Political science majors pursue a wide range of interesting careers in the United States and abroad, including law, government service, political work, and teaching. Graduate school opportunities are also plentiful.
If you want to get a broad overview of what political science has to offer, start with one or two foundational courses: American Government (PSC 1100), International Relations (PSC 1200), Comparative Politics (PSC 1300), or Political Theory (PSC 1400).
Freshman or sophomore year is a good time to start thinking seriously about your major. Declaring a political science major by second semester sophomore year will give you ample time to compete the required 33 credits. An earlier declaration may allow you to take advantage of study abroad, internship, and greater independent research opportunities.
Fill out the major declaration form you will find on this page and bring it to the Political Science Department office.
Fill out the minor declaration form you will find on this page and bring it to the Political Science Department office.
You will be assigned an academic advisor when you submit your major declaration form to the Political Science office.
It is beneficial to develop a relationship with your advisor, and every effort is made to keep you with the same advisor until you graduate. However, if your advisor goes on sabbatical or leaves the university, you will be notified and assigned a new advisor.
It is imperative that you take the research seminar (PSC 1900) no later than the first semester of your junior year and preferable if you complete it during the second semester of your sophomore year, because it provides you with the research foundation for your subsequent courses. The four foundational courses – American Government (PSC 1100), International Relations (PSC 1200), Comparative Politics (PSC 1300), and Political Theory (PSC 1400) – should also be completed early in your studies because they are prerequisites for upper division focal courses.
You should obtain your CAPP report through NOVASIS and review it prior to meeting with your advisor during the academic advising period. Take note of outstanding core and major requirements, review the political science courses being offered during upcoming semesters, and use the advising checklist to prepare a proposed course schedule for the upcoming semester to discuss with your advisor. Your advisor will review your plans, answer your questions, confirm that you are making sufficient progress toward graduation, and assign you a registration PIN.
Generally no. You are free to ask the course instructor for an override but you will need a compelling reason, and some courses like the research and senior seminars (PSC 1900 and PSC 6900) adhere to strict enrollment limits. Final decisions on overrides are made by the Political Science chair.
Internships can be arranged through the Internship Office in the Office for Undergraduate Students (OUS) with the approval of the Political Science chair. You may apply three internship credits toward your political science major.
Off campus study, whether it be in Washington, DC, Prague, or Lille France, can be initiated by getting information from the relevant program web pages or by contacting the Office of International Studies. You can earn credits abroad toward your political science major for courses with counterparts in the political science catalog.
Students are expected to It is your responsibility to speak with your academic advisor before your senior year to have a plan for finishing all major and core requirements prior to graduation. The Political Science Department will notify you at the start of your last semester if you have incomplete requirements, but by that time it may be too late to correct the problem before commencement.
The Political Science Department is in the St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts (SAC), Room 202.
If you have any questions about the programs offered by the Political Science Department, contact us at 610-519-7717 or email Abigail Minor.