Dec 08, 2023
About the Program
The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree program exposes students to the study of political science and provides opportunities for students to tailor their degree program with upper-division electives. The program curriculum focuses on policy and issues associated with state, national, and international politics.
Courses emphasize the development of critical thinking and research skills essential for a wide variety of career paths, including public service, public administration, public policy, campaigns and elections, international affairs, the Foreign Service, public advocacy at all levels, secondary social studies teacher licensure, and graduate and professional studies.
Upon completion of a B.A. in Political Science, students should be equipped to:
- Apply political science knowledge and skills to actual problem solving and community service, deploying citizenship skills, ethical values, and an appreciation of human diversity to engage in community life as active citizens.
- Understand and critically analyze political institutions in both the U.S. and around the world, including leading political values and ideas, governing institutions, policymaking processes, and political behavior in both historical and contemporary contexts.
- Articulate knowledge of classical and modern political thought and use alternative moral and ethical frameworks for interpreting and evaluating contemporary political discourses.
- Use political science research and analysis to construct logical arguments and formulate reasoned conclusions.
- Produce effective and persuasive written communications appropriate for a range of professional contexts, including policy analysis, public service, graduate and law school.
- Conduct quantitative and qualitative social science research, including the ability to collect, analyze and interpret data as appropriate for a variety of professional and academic contexts.
- Present material orally as appropriate for academic, professional, and community audiences.
- Understand the career options available to political science graduates in the public and private sector as well as the value of the degree as entry into a range of graduate programs and legal education.
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.
- 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.
Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits
- Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ 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.
Required Courses: 18 credits
Electives: 24 credits
A minimum of 24 additional semester hours of political science must be completed. At least 18 of these 24 hours must be upper-division courses (3000- and 4000-level).
Students are encouraged to develop a path within the political science major based on their professional and personal interests. These paths include, but are not limited to, American Politics, Comparative and International Politics, Public Affairs, and Legal Studies. Upon declaring a political science major, students should meet with an advisor to plan their coursework for timely graduation.
Any course designated with a PSC prefix and not required for the degree program may count toward the elective course requirement. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to plan their coursework.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in internships as part of their coursework and may count up to six credit hours of internship in their elective courses for the degree.
Senior Experience: 3 credits
This is the capstone course for Political Science majors. Students must have senior status to take this course.
Summary of Requirements
|General Studies Requirements
|Minor and Unrestricted Electives
|Total for the Political Science Major, B.A.
Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ 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.