College of Arts and Sciences


Program Options

Political Science department web page

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2023-2024 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Overview

The Department of Political Science administers a major in Politics, an interdisciplinary major in International Relations, as well as a minor in Politics and a minor in International Relations. Our programs offer the rigor and depth of disciplinary training with interdisciplinary breadth that is grounded firmly in the liberal arts tradition. 

We seek to provide a learning environment that can produce liberally educated citizens who are fluent in the language of politics and political analysis and thereby have the foundation for both citizenship in a democratic society and successful training in a job, in a graduate school, or in a professional school.

Our degrees prepare students for graduate school in political science, international relations, and related fields. Our degrees also prepare students for careers in government (at the local, state, national and international levels), political campaigns, law, political journalism, business, non-profit organizations, and academics. Courses in the department offer students opportunities to integrate experiential learning with their academic coursework. We encourage our majors to complete internship experiences, and a multitude of internships are available, including opportunities in state government, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations and internships related to international issues or multicultural affairs.

B.A. Degree Requirements

The undergraduate B.A. degree in Politics includes coursework that develops students’ capacity to recognize and evaluate assumptions, implications, and causal relationships pertaining to government and politics and, by extension, to other realms of human experience. Students will learn to understand government and politics in terms of the theories, concepts, and tools of sophisticated political analysis that characterize the discipline of political science. Students take required core classes in American politics, comparative politics, world politics and political theory as well as intermediate courses that introduce them to the fundamental concepts and methods in the study of political science.

For their remaining requirements, students take upper-level electives in Politics and in related areas of study.  Students should work closely with their advisors to select courses that are most compatible with their academic and professional goals.

Course Credits
Introductory Courses  
POLS 001 - The American Political System 3
POLS 065 - Comparative Politics 3
POLS 075 - World Politics 3
POLS 080 - Introduction to Political Theory 3
Upper-Level Subfield Requirements - Take at least one upper-level course in each of the four main subfields of political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory 12
Upper-Level Electives - Take an additional three upper-level elective courses in any subfield.  Students may not double-count these upper-level courses toward a second major in the Department of Political Science. 9
Senior Capstone in Politics 3


Politics Minor

The minor in politics provides a broad overview of the breadth of topics examined in the field and the opportunity to delve more deeply into a specific area of political science.

Course Credits
POLS 001 - The American Political System 3
POLS 065 - Comparative Politics 3
POLS 075 - World Politics 3
POLS 080 - Introduction to Political Theory
Politics Electives - Select two upper-level courses 6

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.