The Bush School’s Department of Public Service and Administration and Department of Political Science offer a 5-year (3+2) degree program that allows undergraduate students majoring in political science to enter the Master of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) at the start of their senior year (typically year four) at Texas A&M University. This enables students to receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and a MPSA graduate degree in five years.
Students begin their studies at Texas A&M University in The Bush School taking classes toward their undergraduate degree. Throughout the course of the student’s first three years at Texas A&M, the student works with their undergraduate advisor to ensure they satisfy all eligibility requirements listed below prior to applying to the Master of Public Service & Administration (MPSA) in the fall of their junior year (when classified as a U3).
If admitted, students must ensure they fulfill the rest of the undergrad requirements listed below by the time they enter the MPSA in the fall of their senior year at Texas A&M University when classified as a U4. In the student’s fourth year, they take Bush School graduate level courses; 18 credit hours of which will double count toward their bachelor’s degree. In the student’s fifth year, they are re-classified as a G7 graduate student and take the remaining courses left to satisfy the requirements for the MPSA degree.
After successful completion of both degrees, students receive both Texas A&M degrees, earning a B.A. or B.S. in Political Science and a Master of Public Service & Administration at the end of their fifth year. Although they earn both, students will only walk for their MPSA graduation.
Students who choose not to finish the MPSA degree after starting the 3+2 degree program may exit the program at any time. Completed MPSA courses will be applied to their bachelor’s degree in political science, as appropriate. Failure to complete the MPSA program will in no way impede a student’s ability to attain a bachelor’s degree when the requirements for that degree are completed.
To apply to the 3+2 MPSA/POLS degree program, students must:
- be classified as a U3 majoring in Political Science at Texas A&M University, and
- have a 3.25 GPA or above by the start of the fall semester in which they will enter the 3+2 program (if admitted), and
- work with their undergrad advisor to map out courses the student must complete prior to entry into the 3+2 program (if admitted), and
- have approximately 66-78 credit hours completed by the time they apply to the 3+2 program in the fall semester of their junior year, and
- have approximately 102 credit hours completed before entry into the 3+2 program in the fall of their senior year (including all required courses for Political Science major, college, and Texas A&M), and
- be in good academic standing with their undergrad department, and
- not be expected to graduate during the academic year in which they are applying, and
- understand that failure to satisfy ALL of these requirements will result in 3+2 admission (if offered) being revoked.
The curriculum for the 3+2 MPSA/POLS degree consists of 150 total credit hours: 102 credit hours of undergrad courses and 48 credit hours of MPSA courses. A maximum of 18 credit hours from Bush School MPSA courses can double count toward the student’s bachelor’s degree. This means students must complete approximately 102 credit hours (of the required 120 credit hours) for their bachelor’s degree requirements prior to the fall semester of their fourth year when they begin the 2-year MPSA program. To help 3+2 MPSA prospective students in the course planning process, we’ve created a course plan available here the student can use with the help of their UG advisor.
Five-year students will be enrolled in Bush School graduate courses with an undergraduate classification (U4) during their fourth year and will be re-classified as degree-seeking master’s students (G7) prior to the start of the fall semester of year five.
Admitted 3+2 students are required to complete the same 2-year, 48 credit hour curriculum as other MPSA students. The MPSA curriculum combines ten core courses with six electives. Students choose a track in Public Management (PM), Public Policy Analysis (PPA), or Nonprofit Management (NPM) and are encouraged to select from one of our elective options or create their own area of interest. A non-credit bearing professional internship is also completed in the summer between the first and second years for those without substantive professional experience. A capstone project for a “real world” client in the final two semesters caps the learning experience.
B.A./B.S. in POLS Course Requirements
Students admitted to the 3+2 MPSA/POLS degree must complete 102 credit hours of their bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment in the MPSA in the fall of their fourth year when classified as a U4. Students complete the rest of their bachelor’s degree course requirements by double counting 18 credit hours of MPSA courses toward their bachelor’s degree. 9 credit hours double count toward POLS general electives and 9 credit hours double count toward POLS electives.
MPSA Course Requirements
In the fall their fourth year when classified as a senior (U4), admitted 3+2 students will enter the Bush School’s MPSA program and complete approximately 48 total credit hours; 18 hours of which will double count toward both degrees.
* Double counts as a General Elective in the POLS degree.
* Double counts as a Political Science Elective in the POLS degree.
Political science majors who satisfy (or are expected to satisfy) all of the eligibility requirements listed above can apply to the 3+2 MPSA program in the fall of their junior year when classified as a U3. Admission criteria for the 3+2 MPSA program is the same as other MPSA students. To apply, visit our 3+2 MPSA Admissions page. If admitted, students begin the MPSA degree in the fall of their senior year.
Advising for the 3+2 program is coordinated by the Department of Political Science for undergrad course/degree requirements and the Department of Public Service & Administration for MPSA course/degree requirements. The Bush School Admissions Office can help answer questions about the application process for the 3+2 MPSA program.
It is imperative student interested in the 3+2 MPSA begin working with their undergrad advisor as soon as possible (even as a freshman) to ensure the student is on track to complete all necessary coursework prior to entry into the 3+2 program, if admitted. Additionally, the student and advisor must discuss setting aside 18 credit hours (9 hours of general electives and 9 hours of POLS directed electives) that will be fulfilled/double counted with MPSA courses.
The Bush School Admissions Office can help answer questions about the 3+2 MPSA admissions process, but cannot help answer questions about undergrad degree course requirements.
Bush School Admissions Office:
Kathryn Meyer or Ashlee Treadway
The Department of Public Service & Administration is available to help answer questions about the MPSA curriculum or courses and will be the student’s point of contact if admitted into the 3+2 program.