BS/MPA Fast Track

About the BS/MPA Fast Track Program

The Fast Track program is designed to recruit talented, undergraduate political science majors. This program allows for political science majors to enroll in the graduate program for a fifth year - students who enroll should graduate with their MPA in just 5 years from the start of their undergraduate career to graduation.

This program streamlines the ascent to a MPA degree by allowing students to take the graduate version of four cross-listed courses during their senior year. These courses are offered at both an undergraduate (Special Topics) and a graduate level, with the graduate version requiring an additional research component. Students who successfully complete the graduate version of these courses during their senior year will receive both the graduate credit and institutionally awarded undergraduate credit.

Credit Hours

An undergraduate degree requires 120 hours and our master's degree, 36 hours. Thus, students are allowed to take twelve graduate hours during their senior year and take nominal graduate loads during their only graduate year. 

Program Requirements

1. Candidates should apply to the Fast Track program during their junior year.

2. A student admitted into the program will maintain an undergraduate classification until they reach 107 credit hours. At this point, the Office of Graduate Admissions will create a degree-seeking Master's record to run concurrently with the student's undergraduate record. The student must maintain a 3.3 GPA in all political science courses and satisfy all requirements for admission to the Master's program including:

  • GRE scores submitted prior to the completion of 108 hours;
  • Three letters of recommendation from political science instructors;
  • Candidacy approved by the Graduate Committee.

3. Students considering the program should:

  • Complete two advanced POLS undergraduate courses prior to the conclusion of their sophomore year
  • Complete POLS 3351 and 3352 prior to the conclusion of their junior year
  • Complete six hours of graduate courses in the Fall semester of their senior year
  • Complete six hours of dual-credit courses in the Spring semester of their senior year
  • Meet all departmental and university requirements for the MPA Thesis or Non-Thesis option as dictated by the catalog
  • Complete a total of 36 hours regardless of the choice of Thesis or Non-Thesis track

4. A student may not receive credit for both the undergraduate and the graduate version of a cross-listed course.

5. A student may take no less than four graduate courses, that is, at least four courses must be graduate courses having no undergraduate counter-part.

For more information, please contact Dr. Brian Williams at bwilliams9@lamar.edu