Skip to Main Content

Political Science Major

The Department of Political Science offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science that allows students to pursue one of the following five concentrations:

  • American Politics Concentration
  • International Relations and Comparative Politics Concentration
  • Law and Politics Concentration
  • Political Communication and Public Opinion Concentration
  • Sustainability and Environmental Politics Concentration

To graduate Political Science majors must:

  • Fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements (33-38 credits), which all university students must satisfy
  • Earn the required Political Science credits (min. credits 36 and max. credits 48)
    • 5 core courses (15 credits)
    • 75-100 hours of internship or service activity (in conjunction with either POLI.4960 or POLI.4970, one of the 5 core courses)
    • 7 additional courses in one concentration, including upper level seminar requirements (21 credits)
  • Complete all other requirements that students in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences must fulfill. At least 72 credits must be for courses taken outside of the Political Science Department.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.000

American Politics Concentration

American Politics students examine a wide range of political beliefs and ideologies, political institutions, and citizen engagement in politics from many methodological perspectives. Their career goals might include: federal government agencies, local government, military service, social movement activism, non-profit organizations, public policy.

International Relations and Comparative Politics Concentration

Comparative Politics analyzes political and social phenomena within countries, and systematically compares various political and development outcomes. International Relations studies present and past global interactions among state, non-state actors, and international organizations and their impact on issues ranging from foreign policy to human rights and environmental sustainability. Students will explore different world regions (Europe, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Africa), issues related to global peace, conflict, and security, and substantial economic and social issues. This concentration prepares students for careers in international organizations, NGOs, foreign service, security studies, peace and development studies, private sector, military service.

Law and Politics Concentration

Law and Politics students take several courses designed to explain legal concepts, the institutions of American law, and constitutional debates. They develop deep skills of arguing, processing information, clear writing, and effective speaking. The goal of this focus is development of broad skills in addition to political knowledge, admission to law school, success in law school, and preparation for a legal career (e.g. lawyer, paralegal).

Political Communication and Public Opinion Concentration

Political Communication and Public Opinion focuses on the flow and content of information and ideas. Students examine public opinion data, strategies of rhetoric, new media (e.g. social media, online news) and examine the influence political messages can have on citizens, their beliefs, and political behaviors. Students who study this concentration may choose careers in political campaign management, journalism, public opinion polling, or public relations.

Sustainability and Environmental Politics Concentration

Sustainability and Environmental Politics students examine U.S. environmental politics, global environmental policy, and the politics of climate change and natural resources within and across nations. Students develop a nuanced understanding of the successes and constraints of government policy through coursework as well as experiential learning. The concentration prepares students for government service at the local, state, and federal level; effective advocacy in nonprofits; and sustainability careers in private companies.

View all the complete Degree Pathways.

For additional information contact the Political Science Department.