Political Science Major

45 units

Political science is concerned with the knowledge that is needed by citizens and government officials. This knowledge is required to make and recognize good laws, distinguish justice from injustice, and understand the legitimate purposes and necessary limits of political power. The political science major prepares students to take an informed, intelligent, and leading role in the affairs of their community, country, and world. In addition to classroom, research, and seminar experiences, students are encouraged to become directly involved in politics through internship experiences on the local, state, or national level.

Career Opportunities

The political science major studies politics as part of a traditional liberal arts education. This discipline helps develop intellectual curiosity and the abilities to write and speak well, think critically, judge wisely, and exercise leadership. These skills help prepare students for a future in a variety of careers. The most common vocations pursued by political science majors include law, foreign affairs, journalism, public relations, and criminal justice. Careers in government, politics, and public service agencies are popular. Opportunities for teaching, research, consulting, and graduate study are also available.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares students who are able to:

  1. American Government: Explain the principles, purposes, and main features of American government.
  2. International Politics: Explain the main features of international politics.
  3. Political Philosophy: Analyze the writing of major thinkers in the history of political philosophy.
  4. Christian Foundation: Articulate a Christian understanding of politics and government.
  5. Professional Writing: Demonstrate the ability to write and cite sources to professional standards within the discipline.


To graduate as department majors and minors, students must maintain at least a 2.0 grade-point average in major courses.

Core Courses
POLI 150American Government 13
POLI 160Introduction to Politics3
POLI 180Intro to International Relations3
POLI 300Research and Writing 23
POLI 399Political Science Practicum 33
POLI 496Senior Seminar: Religion and Politics 43
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Statistics 5
Principles of Macroeconomics 6
Subject Courses
Select two courses in each of the following subfields:18
American Institutions
The American Presidency
The Federal Judiciary
History of American Foreign Affairs
Comparative Politics
National Security
Political Philosophy
Classical Political Thought
Modern Political Thought
The American Founding
Elective Courses
Select two electives from the list below. A course taken to meet the above subject courses may not also count for elective credit.6
History of American Foreign Affairs
State and Local Government
Introduction to Criminal Law
Introduction to Legal Transactions
Political Geography
Seminar in International Relations
Constitutional Law: Fundamental Freedoms
Constitutional Law: Criminal Justice
Constitutional Law: National Powers
Seminar on Legal Studies
Classical Political Thought
Modern Political Thought
The American Founding
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Theories of International Relations
Diplomacy and Foreign Policy
National Security
Politics of Developing Countries
History and Politics of the Non-Western World
Seminar on American Politics
The American Presidency
The Federal Judiciary
Women in Politics
Regional Studies
International Organizations
Principles and Practice of Research Design
Political Topics
Directed Research
Total Units45