Majoring in political science will help you expand your knowledge of American politics, comparative government, international politics, political theory and methods of political analysis. Students who major in political science may also choose to follow a program of concentration in policy studies and civic leadership.

(33 semester hours)

  • POLS-101 Ideas and Institutions in American Politics
  • POLS-240 Freedom, Justice, and Political Authority
  • POLS-251 Foundations of Political Science Research
  • POLS-399 Senior Seminar in Political Science
  • One course from:
  • One course from:
    • POLS-207 International Cooperation and Conflict
    • POLS-218 American Foreign Policy
    • POLS-228 Global Politics of Human Rights
  • Fifteen additional hours of political science coursework (which may include one interim course and/or six hours of internship credit) or completion of the Policy Studies and Civic Leadership Concentration requirements.

Policy Studies and Civic Leadership Concentration

If you are interested in pursuing your vocation by working in one of countless leadership positions in government, business, or non-profit organizations, the department offers a political science major with a policy studies and civic leadership concentration. Students who choose to pursue this concentration will follow more specific course requirements and flexible cognate courses outside the department that equip students to work with and advance public policies in many different settings.

(33 semester hours)

  • One course from:
  • POLS-209 Public and Non-Profit Administration
  • POLS-212 American Public Policy
  • One course from:
  • One internship (which may include POLS-380) or participation in the Henry Semester in Washington, D.C.)
  • In addition, students must complete two cognate courses in one of the following categories:
    • Business/economics:
    • Policy perspectives:
      • ECON-330 Urban Growth and Development
      • GEOG-351 City and Regional Planning
      • ENST-210 Human Impacts on the Environment
      • SOWK-360 Social Welfare Policy Analysis
      • IDIS-205 Societal Structures and Education
      • Other approved policy-focused courses

To graduate with honors in political science, you must:

  • Maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses within the major
  • Complete 6 (18 hours) non-interim courses for honors credit, with a minimum of four honors courses within the major
  • Complete an honors thesis that meets the guidelines of the political science department
  • Earn at least a B+ in each political science honors course you take
  • Make a formal commitment to graduate with honors by fall of your senior year

For more information:

Internship experience

Political science majors, particularly those who do not anticipate pursuing either law school or some graduate program shortly after graduation, are encouraged to enroll in internship programs.

Students can complete an internship for a maximum of 6 semester hours in Internship in Politics and Government (POLS-380), as well as internships through our Washington D.C. semester program. Interested students should contact the department's internship director, Professor Pelz.

To be admitted to the political science major you must have completed POLS-101, 110, 214, or 207 with a minimum grade of C (2.0).


  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: