Political Science

The Political Science program of study is designed to cultivate your ability to think critically about political systems, processes, and institutions and the related subjects of political power, citizenship, and governance. As a political scientist, you will work to understand and influence the outcomes of political processes, apply political theory to governance, and engage in the public arena. Recent figures show that more than one out of every five jobs in the United States is with some level of government, whether local, county, state, or national. This is called the “public” sector; many employees are known as “civil servants.” For many civil servants, pay is competitive with, benefits can be better than, and job security is stronger than that of any position they would find in the private sector. In fact, during the recent recession, government employment increased while employment in the private sector sunk to historic lows. The government employs everything from deep sea geologists to doctors, economists to ditch walkers, pilots to day care workers, international aid workers to Foreign Service Officers — and don’t forget all of our school teachers (elementary, high, and college), police officers, firefighters, and members of the military. Don’t eliminate the government as a possible future employer, and if you hope to be promoted, don’t forget to look at classes in Public Administration. This program will prepare you for these undertakings through the completion of a core program, a concentrated study in one of four subfields, and three electives of your choice.

The core program, a suite of courses that you should complete prior to proceeding to your subfield studies, will provide you with a solid introductory understanding of political science and the tools necessary to comprehend the more complex areas of political science presented in the latter portion of this program. Upon completion of the core program, select one of the four following subfields: Political Theory, International Relations, Comparative Politics, or American Politics. You should take five courses from your selected subfield as well as three elective courses from a subfield outside of your concentration. (Note that some of our subfields only have five courses listed; in this case, you will need to take all five of the listed courses. Other subfields have more than five courses listed; in this case, you may select five of your choosing.)

In order to complete the knowledge equivalent of a political science major, you should complete the core program (7 courses), the five courses that comprise your subfield (5 courses), and 3 electives from a subfield of your choice for a total of 15 courses.

If you would like to complete the equivalent of a Minor in this area of study, please click here.

Interested in the potential to earn college credit for a Political Science course? Learn more here.

Core Program

POLSC101: Introduction to Politics
POLSC201: Introduction to Western Political Thought
POLSC211: Introduction to International Relations
POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLSC231: Introduction to American Politics
POLSC232: American Government
POLSC241: Introduction to Public Administration
POLSC251: Research Methods in Political Science

Political Theory Subfield

POLSC301: American Political Thought
POLSC302: Contemporary Political Thought
POLSC303: Feminist Politics
POLSC313: US Intelligence and National Security
POLSC401: Ethics and Public Policy
POLSC402: Global Justice

International Relations Subfield

POLSC311: United States Foreign Policy
POLSC312: International Organizations
POLSC411: International Political Economy
POLSC412: International Law   

Comparative Politics Subfield

POLSC321: Mideast Politics
POLSC322: Asia-Pacific Politics
POLSC323: European Politics
POLSC324: Latin American/Caribbean Politics
POLSC325: African Politics

American Politics Subfield

POLSC301: American Political Thought
POLSC331: Congressional Politics
POLSC332: The Presidency and the Executive Branch
POLSC333: Campaigns and Elections
POLSC431: Public Policy Process
POLSC432: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights