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The Political Science Majors and Minors

Political science addresses some of the fundamental problems facing human society. Questions concerning world peace, government policies aimed at achieving economic stability and growth, the management of environmental quality, control over political competition, the possibility of using law to affect social and political change, and the gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. and abroad are all on the research agenda of contemporary political scientists. The general purpose of the major is to address these and other issues systematically, and, simultaneously, to raise the broad theoretical questions which can help students relate today’s political debates to those debates about politics which have kept a theoretical tradition alive for over 2,000 years.

Students may major in political science as a general program of study, or they may concentrate in one of eight areas: (1) American politics, (2) comparative politics, (3) data analytics, (4) international relations (5) political theory, (6) public law, (7) public policy, and (8) race, ethnicity, and politics. All majors, besides the data analytics concentration, in political science must satisfy the following sixteen courses: POLI 30 (Political Inquiry), three of the following four lower-division courses (Political Science 10, 11, 12 and 13) and twelve upper-division courses. Student pursuing the Political Science-Data Analytics (B.S.) major must satisfy the following sixteen courses: POLI 5 (Data Analytics for the Social Sciences), POLI 30 (Political Inquiry), two of the following four lower-division courses (Political Science 10, 11, 12 and 13), and twelve upper-division courses. Students who are accepted into the Political Science - International Affairs BA/Master of International Affairs Joint Degree Program with GPS have a separate curriculum to follow. 

If a special topics course is offered, see the department for details regarding applying this course toward an area of concentration (i.e., POLI 154 is the special topic course for International Relations and, depending on the topic, may be applied to one of the International Relations area of concentration categories). Upon notification from the student that a particular course should be counted in their area of concentration (based on review/approval in the department), a form is included in the student's file reflecting this information on the transcript.

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