Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Undergraduate Programs

The undergraduate majors in political science are designed to provide students with a broad education in political and other social sciences with the analytical skills essential in many professions. The wide range of career opportunities open to political science graduates includes administrative positions in local, state, and federal government, or in public and private agencies; work with citizen's action groups and voluntary organizations; employment in the foreign service and various governmental and private international agencies; and careers as teachers and policy analysts. Because additional training beyond the bachelor's  degree is necessary for some careers, many students in political science plan to attend law or graduate school. Qualified undergraduate political science majors who want to pursue professional careers in policy analysis, program management or policy advocacy, can complete both their bachelor's and master's degrees in a total of five years through the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Degree in Public Policy.

Students in the Department of Political Science may select one of the following majors:

  1. Political Science (General)
  2. Political Science—Prelaw
  3. Public Administration
  4. World Politics



Political Science - General

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science (General)

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (General).

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Political Science (General) major is met by completing the following course:  Political Science 422.  That course is referenced in item 3. a. (4) below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. The following courses in the Department of Political Science (34 credits):
    (1) Two of the following courses (6 credits):
    PLS 100 Introduction to American Politics 3
    PLS 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
    PLS 160 Introduction to International Relations 3
    PLS 170 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3
    (2) All of the following courses (12 credits):
    PLS 200 Introduction to Political Science 4
    PLS 201 Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis 4
    PLS 392 Special Topics in Political Science 4
    (3) At least four additional political science courses at the 300–400 level to total at least 12 credits. Only one of the following courses may be counted toward this requirement:
    PLS 494 Field Experience in Political Science
    or
    PLS 495 Independent Study
    (4) The following course (4 credits):
    PLS 422 Seminar in Political Science (W) 4
    NOTE: Of the courses taken to satisfy the requirements for 3.a. (1) and 3. a. (3), at least two courses must be in American politics (PLS 100 and PLS 301-339), at least two courses must be in comparative/international politics (PLS 140, PLS 160, PLS 342-359, and PLS 361-369), and at least two courses must be in political philosophy (PLS 170 and PLS 370-379). Students should consult with their academic advisor with questions concerning this requirement.


Political Science - Prelaw

The prelaw major is designed to introduce students to the study of law and the judicial process and at the same time to provide an orientation to the law which is more general than that of most law schools. Students who elect this program may plan careers in (1) government and large businesses, (2) law firms, (3) individual or partnership practice of civil law, (4) trial practice, including criminal law, and (5) teaching. Since very few law schools provide information about the political, economic, societal and psychological environment in which the law exists, this background must generally be acquired prior to or after law school. The prelaw major is intended to give students the analytical skills and substantive background in those courses which will most likely contribute to their development.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science–Prelaw

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science–Prelaw.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Political Science—Prelaw major is met by completing the following course:  Political Science 422.  That course is referenced in item 3.a.(5) below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. The following courses in the Department of Political Science (34 credits)
    (1) All of the following courses (15 credits):
    PLS 100 Introduction to American Politics 3
    PLS 200 Introduction to Political Science 4
    PLS 201 Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis 4
    PLS 392 Special Topics in Political Science 4
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    PLS 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
    PLS 160 Introduction to International Relations 3
    PLS 170 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3
    (3) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    PLS 320 Judicial Politics 3
    PLS 321 Constitutional Law 3
    (4) At least three additional political science courses at the 300–400 level to total at least 9 credits. Only one of the following courses may be counted toward this requirement:
    PLS 494 Field Experience in Political Science
    or
    PLS 495 Independent Study
    (5) The following course (4 credits):
    PLS 422 Seminar in Political Science (W) 4
    NOTE: Of the courses taken to satisfy the requirements for 3.  a. (2) and 3. a. (4), at least two courses must be in comparative/international politics (PLS 140, PLS 160, PLS 342-359, and PLS 361-369), and at least two courses must be in political philosophy (PLS 170 and PLS 370-379). One of the comparative/international politics courses may be a course from an approved list of courses, offered outside the Department of Political Science. The approved list of comparative/international politics courses is available in the Department of Political Science. Students should consult with their academic advisor with questions concerning this requirement.


Public Policy

The Public Policy major is designed to prepare students for careers in public service, advocacy, and analysis. It aims at a broad understanding of the goals and problems of public policy, the political process that leads to policy development, and the implementation and evaluation of public policy. The major is valuable preparation for those who intend to engage in research for public agencies, non-profits, or voluntary associations interested in the problems of government. A master’s degree program concentrating in public policy is also available for advanced work in preparation for an executive career in these fields.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Public Policy  major is met by completing  Political Science 422.  That course is referenced in item 3. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following courses in the Department of Political Science (34 credits)
    (1) All of the following courses (18 credits):
    PLS 100 Introduction to American Politics 3
    PLS 200 Introduction to Political Science 4
    PLS 201 Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis 4
    PLS 392 Special Topics in Political Science 4
    PLS 494 Field Experience in Political Science 3
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    PLS 310 Public Administration and Policy Making 3
    PLS 313 American Public Policy 3
    (3) Three of the following courses (9 credits):
    PLS 301 American State Government 3
    PLS 302 Urban Politics 3
    PLS     310 Public Administration and Policy Making 3
    PLS 313 American Public Policy 3
    PLS 324 Congress 3
    PLS 325 The Presidency 3
    PLS 331 Political Parties and Interest Groups 3
    PLS 342 Comparative Political Economy 3
    PLS 362 American Foreign Policy and National Security 3
    PLS 363 International and Domestic Political Conflict 3
    PLS 364 Politics of the United Nations and International Organizations 3
    (4) The following course (4 credits):
    PLS 422 Seminar in Political Science (W) 4


World Politics

The Bachelor of Arts degree in World Politics is designed to educate students about governments and political systems of many different nations and the interactions among them. It will prepare students for careers in international affairs in the public, private, and non-profit spheres. The major allows students to study the regions of the world that most interest them but also provides broad coverage of international relations and comparative politics.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in World Politics

  1. The University requirements for bachelor’s degrees as described in the  Undergraduate  Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in World Politics.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the World Politics major is met by completing Political Science 422.  That course is referenced in item 3. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
a. All of the following courses in the Department of Political Science (34 credits):
(1) All of the following courses (18 credits):
PLS 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
PLS 160 Introduction to International Relations 3
PLS 200 Introduction to Political Science 4
PLS 201 Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis 4
PLS 392 Special Topics in Political Science 4
(2) Four of the following courses (12 credits):
PLS 342 Comparative Political Economy 3
PLS 344 Politics of Developing Areas 3
PLS 345 Religion and World Politics 3
PLS 346 Middle East Politics 3
PLS 347 Democratic Regimes 3
PLS 351 African Politics 3
PLS 352 Latin American Politics 3
PLS 354 Politics of Asia 3
PLS 356 Politics of Europe and the European Union 3
PLS 357 Politics of English Speaking Democracies 3
PLS 358 Politics of the U.S.S.R. and Its Successor States 3
PLS 362 American Foreign Policy and National Security 3
PLS 363 International and Domestic Political Conflict 3
PLS 364 Politics of the United Nations and International Organizations 3
(3) The following course (4 credits):
PLS 422 Seminar in Political Science (W) 4