Political Science Major
Students may seek an academic major or minor in political science.
Major in Political Science
A major in political science offers valuable, comprehensive knowledge of American government and global politics, helping to prepare students to analyze complex political problems and recognize potential solutions in both the public and private sector. Students are able to gain an understanding of political structure, theory, and methodology. They can also develop their research skills and sense of intellectual property using libraries, archives, and online sources. The program provides an opportunity for students to develop their writing skills and learn the responsibility for clearly presenting and interpreting political issues using the language of the discipline. A major in political science helps students to analyze complex political problems and recognize potential solutions in both the public and private sectors.
Intended Program Outcomes
The student who graduates with a major in political science should be able to
- Analyze and participate in the formulation and implementation of public policy at the local, state, federal, and international level by building consensus and using effective lobbying techniques.
- Participate in and/or influence government at all levels through an understanding of the establishment, structure, and interaction of such governmental institutions.
- Use effective writing, research, analysis, advocacy, and coalition-building skills to develop and influence policy at the national and international levels.
- Conduct, analyze, and evaluate theoretical and empirical research for specific problems to affect domestic and international policy by applying political theory, systems, and processes in organizational environments.
- Apply knowledge of ethical principles and issues to public policy and politics.
A degree with a major in political science requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework including 30 credits for the major (indicated by ); 41 credits in general education requirements; and 49 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 15 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above).
Requirements for the Political Science Major
Coursework for a major in political science includes the following:
- Required foundation courses (6 credits): GVPT 100 and 101
- Required statistics course (3 credits): STAT 200
- Core courses (9 credits): GVPT 170 (or 200), 280, and 444 (or 457)
- Supplemental major courses (9 credits): Any 300- or 400-level GVPT courses
- Required capstone course (3 credits): GVPT 495
The following course sequence will fulfill all the requirements for the BS in political science. Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may make it necessary to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Students should consult an academic advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary issues) may be found in the General Education Requirements.
Minor in Political Science
The political science minor complements the skills the student gains in his or her major discipline by providing systematic study of politics and government. It exposes the student to the basic concepts, theories, policies, and the role of government at local, state, and national levels in domestic and foreign settings.
Requirements for the Minor
A minor in political science requires the completion of 15 credits in government and politics. All GVPT courses apply. Students are recommended to take GVP 100, 101, or 170 as the first course for the minor, if not already applied elsewhere in the degree.
At least 9 credits must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). Courses already applied toward other degree requirements (e.g., major or general education) may not be applied toward the minor. Prerequisites apply for all courses.
For a listing of all the requirements for the bachelor's degree, students should refer to their major and pp. 64-66.
Political Science Major Major Courses
(to be taken within the first 18 credits)
Note: Placement tests are required for certain math and writing courses.
LIBS 150 Introduction to Research (1)
WRTG 101 Introduction to Writing (3)
or WRTG 101S Introduction to Writing
MATH 103 College Mathematics (3)
or MATH 107 College Algebra
or a higher-level math course
(to be taken within the first 30 credits)
GVPT 100 Introduction to Political Science (3)
SOCY 100 Introduction to Sociology (3)
or ECON 103 Economics in the Information Age
or other ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GVPT, PSYC, SOCY, or eligible AASP, CCJS, GERO, or WMST course to fulfill the first general education requirements in behavioral and social sciences
BIOL 101 Concepts of Biology (3)
and BIOL 102 Laboratory in Biology (1)
or BIOL 103 Introduction to Biology
or other course(s) to fulfill the general education requirement in biological and physical sciences with related laboratory
WRTG 293 Introduction to Professional Writing (3)
or other communication/writing course
IFSM 201 Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3)
or CMST 301 Digital Media and Society course to fulfill the first general education requirement in computing
PHIL 140 Contemporary Moral Issues (3)
or HUMN 100 Introduction to Humanities
or a foreign language course or other ARTH, ARTT, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, or literature course to fulfill the first general education requirement in arts and humanities
GVPT 101 Introduction to Political Theory (3)
(to be taken within the first 60 credits)
HIST 141 Western Civilization I (3)
or HIST 157 History of the United States Since 1865
or HIST 125 Technological Transformation
or other ARTH or HIST course to fulfill the general education requirement in arts and humanities for the historical perspective (discipline must differ from other humanities course)
GVPT 170 American Government (3)
or GVPT 200 International Political Relations
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology (3)
or BEHS 103 Technology in Contemporary Society
or other course to fulfill the second general education requirements in behavioral and social sciences
(discipline must differ from first)
NSCI 100 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
or ASTR 100 Introduction to Astronomy
or other course to fulfill the general education requirement in biological and physical sciences
GVPT 280 Comparative Politics and Government (3)
SPCH 100 Foundations of Oral Communication (3)
or SPCH 101 Introduction to Public Speaking
or COMM 202 Media and Society
or other course to fulfill the general education requirement in communications/writing
STAT 200 Introduction to Statistics (3)
CMIS 111 Social Networking and Cybersecurity Best Practices (3)
or other course to fulfill the second general education requirement in computing
Additional Required Courses (see Requirements for the Major)
(to be taken after introductory and foundation courses)
WRTG 391 Advanced Research Writing (3)
or other course to fulfill the upper-level advanced writing requirement
GVPT 444 American Political Theory (3)
or GVPT 457 American Foreign Policy
GVPT 401 Understanding 21st Century Global Challenges (3)
or other supplemental major course
GVPT 403 Law, Morality, and War (3)
or other supplemental major course
GVPT 406 Global Terrorism (3)
or other supplemental major course
Capstone Course for the Major
(to be taken in the last 15 credits)
GVPT 495 Advanced Seminar in Political Science (3)
Minor and/or Elective Courses
(to be taken in the last 60 credits along with required major courses) 49
Last updated: 25 July 2012