Curriculum & Courses

Political science is grounded in four subfields: American politics, international relations, comparative political systems, and political thought. Beginning with American politics, the student is introduced to each of these subfields within his/her first two years of study. Advanced courses may be taken across a broad spectrum of offerings. During the fall semester of the student's senior year, the capstone course is completed. In this course, the student works closely with a faculty member researching and writing on a subject chosen by the student.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The following table summarizes all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in political science. To see the description of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all political science courses. For one possible breakdown of the major by semester, see the Plan of Study below.

 Requirements   Credits 
 Political Science  36
      Political science subfields:
           POLS 102. American Politics
           POLS 103. International Relations
           POLS 203. Comparative Political Systems
           POLS 204. Political Thought
      POLS 307. Research Methods in Political Science
      POLS 498. Political Science Capstone
      Political science electives
 
3
3
3
3
3
3
18
 Foreign Language  3
     One course at the 202 level or above* 3
 General Education Requirements** 37
    The General Education curriculum, a 37-hour program to help students appreciate a liberal arts education, includes required specific courses as well as selected courses from various distributions. For details, go to General Education Curriculum.
 General Electives  44
 Total  120

* The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.

**Majors are encouraged to take MATH 107 to meet the General Education Quantitative Literacy distribution.


Plan of Study for a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

During their freshman year students meet with their major adviser to map out a plan for satisfying the major and university requirements as well as planning for study abroad or internship experiences and the possibility of declaring a minor or a second major.

Changes in the sequence of the plan of study below may be desirable. These must be made in consultation with the student's academic adviser. To see the title of a course in the plan of study, simply pass the cursor over the course's number. To see the description of a course, click on its number.

 ◄ FIRST YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester   Credits   Spring Semester   Credits 
POLS 102 3 POLS 103  3
ENG 101 3 ENG 102  3
Foreign Language* 3 General Education Requirement 3
SBU 101 2 MATH 107  3
POLS 104 or Political Science Elective 3 Foreign Language* 3
Total 14 Total 16
  
 ◄ SECOND YEAR ►  
 Fall Semester   Credits   Spring Semester   Credits 
POLS 204  3 POLS 203 3
Political Science Elective 3 Political Science Elective 3
Gen. Ed. Literature & VPA course 3 Gen. Ed. Historical Studies course  3
Gen. Ed. Requirement — PHIL 104  3 Gen. Ed. Requirement — FS/THEO 101 3
General Elective 3 General Elective 4
Total 15 Total 16
 
 ◄ THIRD YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester                          Credits   Spring Semester   Credits 
Gen. Ed. Franciscan Studies/Theology course  3 Political Science Elective  3
Gen. Ed. Natural Science course & lab 4 POLS 307  3
Political Science Electives 6 General Electives 9
General Elective 3

Total 16 Total 15
 
 ◄ FOURTH YEAR ► 
 Fall Semester   Credits   Spring Semester   Credits 
POLS 498 3 Political Science Elective 3
General Electives 10 General Electives 12


     
Total 13 Total 15

* The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.


Requirements for a Minor in Political Science

For non-majors, the following courses constitute a minor in political science. To see the decription of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all political science courses.

To declare a minor, a special form must be filled out and filed with the Records Office by the end of the student's junior year. The appropriate form is available from the student's advisor or from the Office of the Registar.