science develops this skill by requiring students to engage in clear, persuasive, and grammatically and stylistically correct writing projects (research papers, policy briefs, reaction papers, memos, position papers, etc.). The M.A. in Political Science further develops this skill, for example through developing literature reviews in their graduate classes. 
  3. ​Employers want employees who have solid oral communication skills. The B.A. in Political Science develops these skills by requiring students to present their research in a public forum (that is, in front of a class of peers and the instructor) using visual aids (slides, charts, graphs, etc.) and/or to role-play in a public forum requiring extensive research on that role. The M.A. in Political Science further develops this skill.
  4. ​Employers want employees who can work independently on projects. The M.A. in Political Science develops this skill by requiring all students to complete an independent, original piece of scholarship in the form of a Master's thesis or professional paper.
  5. ​Employers want employees who can synthesize information (facts/data, concepts, terminology) into succinct language. The M.A. in Political Science develops these skills by requiring students to take a required course in research methods which involves reading the extensive literature on a topic in politics (e.g., voting behavior or literature on democratization), synthesizing the concepts presented, analyzing data and arguments, and discussing this orally in a public forum and/or in written form (reaction papers, summaries, literature reviews, etc.).


Program Coordinator

Dr. Christina Bejarano
Graduate Director for History and Political Science

Application Deadlines

  • Fall - March 1st
  • Spring - November 1st
  • No summer admissions

Admission Requirements

To apply to the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's program in Political Science, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a TWU Political Science major.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
  • Have successfully completed a minimum of 72 but no more than 90 hours of coursework toward the bachelor's.
  • Have a minimum of 12 hours remaining in political science courses toward the major.

How to Apply to the Accelerated Program

Students interested in applying to the accelerated program in Political Science are encouraged to contact the Program Coordinator prior to applying.

To apply, students must:

  1. Complete the Accelerated Program in Political Science application form.
  2. Applicants must submit the following materials as PDFs in a single email to the Program Coordinator. Include the student’s name and TWU I.D. number with "Political Science Accelerated Program" in the subject line.
    1. A statement of purpose.
    2. An academic writing sample of 10-15 pages (double-spaced). Writing samples should demonstrate the ability to make well-researched arguments with effective proofs; to use clear, articulate prose; and to employ a standard style such as MLA or APA to document sources.
  3. One recommendation letter from a current TWU History or Political Science faculty member should be sent directly to the Program Coordinator in support of the student's application. Recommenders should include the applicant's name and "Political Science Accelerated Program" in the subject line.
  4. Once admitted to the Accelerated Program students must apply to the graduate M.A. in Political Science program. Students cannot enroll in graduate-level coursework until accepted by the Graduate School.

Accelerated Undergraduate-Graduate Program Policy Guidelines

Students may apply to an approved accelerated degree program once they have completed at least 60 undergraduate semester credit hours. Upon admission to an accelerated program, students may enroll in graduate courses for credit once they have attained at least 72 undergraduate semester credit hours. Approved courses will apply to both an undergraduate and a graduate degree.


  • Up to 12 SCH of designated graduate courses may apply to both the Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree program comprised of 45 or fewer SCH; and up to 15 graduate SCH may apply toward both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree program comprised of more than 45 SCH (Master’s, Specialist or Doctoral degree.)
  • Undergraduate students may enroll in no more than 6 SCH of graduate coursework in each semester or term.
  • No undergraduate-level course may count toward a graduate degree.
  • Minimal criteria for admission will include a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Academic components may set higher requirements for their program.
  • Once admitted to an accelerated program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the remainder of their baccalaureate degree, or their admission to the accelerated graduate program may be revoked. Academic components may set additional requirements for their programs.
  • Prior to applying to an accelerated degree program, students must have completed a minimum of 15 semester credit hours at Texas Woman's University.

Graduate Application Process

All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

This academic program may have additional graduate admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the graduate program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours (SCH): 120

Major: 24

Program Code: POLSCIENCE.BA.MA.LEGAL  CIP Code: 45.1001.00

Texas Core Curriculum

ENG 1013Composition I3
ENG 1023Composition II3
Life & Physical Sciences6
Language, Philosophy, & Culture3
Creative Arts3
HIST 1013History of the United States, 1492-18653
HIST 1023History of the United States, 1865 to the Present3
POLS 2013U.S. National Government3
POLS 2023Texas Government3
Social & Behavioral Sciences3
CAO: Women's Studies3
CAO: First Year Seminar, Wellness or Mathematics3
Total SCHs42

Courses Required for Major 

POLS 3153Law, Politics, and Public Policy3
POLS 3173Introduction to Comparative Politics3
POLS 3723Modern Political Thought3
POLS 4073Constitutional Law: Governmental Structure3
POLS 4533International Relations3
POLS 4933Senior Seminar3
Select 6-12 SCH from the following6-12
Criminal Investigation
Criminal Law
Criminal Evidence and Procedure
The American Legislative Process
Constitutional Law: Individual Rights
Constitutional Rights and Criminal Justice
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Global Law and Legal Systems
Legal Studies Internship
Legal Studies Internship
Total SCHs24-30

Departmental Requirements

English Literature (2000 level or higher)3
Foreign Language (12 SCH of the same language)12
Global Perspectives3
Electives (select with academic advisor)24
Total SCHs42

Master's Level Courses

Select 6-12 SCH from the following6-12
State and Local Politics
Seminar in American Politics
America's National Parks and Public Lands: History, Culture, and Law
Popular Culture and American Politics
Seminar in Public Policy
Comparative Politics
Dilemmas in Immigration Policy
American International Relations
Seminar in Political Theory
Law, Gender, and Sexuality
Leadership and Women
Women in Politics
Women of Color in Politics
Women, Elections, and Strategy
Research Methods in Government
Special Topics
Independent Study
Independent Study
Total SCHs6-12

Recommended Plan of Study

*The example below is only a suggestion. It is recommended to see an advisor for a personalized Plan of Study.

First Year
ENG 1013Composition I ENGL 13013
HIST 1013History of the United States, 1492-1865 HIST 13013
UNIV 1231Learning Frameworks: First-Year Seminar EDUC 1100, EDUC 1200, EDUC 13001
Social/Behavioral Science Core3
CAO: Wellness or Mathematics Core2
Creative Arts Core3
 SCHs 15
ENG 1023Composition II ENGL 13023
HIST 1023History of the United States, 1865 to the Present HIST 13023
Mathematics Core3
Elective (Global Perspectives course)3
CAO: Multicultural Women's Studies Core3
 SCHs 15
Second Year
POLS 2013U.S. National Government GOVT 23053
English Literature3
Life & Physical Science Core3
Elective (or minor)3
Foreign Language3
 SCHs 15
POLS 2023Texas Government GOVT 23063
Language, Philosophy, & Culture Core3
Life & Physical Science Core3
Foreign Language3
Elective (or minor)3
 SCHs 15
Third Year
POLS 3173Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
POLS 4533International Relations 3
Foreign Language3
Elective (or minor)3
 SCHs 15
POLS 3723Modern Political Thought 3
POLS 4073Constitutional Law: Governmental Structure 3
POLS Elective3
Elective (or minor)3
Foreign Language3
 SCHs 15
Fourth Year
POLS 3153Law, Politics, and Public Policy 3
Master's Level Course3
Master's Level Course3
Elective (upper level)3
 SCHs 15
POLS 4933Senior Seminar 3
Master's Level Course3
Master's Level Course3
Elective (or minor)3
POLS Elective3
 SCHs 15
 Total SCHs:  120