Undergraduate Program in Political Science

A bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in political science may include coursework on a multitude of topics: the nature of the policy process; the rules and procedures of local, state, national, and international political institutions; the crucial role of individuals, political parties, interest groups, and the media in the political process; the ways in which political culture shapes demands on government and policy outcomes; alternative philosophical perspectives on public life and their relation to the western liberal tradition; and the impact of globalization on peoples, cultures, and environments.

The undergraduate curriculum in political science is built on the faculty’s commitment to provide a social science education that is rigorous, sometimes provocative, and always rewarding.

The requirements for the political science major and minor have recently changed. The requirements for students starting at PSU during or after the 2013-14 academic year are listed below and in the current PSU Bulletin. Students starting before 2013-14 may adhere to the current requirements or to the previous requirements (see previous requirements or the PSU Bulletin for your “catalog year”).

 


 

Major
 

Minor
 

Law &
Legal Studies

Public  Service 
Option

 

 


 

Major in Political Science

The standard major offers a traditional course of study in political science that involves some exposure to three basic areas of the discipline. In addition to meeting the University’s general education requirements, a student wishing to pursue a basic major in political science must take a minimum of 48 credits in political science distributed as follows. The distinguishing feature of the B.S. degree is that it requires either PS 295 or PS 495 as one of the Upper Division Requirements, while the B.A. does not require either of these courses. 

A minimum of 20 credits must be taken in residence at PSU.

Requirements

Lower Division Requirements

Three courses from the following four options (12 credits)


United States Government
or
United States Politics
Comparative Politics
International Politics
Introduction to Political Theory

4

4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

Upper Division Requirements (36 credits)*


 
Five 400-level PS courses
Additional PS electives (minimum 12 upper division)
20
16

 

 

 
Total Credit Hours:
48

 

*One of which must be PS 295 or PS 495 to earn the B.S. degree.

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Minor in Political Science

The minor in political science requires fewer credits than the standard major and may be combined with other majors offered at PSU. Of the 28 required course credits, students must complete at least 16 at PSU.

Requirements

Lower Division Requirements


Two courses from the following four options (8 credits):

United States Government
or
United States Politics
Comparative Politics
International Politics
Introduction to Political Theory

4

4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

Upper Division Requirements


Five courses (20 credits, minimum 12 at 400-level)
 
Total Credit Hours:
28

 

All courses submitted to satisfy the requirement for a minor in political science must be passed with a grade of C or above. Students are encouraged to take political science courses that complement their academic interests and scholarly goals. The political science minor is designed to be as flexible as possible to facilitate this end. Students considering a minor in political science are strongly encouraged to consult with a political science adviser to work out an instructional program that meets their needs.

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Law & Legal Studies Minor

The minor in Law and Legal Studies (LLS) offers an interdisciplinary, liberal arts approach to the study of law. This is an academic program, not a professional training program, emphasizing the political, social, cultural, and philosophical foundations and impacts of law and legal systems. It is designed for pre-law students and also for a broad array of students from across the PSU campus who are interested in the relationship of law to politics, society, and culture. While the core courses concentrate on American law and the American legal system, the electives allow students to focus on aspects of law related to areas such as international law, comparative law, and philosophy.

Lower Division Requirements

United States Government
Introduction to Law and Legal Studies
4
4

 

 

Upper Division Requirements

Supreme Court and American Politics
4

 


Electives (16 Credits)
 

Political Science options (minimum 8 credits):

Constitutional Law
Civil Liberties
Law, Politics, and Society
Women and the Law
Politics of Law and Order
International Law
International Environmental Politics and Law
Justice in the Modern World
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 


Non-Political Science options (maximum 8 credits):

American Courts
Criminal Law and Legal Reasoning
The Morality of Punishment
Philosophy of Law
Civil Rights and the Law: The History of Equal Protection
U.S. Constitutional History: Foundations
U.S. Constitution: Nineteenth Century
U.S. Constitution: Twentieth Century
Electives approved by Law and Legal Studies advisor (maximum 8 credits)
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Total Credit Hours:
28

 

 

For Law and Legal Studies minors who are also majoring or minoring in political science, at least three electives (12 credits) must be applied solely to the law and legal studies minor. In order to count toward fulfillment of the minor, courses must be passed with a grade of C or above.

