College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science

Program Summary

  • Politics is essential to the human condition. It is expressed in patterns of influence among individuals, in the actions of states in world affairs, and in collective efforts to achieve our most noble goals. The political science curriculum links moral issues to empirical analysis of political life and explores the realities of political behavior at local, state, national, and international levels. A political science major helps students prepare for careers in government, social and political organizations, international relations, business, and education, and for graduate study or law school.

    Degrees and Specializations Offered

    Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Political Science: In order to earn the bachelor of arts degree with a major in political science, students must complete a minimum of 180 credits with a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.00. Macroeconomics is required as partial fulfillment of the social science core. Political science majors are strongly encouraged to take additional courses in history, economics, and languages. Advisors may recommend electives in public affairs, business, sociology, philosophy, and writing.

    Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Political Science with Departmental Honors: The political science departmental honors major offers an opportunity for motivated and capable students to engage in more extensive interaction with faculty and to complete challenging individual research projects that will further their personal and professional goals.

    • Application to the major: To be accepted to the program, students must have a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 3.50. Interested students should apply in spring quarter of the junior year or fall quarter of the senior year. Upon acceptance, a Change of Major, Degree or Specialization form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
    • Completion of the major: During senior year, honors students will complete, over multiple quarters, a ten-credit departmental honors thesis (PLSC 479). Students in the departmental honors program complete 5 credits of course work above the norm for political science majors (for a total of 65 credits in political science) and write a substantial thesis under the direction of a faculty member. The thesis will be graded by departmental faculty. In order to complete the requirements for departmental honors and receive a notation to that effect on their transcripts, students must also maintain a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 3.50. In addition, the grade received for PLSC 479 Departmental Honors Thesis Supervision must be an A or A-. In addition to the bachelor of arts major in political science requirements, the honors major also includes ten credits in departmental honors, including PLSC 479 - Honors: Thesis Supervision

    Minor in Political Science: In order to earn a minor in political science, students must complete 30 credits in political science. Click here for degree requirements.