Explore the Department of Political Science's program descriptions and requirements to get a feel for the coursework. Recipients of these degrees will be ready to face the world and make an impact!
Political Science Degree
About Political Science
The major in Political Science leads to the Bachelor of Arts Degree. Political scientists study government at all stages in their development, the process by which political decisions are made and various matters that affect government behavior. The specific subfields of the discipline include American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, political theory, public law, and public administration. Students majoring in the program have traditionally pursued careers in law, business, teaching, journalism, and government. The study of Political Science is of value in that all persons need an understanding of the political system which governs their lives. More than minimal knowledge of political systems, however, is required for those who would be employed by them. The law and public administration, for example, are creatures of government and politics. The thirty-hour course requirement in the major program permits the students the flexibility to obtain a second major or minor in the other areas of personal and professional interest. Students majoring in Political Science and Legal Assistant Studies are able to gain work experience related to their major through the VSU Co-op Program. Such experience may prove valuable in terms of career exploration, acquisition of new skills, and career development. Students seeking more information should contact their academic advisors or the Office of Cooperative Education at (229) 333-7172.
To help with Degree Planning students are encouraged to review the Department’s Five-Year Course rotation. In addition, for other questions, students can contact our advisor Kyle Rudrow. Any other questions can be directed toward the Department of Political Science at (229) 333-5771.
Examples of desired outcomes within the major of Political Science includes the following:
1. Political science majors will possess the requisite knowledge of the American Political System, including an understanding of the structure and process of the federal, state, and local governments, enabling them to become informed and responsible citizens.
2. Political science majors will demonstrate knowledge of computer concepts and terminology, enabling them to use at least two software tools, such as word processors, spreadsheets, database management systems, or statistical packages.
3. Political science majors will be skilled in inquiry, logical reasoning, and critical analysis, enabling arguments, synthesize facts and information and offer logical arguments leading to creative solutions to problems
4. Political science majors will recognize and understand issues in applied ethics. They will understand their own value systems in relation to other value systems.
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Course or Section
Core Curriculum Areas A-E
See VSU Core Curriculum
Core Curriculum Area F
Principles and Logic of Argumentation
Introduction to Political Science
Introduction to Global Issues
Foreign Language and Culture
9 hours Senior College Curriculum Course Name POLS 3100 Scope and Methods of Political Science 3 hours
POLS Courses 3000 or above
Writing for Legal and Social Science
PHIL 3130 or 4120 or 4220
3 hours Required Political Science Courses
Non-Concentration area in Political Science
Minor and/or Elective Courses
Must include at least 6 hrs of courses 3000 or above in a single discipline outside of POLS
Total Hours for the Political Science Program
The Department assesses the extent to which the program requirements create the desired outcomes by using a variety of techniques. Examples of these assessments (and related educational outcomes) include the following:
- Mastery of the material in all required and elective courses in the political science major. As each level serves as a foundation for higher levels, mastery of the core material is requisite to mastery of the major. Outcome #1 is met by successful completion of these courses.
- Completion of the capstone experience certifies that a major has met outcome #2, #3, and #4.
- An Undergraduate Political Science Major Exit Questionnaire administered to majors by their advisors at the time the majors "check out" for graduation.
- Information from the published surveys of students' opinions and alumni perceptions of VSU programs and services conducted by the Office of Institutional Research Planning as well as information from alumni surveys conducted by the Department of Political Science.
Pre-Law TrackInformation coming soon.
The opportunity to explore American and World Politics is the key area for the Political Science minor. The students in this field are widely diverse. Their majors include English, Criminal Justice, Sociology, and History. Students pursuing an English major typically use this minor as a way to pursue journalism. Also, Criminal Justice majors are welcomed to study the constitutional framework which underpins the criminal justice systems. Sociology majors benefit from courses that deal with the role of citizens and groups in the political system. History majors could find out about more contemporary aspects of history that would supplement their course work.
Curriculum for Political Science Minor
POLS 2101 Introduction to Political Science 3 hours
POLS 2401 Introduction to Global Issues 3 hours
3000-4000 Level Courses * 12 hours
Total Hours for Minor: 18 hours
*At least six hours must come from the 4000 level.
Students wanting to pursue employment with government organizations are strongly advised to pursue a degree in Public Administration. The minor offers you insight into government regulations in defense, housing, and environmental areas.
Curriculum for Public Administration Minor
POLS 3600 3 hours
12 hours from the following courses
Hours Needed for Minor: 15 hours total