Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Denise Holladay Damico
Coordinator: Dr. Mark C. Gentry

Program Description:

American politics. International affairs. Health care. Jobs. The environment. Civil rights. If you are interested in such matters, Political Science is a major you should consider. Political Science has been defined as the study of “who gets what, when, and how.” It involves the study of government and public policy, as well as the study of the behavior of individuals and groups in the pursuit of their interests. Political Science majors can develop skills in writing, communications, analysis, and research. Such skills are useful in various employment settings. Such flexibility is attractive at a time when students can expect to change jobs, and even careers, on a number of occasions. Political Science helps to prepare students for careers in law; local, state, and national government service; interest groups and organizations; business; political campaigns; journalism, and teaching. Valuable training is also provided for graduate school and for those who eventually seek elected or appointed positions in public life or in the non-profit sector. In addition, the Political Science program is designed to inform students’ interest in politics, to develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, in short, to provide a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their later lives as citizens. In the belief that learning extends beyond the walls of the classroom, experiential educational opportunities in the form of internships and simulations (e.g., mock conventions, moot courts, model United Nations, etc.) are also available. Students can pursue a general B.A. in Political Science or can pursue more specialized concentrations in 

  • Pre-Law Studies
  • Public Service in Government Administration, Public Policy, and Community Engagement
  • Political Communications: Media and Public Relations in Government Administration, Politics, and Advocacy.
  • International Relations and National Security
  • Government, Business, Politics, and Public Affairs
  • Environmental Policy and Politics
  • Public Health Administration, Policy, and Politics


Minors in Political Science and Public Administration/Government Service are also available.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g., data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.
  2. Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
  3. Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and ethically.
  4. Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or other appropriate topics.
  5. Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”

Capstone Requirement:

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in the Political Science program are required to complete the following two course sequence to graduate from this program:

  • PLSC 330 - Political Science Research Methods (3 cr)
  • PLSC 494 - Political Science Research (1 cr)

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 4 years of full-time study

Total Credits Required:

128 credits

Courses Required for the Major: (49 credits)

Additional requirements:

  • Students must complete a concentration in Political Science or an academic minor in another discipline or a second major in another discipline.
  • At least 21 PLSC credits must be at the 300 or 400 level, excluding 398/399, 487, and 494.

Free Electives (31 credits)

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