May 26, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science (POLA) - BA Major

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36 credits

Minor (or additional major if non-dual degree seeking) required.

2.0 GPA required.

Letter grade required in all major courses unless otherwise noted.

At least 15 credits (5 courses) must be taken at the 300/400-level.

Double majors in Political Science & Public Administration must complete 15 credits of non-duplicative coursework.

Political Science Major Map  


Political science examines political ideas, institutions, processes, and behavior at the local, national, and international levels. As one of the social sciences, political science seeks to understand and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.

A major in political science provides students with the tools necessary to engage as citizens in an increasingly global, interdependent, and diverse world. The program stresses critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving, written and oral communication skills that are beneficial in any profession. At the completion of the degree, students should be able to: (1) understand political institutions and processes of governing; (2) understand and apply political theories, research methods, and approaches; (3) identify the dynamics of politics, power, and citizenship in contemporary decision-making arenas; and (4) communicate effectively.

Political science is made up of four main subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Students are encouraged to work with their advisor in designing the curricular path that best suits their interests. For example, students interested in law school can focus on the public law and legal studies courses in the American politics category, whereas students seeking careers in development work or foreign service might take courses in comparative politics and international relations. The public service emphasis of the American politics category is ideal for students interested in civic engagement and public policy.

Political Science Subfields - Breadth Requirement (12 credits)

Students must take at least 3 credits (1 course) from each subfield: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory.

American Politics (3 credits)

Minimum of 1 course required + elective credit

Political Theory (3 credits)

Minimum of 1 course required + elective credit

Research and Methodology

No required course - elective option only

Electives (18 credits)

Students may select courses from any subfield listed above and are encouraged to choose an area of specialization.

Dual Degrees

Students wishing to complete two degrees concurrently, (example: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) must complete a minimum of an additional 30 credits above the required 120-128 credit hours. Students must complete all major requirements under both degrees, including separate minors if required.


◎ = Oral Intensive

◆ = Math/Critical Analysis Intensive

△ = Writing Intensive

✽ = Physical Development and Wellness Graduation Requirement

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