The B.A. in Political Science
Majors in the BA learn about power, conflict and cooperation in society, within and outside government.
Students understand the fundamentals of scientific-based inquiry, the postulating of cause-effect relationships, and the marshalling of evidence using quantitative or qualitative methods to draw conclusions about problems in politics.
We train students to communicate information effectively.
Total number of credits required for graduation: 120 hours (minimum GPA 2.0 and at least 2.0 in major). Majors must satisfy the university and college general education requirements. Political Science courses may be used to satisfy the social sciences requirement. The foreign language requirement for the B.A. degree may be satisfied in any language.
Majors must take at least 36 but no more than 45 hours of political science course work. At least 18 hours of political science course work must be at the 2000 or 3000 level, not including PS 2000. Students may count up to 3 hours of political science taken on a Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory basis toward the major; this can include any course except PS 1100, PS 1500, PS 2000, and PS 3950.
The following courses are required and comprise the core curriculum:
- PS 1100, Introduction to American Politics
- PS 1500, Introduction to Comparative Politics
- PS 2000, Political Analysis
- PS 3950, Senior Seminar in Political Science
Majors are urged to take PS 1100, PS 1500, and PS 2000 as early as possible since these courses are designed to provide a substantive foundation as well as conceptual and analytical tools for subsequent course work. Because the seminar topics in PS 3950 change from semester to semester, the course can be repeated as an elective. All majors must take at least one Senior Seminar in Political Science.
Majors must also take at least one course in four of the following seven political science areas, in order to insure some breadth of study. See the Campus Bulletin for a list of courses:
- Public Law
- American Politics
- Public Policy and Administration
- Comparative Politics
- Political Theory
- International Relations
At least 15 hours of political science course work must be at the 3000 or 4000 level, including PS 3950 Senior Seminar. B.A. degree students may take a maximum of 3 hours of political science on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis; this can include any course except the required courses in the core curriculum.
Students who are uncertain of their future career plans are urged to include in their 36-45 hours of political science a broad set of courses in American politics, public policy and administration, public law, comparative politics, international politics, political theory, and methodology. In addition to this general course of study in political science, the department offers several specialized programs of study to its B.A. majors geared to various student academic and career interests. These tracks include Graduate School Preparation, Legal Studies, American Politics, Public Policy and Administration, and International and Comparative Studies. For a detailed description of these tracks, consult the Political Science listing in the Campus Bulletin.
Majors should round out their program by including relevant electives in other departments such as economics, history or criminal justice. Students are encouraged to take at least one course in statistics or accounting.