Bush School and Department of Political Science
The Bush School of Government & Public Service and the Department of Political Science offer a 5-year (3+2) degree program that allows political science majors to enter the Bush School at the start of their senior year (typically year four) at Texas A&M University. This enables students to receive a political science undergraduate degree (BA/BS) and a Master of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) graduate degree in five years.
To be considered for the 5-year degree program, political science students must have a minimum 3.25 GPA and have completed 102 of the 120 hours of course work required to receive a bachelor’s degree. These courses must include all of the specific prerequisites for either a BA/BS in political science as well as the courses required by the College of Liberal Arts and by Texas A&M for an undergraduate degree.
Texas A&M Core = 42 hours
Major Area = 33 hours
BA Requirements = 45 hours
BS Requirements = 45 hours
Bush School MPSA first year = 18 of 24 hours can double count for POLS undergrad credit
Admitted students will be enrolled in Bush School graduate courses with an undergraduate classification (U4) during their fourth year and will be reclassified as degree-seeking master’s students (G7) upon completing 120 credit hours. This will normally occur at the start of the fall semester of year five. Five-year students will be required to complete the same 2-year, 48-hour curriculum as regularly admitted PSAA students. The curriculum combines eight common core courses, two track core courses, two track electives, and four approved electives. Students choose a track in Public Management (PM), Public Policy Analysis (PPA), or Nonprofit Management (NPM) and are encouraged to create their own area of interest or to select from one of our elective concentrations (see https://bush.tamu.edu for options). A noncredit-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 year two caps the experience.
Political science majors who have at least a 3.25 GPA and who will have taken all of their prerequisite courses and otherwise completed 102 hours by the fall of their fourth year (meaning you have the summer before entry to complete any required hours) will be eligible to apply for the 5-year program during their junior year. Admission criteria for the 5-year program will be the same as for other students, and applicants will submit the same materials (including GRE scores); the one exception to this is the submission of a two-page application found on the Bush School website rather that the ApplyTexas application, hence no application fee.
Students who choose not to finish the MPSA degree after being admitted to the 5-year program may exit the program at any time. Completed PSAA courses will be applied to their bachelor’s degree in political science, as appropriate. Failure to complete the MPSA will in no way impede their ability to attain a bachelor’s degree in political science when the requirements for that degree are completed.
Those who pursue the 5-year program will receive both Texas A&M degrees upon completion of the entire program, earning their BA/BS in political science and their Master of Public Service and Administration at the end of their second year in the Bush School. Although they earn both, students will only participate in their MPSA graduation.
* Bush School courses double-counted as POLS major
** Bush School courses double-counted as general electives
+ Up to two of the six electives may be taken outside of the Bush School with the approval of the student's advisor
As indicated above, students will double count courses taken in the Bush School as credit towards their MPSA degree and as substitutes for some of the political science major and general electives required for the bachelor’s degree.
Advising for the 5-year program is a coordinated effort by the Department of Political Science and the Bush School. POLS departmental advising will help ensure that interested students have satisfied the prerequisite course requirements for the bachelor’s degree by the start of their senior year.
Political Science advisors can be reached at (979) 845-3127 or in Rm. 2024 in the Allen Bldg.
You may also contact the Bush School for admissions information and curriculum advising.