Dec 01, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science Major, B.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs

Department of Political Science  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): Online, In-Person, Hybrid   

About the Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science provides students the substantive knowledge and applied skills to successfully navigate the political and public worlds, whether at the local, state or national levels, and across the globe. Students concentrate in Comparative Politics and International Relations or American Politics and Public Policy. The program is designed for students interested in a variety of career fields, including public service, public administration, public policy, campaigns and elections, international affairs, the Foreign Service, and public advocacy at all levels. The program also provides the necessary foundation for successful applications to graduate and law schools.

Student Outcomes

  • Link theory and practice and apply political science knowledge and skills to actual problem-solving and community service; acquire citizenship skills, ethical values, and understand and appreciate human diversity; and engage in community life as active citizens. 
  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge of institutions, processes, behaviors and values that shape politics within or among States. 
  • Understand the history of classical and modern political thought, the fundamental values and ethical issues contested in politics over time, and alternative moral and ethical frameworks for interpreting contemporary political discourses. 
  • Understand political science research and analytical skills, including critical thinking, logical argumentation, and how to collect, analyze and interpret evidence and data to formulate reasoned conclusions. 
  • Effectively deliver professional written communications. 
  • Understand and interpret qualitative and quantitative evidence and data, and formulate and communicate reasoned conclusions from these methods. 
  • Effectively engage in oral communications and presentations in professional fields related to politics, public policy and the law. 
  • Understand career options available with an undergraduate degree in political science; its utility in the public and private sectors; and its value as entry into a range of graduate programs and law schools.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of C- or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor's degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is required for this program. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits*) 


* Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Multicultural Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Multicultural Graduation Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the Multicultural Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement.  

Electives: 21 credits

A minimum of 21 additional semester hours of political science must be completed. At least 18 of these 21 hours must be upper-division courses (3000- and 4000-level) and must be approved by the department. Generally, students may apply only 6 hours of credit in internship courses toward the major as approved electives. Of the 21 elective hours in political science, 12 must be in the student's primary area of study: American politics or international/comparative politics. A minimum of 3 hours must be drawn from the remaining area of concentration and 6 hours can be selected at the student's discretion.

Senior Experience: 3 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Required Courses 12 credits
Major Electives 21 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 48-57 credits
Total for the Political Science Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Programs