Professor Chris Shortell is the Law and Legal Studies advisor. For useful information for PSU students considering law school, please go to our Pre-Law Advising page.

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Public Service Option

The Public Service option is designed for Political Science majors who want more hands-on experience or are interested in practical politics. The curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in American government, while instilling in them an understanding of public service. Students in this track are required to serve an internship in a governmental or political office. This track requires 48 credits of coursework and is only an option for students adhering to degree requirements in effect as of the 2013-14 academic year.

Lower Division Requirements

Three courses from the following four options (12 credits)
United States Government
or
United States Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Political Theory
4

4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

Upper Division Requirements

PS 431
PA 313

State and Local Politics
Fundamentals of Public Service
4
4

 

 

Additional electives (20 credits, minimum of 8 in Political Science)


Political Science options:

Legislative Process
Media, Opinion, and Voting
Oregon Politics
Congress
Political Parties and Elections
Interest Groups
Contemporary Political Protest in America
Political Reform
The Supreme Court and American Politics
Law, Politics, and Society
The Politics of the News
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Administration options:

Introduction to Civic Engagement
Introduction to Nonprofit Management
Civic Engagement: The Role of Governing Institutions
Civic Engagement: The Role of Individuals
Civic Engagement: The Role of Social Institutions
Ethical Leadership
Grantwriting for Nonprofit Organizations
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

Field Experience (8 credits)
PS 404
Cooperative Education/Internship
8

 

 
Total Credit Hours:
48

 

Courses not required for the Public Service Option, but recommended for those interested in public service careers:
 
Media Literacy
Communication in Groups
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Microeconomic Theory
Macroeconomic Theory
Community Organizing and Social Change
Introduction to International Community Development
Portland Past and Present
Population and Society
Concepts of Community Development
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Development Option

The International Development option is designed for political science majors who want to pursue a directed course of study on such topics as global governance, international and development economics, foreign aid and humanitarian assistance, poverty reduction and human development, sustainable development, and international and intergenerational justice. This track requires 60 credits of coursework and is only an option for students adhering to degree requirements in effect as of the 2013-14 academic year.

Lower Division Requirements

Three courses from the following four options (12 credits)
United States Government
or
United States Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
International Politics
Introduction to Political Theory
4

4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

Upper Division Requirements

Three courses from the following four options (12 credits)
International Organization
International Law
International Environmental Law and Politics
International Political Economy
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

Political Science electives

Five courses from the following options (20 credits):

Politics of the Environment
Introduction to European Politics
Introduction to Latin American Politics
Introduction to Asian Politics
Introduction to African Politics
Introduction to the Politics of the Middle East
Arab-Israeli Conflict
Politics of Economic Reform in Emerging Market Countries
Political Development in Modern Turkey
Politics of Econoimc Reform in Modern Turkey
Politics of China
Gender and Politics: A Comparative Perspective
Democracy and Development in Latin America
Transition to Democracy
Justice in the Modern World
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Non-Political Science electives

Three courses from the following options (12 credits):

International Economics
Multinational Enterprise in the World Economy
Comparative Economic Systems
Economics of Transition
Economics of Development
Geography of Globalization
Global Water Issues and Sustainability
World Population and Food Supply
U.S. Policy and International Development
Global Sustainable Development
International Ethics
Globalization
Urbanization and Community
Sociology of Higher Education
Population and Society
Global Health Inequalities
Environmental Sociology
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Research Project (4 credits)
PS 404
PS 405
Cooperative Education/Internship
Reading and Conference
1-12
1-6

 

 

 
Total Credit Hours:
60

 

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