Political Science Major
Political science is the study of government and politics at the local, state, national, and international levels. Students investigate a wide variety of topics including law and society, public policy, global politics, political institutions and law making. The curriculum is structured to provide political science majors a broad understanding of political concepts, institutions, behaviors, and processes while also allowing students to specialize in topics that they find engaging and interesting. We encourage students to become familiar with the degree requirements in the department.
Program Learning Objectives
- Subject Matter Expertise: Through their curricular and co-curricular work, students will demonstrate expertise in political science and its subfields, as well as its relationship to the broader worlds of study and practice.
- Critical Thinking: Students will demonstrate critical thinking through their coursework and/or co-curricular activities.
- Working Productively and Communicating Effectively: Through their coursework and/or co-curricular activities, students will demonstrate their ability to work productively, both alone and in groups, their knowledge of the principles of effective communication, and their ability to communicate the results of their work effectively through a variety of tools and techniques.
- Ethics, Diversity and Sustainability: In the context of coursework and/or co-curricular activities, students will demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to make reasoned decisions, and that they can bring an understanding of the politics surrounding and the value of ethics, diversity and sustainability to bear on those decisions.
- Lifelong Learning and Positive Contribution: Through their coursework and/or co-curricular activities, students will demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills to engage in lifelong learning aimed at making a positive contribution to society.
To help ensure your studies in political science are smooth, please refer to the suggested Academic Degree Flowchart for your catalog year and concentration.
Within the major, we recommend that first year students complete POLS 112, POLS 180, POLS 225, POLS 229 and POLS 230 during their first year. First year students should supplement these courses with major support courses and general education courses as indicated by their incoming Advanced Placement, Transfer, or other credits.
You can find descriptions of POLS Courses here.
All majors must declare and complete a concentration within Political Science. The department offers four concentrations: American Politics, Global Politics, Pre-Law and an Individualized Course of Study. Students can learn more about these concentrations, including concentration advisors, on the Concentrations page.
Political Science Department Academic Integrity Policy
The Political Science Department has an academic integrity policy that applies in addition to university academic integrity policy. Students should become familiar with and abide by this policy. Details on the department's policy can be found here.