Political Science

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.A.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Environmental Studies
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
  • Media (Ph.D.)
  • Water Resources Planning and Management (M.A.)
  • Women's and Gender Studies
Areas of Study
  • American Politics
  • Biopolitics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Human Rights and Security
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Public Policy
Promo image for Political Science

Contacts for Political Science

Department Chair

Professor Kevin Smith


Graduate Chair

Professor Ross Miller



Graduate Secretary

David Csontos



Campus Address

511 Oldfather Hall

Lincoln NE 68588-0328

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Political Science in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL 100, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Writing sample (a college term paper, research report, or essay)
  • Statement of purpose

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Political Science
For Financial ConsiderationFall: May 1 Spring: October 15
OtherwiseApplications for admission are accepted throughout the year


Graduate study in the Department of Political Science offers students the opportunity to work directly with nationally and internationally known scholar-teachers in American politics, international relations, comparative politics, public policy, and political theory. Students in the program have close working relationships with faculty and receive quality training for careers in academia, government, the nonprofit sector, and business. Graduate students often collaborate with faculty on research and jointly publish articles in national journals and present at conferences together.

The department is actively involved in several interdepartmental initiatives: ethnic studies; human rights and humanitarian affairs (an interdepartmental area of specialization which examines the diversity of the human condition and human rights issues), the Nebraska Public Policy Center (which seeks to facilitate research and analysis for policy issues important to Nebraskans), the Sorenson Forum (which addresses the difficulties of finding able people who will enter public life), the Gallup Research Center, and the Preparing Future Faculty Program. The department also offers a certificate in public policy analysis and program evaluation.

Courses and More

Students in Political Science are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Brandon Bosch
Sociology of Mass Media; Political Sociology
Jean Cahan
Modern European Philosophy; Modern Jewish Thought; Spinoza; Anti-Semitism, Political Theory; Israel and Modern Jewish Identity
Director, Harris Center for Judaic Studies
Michael Combs
Judicial Politics; Constitutional Law; Black Politics; Urban Politics
John Comer
Public Opinion; Political Parties; Interest Groups
David Forsythe
Human Rights; International Relations
John Gruhl
Judicial Process; Constitutional Law; Civil Liberties; Criminal Justice
Ingrid Haas
Social Psychology; Social Cognitive Neuroscience; Tolerance, Stereotyping, and Prejudice
John Hibbing
Legislative Politics; Public Opinion; Evolutionary Psychology in Politics
Courtney Hillebrecht
International Relations; Human Rights
Alice Kang
Comparative Politics; International Relations
Nam Kyu Kim
Comparative Politics; World Politics; Methodology
Ari Kohen
Political Theory; International Relations
Patrice McMahon
International Security; Comparative Politics; International Relations
Rupal Mehta
Sarah Michaels
Water Resources Policy and Governance; Science-Policy Interface; Comparative Environmental Policy
Ross Miller
International Relations; Comparative Politics; Methodology
Graduate Chair
Kevin Smith
Public Policy; Public Administration; American Politics
Michael Steinman
Public policy and administration.
Elizabeth Theiss-Morse
Political Psychology; Public Opinion; Political Behavior
Sergio Wals
American Government; Political Behavior; Race and Ethnicity; Comparative

Departments: Have an update for this page? Contact Stacy Dam.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.