May 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Accelerated B.A./B.S. in Political Science and M.A. in Security Studies

Students who successfully complete this program will receive both a BA or BS in political science and a Masters of Arts in Security Studies.

Security Studies MA is a rigorous interdisciplinary program for students interested in national security, international affairs, world politics, and transnational problems. It boasts well-published faculty and an international student body. History and political science are the core departments in the Security Studies program, but students draw on expertise and coursework from other disciplines as well. Students in the MA program range from recent graduates of traditional undergraduate programs to field grade officers in the US military. The diversity of experience among our students is one of its key strengths. Most students plan to use their degrees for professional careers in international affairs.

This accelerated degree has the advantages of decreasing the amount of time required to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree and also reducing overall tuition costs. With careful attention to undergraduate course scheduling, this accelerated degree can be completed in five years as opposed to the traditional six years to obtain the degrees independent of one another. Since, a total of nine credit hours can be applied to both degrees, overall tuition cost is reduced by a corresponding amount.

Admission Requirements:

The following requirements must be met before an individual can be admitted into the program:

  • The student must be seeking a B.A. or B.S. degree in political science.
  • The student must have a GPA of 3.0 or above in all courses completed at Kansas State University and an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.

Application Process:

The application process will be the same as for applicants that are seeking the stand-alone M.A. in security studies, but they will not be required to have completed their undergraduate degree. The earliest that students can submit applications for admission is at the January submission deadline during their junior year (after five semesters). A completed application requires the following materials:

  • A statement of objectives
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A transcript from each academic institution since high school
  • A writing sample

Program Guidelines:

The program requires a total of 150 credit hours including 120 undergraduate hours and 30 graduate hours.

  • However, a maximum of 9 credit hours from the graduate degree can also be counted towards the undergraduate degree, effectively reducing the total number of hours to 141.
  • Graduate courses must be completed with an overall GPA of at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • At least 18 of the hours on the graduate program of study must be at the 700 or above level.
  • The bachelor’s degree may be awarded following the completion of undergraduate degree requirements.
  • In the event that a student enters the program but does not wish to finish the Master’s degree, they must change the nine credit hours of graduate credit and then will receive a bachelor’s degree once all other requirements are met.

Program Structure:

This is a sample course curriculum and includes both required courses and electives. Please see the following link for details on program course requirements:


Year Semester Plan Hypothetical Course curriculum
Freshman and Sophomore Fall and Spring Not affected Regular course curriculum for political science B.A./B.S.
Junior Fall Apply to security studies M.A. at end of Fall semester Regular course curriculum for political science B.A./B.S.
JUNIOR SPRING Students will be informed of admission into the program Regular course curriculum for political science B.A./B.S.
SENIOR FALL Student may take 1 or 2 graduate classes POLSC 810   (2 credit course)1; POLSC 812  
SPRING Student may take 1 or 2 graduate classes HIST 850  
SUMMERStudent can take 1 coursePOLSC 813  
GRADUATE FALL Student may take 3 graduate classes POLSC 814  ; HIST 855  ; POLSC 991  
SPRINGStudent may take 3 graduate classesPOLSC 815  (1 credit course); POLSC 737  ; POLSC 735  ; HIST 851  
SUMMER Student may take 1 course (if necessary) No course necessary as 1 course taken during summer of senior year.

1810 and 815 combine to 3 credits and serve as the courses where students receive methodological training and produce their final projects.

Total hours required: 141