Major in Political Science

Students may seek an academic major or minor in political science.

A major in political science offers valuable, comprehensive knowledge of American government and global politics, helping to prepare students to analyze complex political problems and recognize potential solutions in both the public and private sector. Students are able to gain an understanding of political structure, theory, and methodology. They can also develop their research skills and sense of intellectual property using libraries, archives, and online sources. The program provides an opportunity for students to develop their writing skills and learn the responsibility for clearly presenting and interpreting political issues using the language of the discipline. A major in political science helps students to analyze complex political problems and recognize potential solutions in both the public and private sectors.

Intended Program Outcomes

The student who graduates with a major in political science should be able to

  • Analyze and participate in the formulation and implementation of public policy at the local, state, federal, and inter-national level by building consensus and using effective lobbying techniques.
  • Participate in and/or influence government at all levels through an understanding of the establishment, structure, and interaction of such governmental institutions.
  • Use effective writing, research, analysis, advocacy, and coalition-building skills to develop and influence policy at the national and international levels.
  • Conduct, analyze, and evaluate theoretical and empirical research for specific problems to affect domestic and international policy by applying political theory, systems, and processes in organizational environments.
  • Apply knowledge of ethical principles and issues to public policy and politics.

Degree Requirements

A degree with a major in political science requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 30 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 49 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 15 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above).

Requirements for the Political Science Major

Coursework for a major in political science includes the following:

  • Required foundation courses (6 credits): GVPT 100 and 101
  • Required statistics course: (3 credits) STAT 200
  • Core courses (9 credits): GVPT 170 (or 200), 280, and 444 (or 457)
  • Supplemental major courses (9 credits): Any upper-level GVPT courses
  • Required capstone course (3 credits): GVPT 495

Recommended Sequence

The following course sequence will fulfill all the requirements for the BS in political science. Coursework for the major is indicated by Coursework for the major. Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may make it necessary to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Students should consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options.

Political Science Degree Courses

First Courses (to be taken within the first 18 credits)

Note: Placement tests are required for math and writing courses.

  • LIBS 150 Introduction to Research (1)
  • WRTG 101 Introduction to Writing (3)
    or WRTG 101S Introduction to Writing (3)
  • MATH 106 Finite Mathematics (3)
    or a higher-level math course               

Introductory Courses (to be taken within the first 30 credits) 

  • Coursework for the major GVPT 100 Introduction to Political Science (3)
  • BEHS 103 Technology in Contemporary Society (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course 
  • BIOL 103 Introduction to Biology (4)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture and laboratory course(s) 
  • WRTG 293 Introduction to Professional Writing (3)
    or other writing course 
  • IFSM 201 Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3)
    or CMST 301 Digital Media and Society (3)
  • HUMN 100 Introduction to Humanities (3)
    or other arts and humanities course 
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 101 Introduction to Political Theory (3)   

Foundation Courses (to be taken within the first 60 credits)  

  • HIST 125 Technological Transformations (3)
    or other arts and humanities/historical perspective course (discipline must differ from other humanities course
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 170 American Government (3)
    or GVPT 200 International Political Relations 
  • ECON 103 Economics in the Information Age (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course (discipline must differ from first
  • NSCI 100 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture course
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 280 Comparative Politics and Government (3)
  • COMM 202 Media and Society (3)
    or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • Coursework for the major STAT 200 Introduction to Statistics (3)
  • CMIS 111 Social Networking and Cybersecurity Best Practices (3)
    or other computing course

Additional Required Courses (to be taken after introductory and foundation courses) 

  • WRTG 391 Advanced Research Writing (3)
    or other upper-level advanced writing course       
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 444 American Political Theory (3)
    or GVPT 457 American Foreign Relations
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 401 Understanding 21st-Century Global Challenges (3)
    or other supplemental major course
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 403 Law, Morality, and War (3)
    or other supplemental major course
  • Coursework for the major GVPT 406 Global Terrorism (3)
    or other supplemental major course

Capstone Course for Major (to be taken in the last 15 credits)

Coursework for the major GVPT 495 Advanced Seminar in Political Science (3)

Minor and/or Elective Courses (49)
(to be taken in the last 60 credits along with required major courses)

Recommended Electives
  • EDTP 500 Professional Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning
    (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMUC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)
  • EDTP 535 Adolescent Development and Learning Needs
    (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMUC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)
 

Total credits for BS in political science: 120

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