Political Science

Political Science professor speaking in front of class.

 

What is Political Science?

Political Science is the science of the principles, organization, and methods of government. Our program includes the study of theories of government as well as examinations of such topics as governance, parties, public opinion, interest groups, campaigns, elections, civil and political rights, and the various institutions of government.

Our faculty are trained and have practical experience in various aspects of the science. They have utilized their training to the benefit of various professions and endeavors in and out of government. They personify the belief that a degree in political science can and does assist individuals in fields as diverse as education, social service agencies, insurance, charities, law, and business.

Majors are encouraged to develop analytical skills and research competency that include using the latest technological advances in computers, electronic retrieval, and communications systems. Our courses are designed to give students theoretical background as well as practical and realistic experiences.

Our graduates are engaged in occupations in academics, government, and business throughout the world. Many started on their career paths with internship positions chosen while enrolled as students in the program.

▼   Majoring in Political Science
The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice provides students interested in governments, governance, law, public policy, political thought, and international studies with a broad educational background. This background incorporates social science, critical thinking and analysis skills with the University’s general education emphasis on a comprehensive undergraduate program. Our program, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree, offers the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in areas of study concerning a broad range of contemporary political issues. These issues involve such topics as the legitimacy of judicial review, the comparison of different forms of government, and the formulation of American foreign policy. The political science major offers a solid basis for future endeavors in the public, private, and academic worlds.
▼   Requirements for the Political Science Major
Course Credit Hours
PSC 130: Introduction to U.S. Government 3 hours
PSC 250: Comparative Politics 3 hours
PSC 270: International Relations 3 hours
PSC 310 (W) or CJ 310 (W): Research Methods 3 hours
PSC 492 (W): Capstone Seminar in Political Science 3 hours
300/400 Level PSC Electives 21 hours
Total Credit Hours for the PSC Major 36 hours
▼   Requirements for the Political Science Minor
Course Credit Hours
PSC130 - Introduction to US Government 3 hours

PSC 250 - Comparative Politics OR

PSC 270 - International Relations
3 hours
300/400 level PSC electives 12 hours
Total Credit Hours for the PSC Minor 18 hours
▼   Political Science Electives
Elective
Note that PSC 130 is a prerequisite for most upper level PSC courses, and a grade of C or better in PSC 130 is required.
PSC 301 Public Policy
PSC/PHL 311 Classical Political Thought
PSC/PHL 312 Renaissance Political Thought
PSC/PHL 313 (W) Modern Political Thought
PSC/CJ 330 Judicial Process
PSC/CJ/PHL 331 Constitutional Law
PSC/CJ 332 Criminal Law
PSC/CJ/PHL 336 The Law and Legal Theory
PSC/CJ/PHL 337 Liability and Punishment
PSC 340 Race, Gender, and Politics
PSC 345 Women and Politics
PSC 347 Public Opinion and Political Participation
PSC/CA 354 Media and Politics
PSC 360 Politics of Europe
PSC/CJ 363 Crime and Politics in Latin America
PSC 365 Politics of the Middle East
PSC 368 (W) Politics of South Asia
PSC 372 American Foreign Policy
PSC 390 Special Topics
PSC 401/501 Public Administration
PSC/CJ 411/511 Criminal Justice Administration
PSC/PHL 418 American Political Thought
PSC/CJ 430 (W) Criminal Procedure
PSC 432 State and Local Government
PSC 436 Politics of Urban Government
PSC 437/537 US Congress and Policymaking
PSC 438 US Presidency
PSC 440 Advanced Topics in Public Policy
PSC 450 Advanced Studies in Comparative Politics
PSC 452 Politics of the Muslim World
PSC/CA 453 Campaign and Election Communication
PSC/CA 456 Social Media and Politics
PSC/CJ 469 Criminal Justice Policies
PSC 470 Advanced Studies in International Relations
PSC/CJ 473 International Law
PSC 481/581 Public Policy and Aging
PSC 484/584 Healthcare Around the World
PSC/CJ 488 Armed Conflict
PSC 489/589 Leadership and World Leaders
PSC 490 Special Topics
PSC/CJ 491 Seminar on Terrorism
PSC 493 Study Abroad
PSC 494 Directed Studies
PSC 496 Internship
PSC 499 (W) Honors Thesis

/ Indicates Cross-Listed Course

500 Numbers Indicates Cross-Listed with Graduate Course

CJ = Criminal Justice

PHL = Philosophy

CA = Communication

▼   Careers
A bachelor's degree in political science can lead to exciting careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; pre-collegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching.