Political Science Major

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Description

Political Science is the study of the state and of power relations within and among states, as they are and as they ought to be. It seeks a better understanding of political and governmental behavior and institutions in order to enable society to use its collective resources more effectively for the general welfare. The principal sub-fields of the discipline are: American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory.

What can I do with a political science major?

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

Students in the political science major pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements. There are 3 parts to the major. The first is completing 5 required foundational courses. Students then take an upper division elective within each of the 4 subfields of the discipline: American politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory. Finally, students select 3 electives to complete the 36 credits for the major.

I. Required foundation courses -- Students must take all 5 courses (15 credits)

  • PLS 111 International Relations
  • PLS 112 Comparative Politics
  • PLS 113 American Politics
  • PLS 203 Political Thought
  • PLS 303 Political Science Research Methods

II. Subfields -- Students must select one course from each subfield listed below (12 credits)

*Note: the appropriate sub-field for PLS 313, PLS 367, and PLS 475 is determined by the course instructor for each offering.

III. Electives -- Students must select 3 additional courses from any of the subfields

Total Number of Credits: 36

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Define the concepts, processes and facts relevant to the field of political science.
  2. Use evidence to argue and critically evaluate political issues.
  3. Defend a position or thesis dealing with political issues, in a clear and logical manner.
  4. Employ the major methods of inquiry into political science research.
  5. Integrate the relationships between economic and social/cultural factors with politics.
  6. Evaluate the interconnection between local and global issues within the political realm.
  7. Critically analyze the role of the “citizen” in the political system.
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