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 Goals

This program prepares students who are able to:

  • Explain the main features of international politics.
  • Analyze the writing of major thinkers in the history of political philosophy.
  • Explain the principles, purposes, and main features of American government.
  • Articulate a Christian understanding of politics and government.
  • Articulate the major schools of thought respecting international relations.
  • Describe the principal interests and ideas that inform U.S. foreign policy.


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 23
MATH 130Introduction to Statistics 43
or ECON 250 Principles of Macroeconomics
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
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

Meets the General Education Civic Knowledge and Engagement requirement.


Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.


Up to 8 units may be earned over the course of several semesters or during one semester. Only 6 units are counted toward the political science major and 3 units toward the political science minor. The remaining 2 units count as general elective credits toward graduation.  


Meets the General Education Quantitative Literacy requirement.