The Department of Political Science offers a liberal arts oriented curriculum that leads to either a major or minor in Political Science at the bachelor's level. The goal is to provide a general rather than a highly specialized program.

Students are advised to officially declare a major and to obtain a Program of Study by the beginning of their sophomore year, if not before.  Students may initiate a Program of Study by meeting with the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Academic Advisor (Conference Training Center, Room 113).  All new students are advised to consult with the chair of the department before scheduling classes as well as to be assigned a department faculty member as the major advisor.  

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science may choose classes from any of the following six subfields:

  • Political Philosophy  

    The study of fundamental concepts and analytical theories that form the foundations of diverse political regimes, public policies, and ethical values

  • American Government  

    The study of American governmental institutions, procedures, and actors, including Congress, the presidency, federalism, political parties, and interest groups

  • Constitutional Law  

    The study of judicial decision-making and decisions that explicate constitutional powers, civil rights and liberties, and their impact on federal, state, and local practices

  • Public Policy and Methods  

    The study of the political formation, implementation, and evaluation of national, state, and local public policies 

  • Comparative Politics  

    The study of political systems of diverse countries and regions, including the use of comparisons across cases of events, institutions, and processes

  • International Relations  

    The study of relations between countries, the development and dynamics of international arrangements, and global politics and policies 

Students are required to complete 36 hours of Political Science courses, which include 21 hours of required courses and 15 hours of electives. 

Required Courses

  •   PSC 101 Introduction to American Government
  •   PSC 102 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  •   PSC 103 Introduction to State and Local Government
  •        PSC 260 Introduction to International Relations
  •        PSC 300 Introduction to Social Science Statistics
  •     and one of the following two courses:
           PSC 330 Classical Political Philosophy
  •     or
      PSC 332 Modern Political Philosophy
  •   PSC 484 Senior Seminar

These required courses provide majors with introductory overviews to American government (PSC 101) as the basic political structure of American political decision-making and governance; comparative politics (PSC 102) as insights to the cross-national nature of politics and governance by comparing and contrasting American government with a selection of others in the global community; state and local governments (PSC 103) as further understanding of state and local politics of federalism within the American governing structure; statistics (PSC 300) as the basis of quantitative social science research; and international relations (PSC 260) as critical understanding of the dynamics of nation-state and non-state politics on the world stage.  The required courses also contribute to the development of critical thinking skills (PSC 330 or PSC 332) to comprehend better the basics of philosophical development on the nature of politics and their empirical and ethical roots as well as a final seminar (PSC 484) to engage in a research project that applies the insights from the major itself.  

Electives

To complete the Political Science major, students must select five elective PSC courses listed in the catalog (transfer students may include one lower-division political science course from another institution in lieu of a 300+ level course).  Most electives are offered on a rotating basis every two to three years.  In addition, three courses are cross-listed with the Philosophy Department: PSC 330 - Classical Political Philosophy, PSC 332 - Modern Political Philosophy, and PSC 438 - Contemporary Political Thought. (Both departments permit students who intend to double-major in both disciplines to double-count up to 9 hours of these courses. Thus, little additional coursework is required for a Political Science-Philosophy double-major.)

For a full list of courses for the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, visit the UAH Catalog.

View the Catalog

Requirements and Pathways for the BA Degree in Political Science

For the complete requirements and pathways for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, visit the UAH catalog.

View the Catalog

Minor in Political Science

The Political Science minor requires 21 hours of department courses, of which the following three are required:

  •   PSC 101 Introduction to American Government
  •   PSC 102 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  •     and one of the following two courses:
           PSC 103 Introduction to State and Local Government
  •     or
      PSC 260 Introduction to International Relations

To complete the Political Science minor, students must select four courses from the PSC electives at the 300+ level. (In addition, only one of the following courses may double-count with the major in Philosophy: PSC 330, PSC 332, or PSC 438.) 

For a full list of courses for the Minor in Political Science, visit the UAH Catalog.

View the Catalog