Political Science (B.A.)

What is Political Science?

Political Science teaches us how and why people join together in communities and make the choices they do. It helps us understand how to understand and address many challenges in our society and throughout the world. Political Science also helps us to understand how our choices as individuals affect the world around us.

Why Study Political Science?

Students who major or minor in Political Science will learn about the institutions, groups, leaders, policies and ideas that shape the American political system and the governments of foreign countries.

  • Understand the American political process
  • Find out how our public policies are developed
  • Learn about the role of law in U.S. society and internationally
  • Discover the philosophies that shape political ideas
  • Examine different political systems in foreign countries
  • Analyze key issues in foreign policy
  • Be a more informed citizen

Major Requirements:

The major in Political Science involves 33 credits, including 15 credits in required courses:

  • Introduction to Politics
  • American Government and Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Essentials of Political Thought

Students then choose 18 credits in electives from a list of courses on topics in American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Thought, and Law. Among their electives, students may opt to participate in a 4 credit non-paying internship in a local political office or in Washington, D.C.

Careers for Political Science Majors

Our students find that their work in Political Science leads them to a wide variety of job options. Many of our students pursue careers in law. Others work in public service as policy analysts in federal and state governments, or as city managers or administrators. Some graduates work in the foreign policy arena, at the United Nations or with other international organizations. Some graduates choose to engage in politics more directly and serve as elected officials, activists and policy advocates in public interest groups, or work in non-profit organizations. Still other graduates find that their knowledge of politics and skill at analyzing complex institutions offer an excellent preparation for a career in journalism, business, or social studies education.

Program Requirements Overview

Unless otherwise noted, 120 credits of coursework is required for a baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA.

General Education Requirements42
World Languages and Cultures Requirements3-9
Major Requirements33
Free Electives 142-36
Total Credits120

Graduate Swing Courses will count toward free electives for students in combined (UG/GR) programs.

Major Requirements

Required Courses
POLS 100Introduction to Politics3
POLS 101American Government and Politics3
POLS 201Comparative Politics3
POLS 202International Relations3
POLS 300Essentials of Political Thought3
Political Science Major Elective Courses
Select 18 credits from following: 18
Up to 15 credits may be from any one group. 12 credits must be from POLS 300 to POLS 497 or JURI 474.
American Politics
Women in Politics
Ethnic Politics in America
Urban Politics
American Party System
Public Opinion and Pressure Groups
State and Local Government
Campaign Politics
Black Politics in the United States
Politics and Technology
Seminar in Campaign Politics
The American Congress
The American Presidency
Politics and Film
Advanced Public Policy Analysis
Food and Politics
Seminar and Internship in Political Science
Politics of Federal Bureaucracy
Polling in the U.S
Political Science Washington, D.C., Internship
American Law
Perspectives on Law
Law in Society: Civil Law
Law in Society: Criminal Law
American Constitutional Law: The Federal System
American Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
Animal Rights: Law, Politics and Culture
U.S. Immigration: Law and Politics
Comparative Legal Perspectives: Israel and the United States
Public Administration and Public Policy
Introduction to Public Administration
Introduction to Public Policy
State and Local Government
Public Personnel Administration
Governmental Budgeting
Urban Administration
Advanced Public Policy Analysis
Politics of Federal Bureaucracy
Seminar and Internship in Public Administration I
Seminar and Internship in Public Administration II
Political Thought
Essentials of Jurisprudence
American Political Thought
Animal Rights: Law, Politics and Culture
Special Topics in Political Thought
Politics of Science Fiction
Theories of Political Economy
Politics and Morality of War
Comparative Politics
Government and Politics of Africa
Government and Politics of China and Japan
Politics of Development and Modernization
Food and Politics
Theories of Political Economy
Contemporary Western European Politics
Government and Politics of India and South Asia
Government and Politics of Latin America
Government and Politics of the Middle East
Government and Politics in the Post-Soviet States
Comparative Legal Perspectives: Israel and the United States
International Relations
Human Rights Law
International Organizations
American Foreign Policy
Politics and Film
Intelligence and National Security
International Relations in Asia
Politics and Morality of War
War and International Security
Global Environmental Politics
International Law
Globalization and Security
Other Major Electives
Conflict and Its Resolution
Directed Study
Special Topics in Political Science
Honors Seminar-Political Science
Total Credits33

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar
Complete a 1 credit New Student Seminar1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication3
D. Fine and Performing Arts
Complete a 3 credit Fine and Performing Arts course.3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences3
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science
Complete a 3 credit Computer Science course.3
H. Mathematics
Complete a 3 credit Mathematics course.3
I. Natural Science Laboratory
Complete a 4 credit Natural Science Laboratory course.4
J. Physical Education
Complete a 1 credit Physical Education course.1
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
2. Global Cultural Perspectives3
3. Social Science Perspectives 3
Students in P12 Subject Area Teaching programs complete EDFD 200 as part of the Teacher Education sequence.
L. Interdisciplinary Studies
Complete a 3 credit Interdisciplinary Studies course.3
Students in P12 Subject Area Teaching programs complete SASE 210 as part of the Teacher Education sequence.
Total Credits42

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages
Based on language placement exam, complete one or two sequential courses in the same language. Requirement is automatically fulfilled by language major courses.3-6
World Cultures
Requirement may be fulfilled by course selected in General Education - Social Science: Global Cultural Perspectives. Requirement may also be fulfilled by major coursework. See list of courses.0-3
Total Credits3-9

Recommended Roadmap to Degree Completion

This four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

First Year
GNED 1991WRIT 1063
WRIT 1053GENERAL EDUCATION: (H) Mathematics3
CMST 1013GENERAL EDUCATION: (K1) Social Science – American and European History3
World Language 13World Language 23
POLS 1003POLS 2013
POLS 1013 
 16 15
Second Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (F1) Humanities – Great Works and Their Influences3GENERAL EDUCATION: (D) Fine and Performing Arts3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (G) Computer Science3GENERAL EDUCATION: (F2) Humanities – Philosophical and Religious Perspectives3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (L) Interdisciplinary Studies3GENERAL EDUCATION: (I) Natural Science Laboratory4
World Cultures3GENERAL EDUCATION: (K2) Social Science – Global Cultural Perspectives3
POLS 2023POLS Elective (200 level)3
 15 16
Third Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (J) Physical Education1POLS Elective (300-400 level)3
POLS 3003POLS Elective3
Free Elective/Minor Course3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3 
 16 15
Fourth Year
POLS Elective (300-400 level)3POLS Elective (300-400 level)3
POLS Elective (300-400 level)3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3 
 15 12
Total Credits 120