Frequently Asked Questions - BA/MA Program

The Department in rare and exceptional instances will nominate an undergraduate major in the fall semester of their junior for consideration for admission by Yale College and Yale Graduate School to the simultaneous B.A./M.A. program.  Students will be considered for nomination only if they have fulfilled all of the requirements listed below as well as all of the requirements established by Yale College and the Yale Graduate School and the application has been approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies prior to December 1 of the student’s junior year.

In addition to the requirements established by Yale College (see here) and the Yale Graduate School, in order to be considered for nomination the applicant must:

  1. Demonstrate that, with the courses to be taken in the spring semester of the junior year, the student will have completed all requirements for the major with the exception of the year-long senior essay.
  2. Have grades of A or A- in all courses in Political Science and in other departments that are counted toward the major that have been completed as of the fall semester of the junior year.
  3. Submit a semester-by-semester program of study that includes all courses needed to complete the major, including the year-long Senior Essay (PLSC 490-491), eight graduate courses, and all other courses required to satisfy Yale College requirements – e.g., six courses outside Political Science in the last two years of study and two courses outside Political Science in the senior year.  It should be noted that students must take eight graduate courses in addition to the full set of undergraduate courses required for the major.  Only graduate courses with a PLSC graduate course number can be counted toward the eight required courses.  The eight graduate courses are expected to be courses that are designed and taught primarily for graduate students.
  4. Include among the eight graduate courses at least two from PLSC 500, PLSC 503, and PLSDC 504 and two other courses in any two of the Department’s five subfields (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, Political Theory) that provide “core” education in the subfield (e.g., in Comparative Politics, Comparative Politics I or Comparative Politics II).  All graduate courses must be pre-approved by the DGS.
  5. Submit a statement explaining why the student wishes to be admitted to the B.A./M.A. program and how admission to the program will enable the student to fulfill his or her scholarly and intellectual ambitions.
  6. Submit the name of a member of the Department faculty to the DUS and DGS who has agreed to serve as the student’s adviser in the student’s M.A. studies and arrange for a letter of recommendation from that faculty member. This letter should comment on the student’s ability to succeed in graduate-level courses and conduct research.
  7. Arrange for a second letter of recommendation from another faculty member in the Department to be submitted to the DUS and DGS.   As with the adviser’s letter, this letter should comment on the student’s ability to succeed in graduate-level courses and conduct research.

Students considering applying for admission to the simultaneous B.A./M.A. program should arrange early in the fall semester of their junior year to discuss the program with the DUS and DGS.