With a major in political science, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of U.S. government and global politics. By analyzing political structures, theory, and problems, you’ll learn to interpret complex political problems in both the public and private sectors and propose potential solutions. You’ll also have an opportunity to enhance your professionalism and fine-tune your communication and organizational skills.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Political Science Bachelor's Degree

In your political science courses, you’ll develop research and communication skills. Courses examine issues in policy development, global terrorism, foreign policy, defense policy and arms control, the intelligence community, and challenges in modern politics.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Analyze and participate in the creation of public policy at the local, state, federal, and international levels by building consensus and using effective lobbying techniques
  • Participate in and influence government at all levels through an understanding of the establishment, structure, and interaction of governmental institutions
  • Use effective writing, research, analysis, advocacy, and coalition-building skills to develop and influence policy at the national and international levels
  • Conduct, analyze, and evaluate theoretical and empirical research for specific problems to affect domestic and international policy by applying political theory, systems, and processes in organizational environments
  • Apply knowledge of ethical principles and issues to public policy and politics

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Complete an in-depth country analysis with particular stress on political-economic issues to produce a white paper to assist governments or corporations in assessing political or economic risks
  • Develop a counterterrorism plan for a specific organization
  • Choose a policy-oriented organization and research an issue to present

Political Science Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • GVPT 100
  • GVPT 101
  • GVPT 170
    or GVPT 200
  • GVPT 280
  • GVPT 306
  • GVPT 409
    or any upper-level GVPT course
  • GVPT 403
    or any upper-level GVPT course
  • GVPT 406
  • GVPT 457
    or any upper-level GVPT course
  • GVPT 495

Electives

The bachelor's degree in political science requires 49 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary issues).

Research and Computer Literacy Courses

  • PACE 111M
    or PACE 111P
    or other PACE 111 course
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)
  • LIBS 150
    or CAPL 398A
    or other general education elective
  • IFSM 201
    or CMST 301
    or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Communications Courses

  • WRTG 111
    or WRTG 291
    or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100
    or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 394
    or other advanced upper-level writing course

Math Course

  • MATH 105
    (or other approved math or statics course)

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 142
    or HIST 157
    or other arts and humanities course
  • PHIL 140
    or foreign language course or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Science Courses

  • ECON 201
    or PSYC 100
    or other behavioral and social science course
  • SOCY 100
    or other behavioral and social science course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • BIOL 101
    and BIOL 102
    or other paired science lecture and laboratory courses
  • NUTR 100
    or BIOL 160
    or other science lecture course

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you prepare for graduate study or careers in areas such as policy development for think tanks, research at intelligence agencies, and political campaign management, as well as other work with local and state governments or nonprofit organizations.