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Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in public policy and administration

Special requirements

To graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, students must complete 45 upper-level credits (including upper-level course work in the major) and maintain a cumulative and major GPA of 2.0. Students may count a maximum of 6 internship and 3 independent study credits toward the major. Students may also apply 3 credits from courses in other departments toward the major with prior approval from the department chair.

The political science program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science as well as elective courses in political science for program majors and non-majors.

The political science curriculum has two central objectives. It offers the student a broad liberal arts education along with a comprehensive understanding of the nature and the functioning of the political process and government. It also provides a sound foundation for graduate study in political science, public administration and nonprofit management, or for careers that require knowledge of governance and the political process, such as law.

Degree requirements for Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in public policy and administration

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  1. Assumptions, methods and analytical tools
    Students will demonstrate knowledge of the assumptions, methods and analytical tools of the discipline of political science.
  2. Current political and policy issues
    Students will demonstrate knowledge of current political and policy issues.
  3. Theory and principles of four subfields
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic theory and conceptual principles of political science in the four subfields of American government, political theory, international relations and comparative politics.
  4. Advanced understanding of one subfield
    Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of current theoretical and empirical study in one subfield.
  5. Expository and analytic writing
    Students will demonstrate skill in expository and analytic writing in the political science discipline.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (6 credits)  
Foreign language (201-level) 3
Foreign language (202-level) 3
Major requirements (33 credits)  
POLI 103 U.S. Government (meets approved H&S human, social and political behavior requirement)  
POLI/INTL 105 International Relations (meets approved H&S diverse and global communities requirement)  
POLI 107 Political Theory 3
POLI 109 Comparative Politics 3
POLI 490 Senior Seminar 3
POLI electives 6
Concentration electives (choose four from list below) 12
Open electives (35-49 credits)  
Open electives 35-49
Total minimum requirement 120


Public policy and administration concentration electives (choose four):
  POLI 310 Public Policy
  POLI/ENVS 311 Politics of the Environment
  POLI 321 City Politics
  POLI 322 State and Local Government Politics
  POLI 323 Virginia Government and Politics
  POLI 329 Intergovernmental Relations
  POLI 331 Public Administration
  POLI 420 Seminar in Urban Politics
  POLI 432 Bureaucratic Politics

Political science electives (choose two from POLI offerings)

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]

Honors in political science

Political science majors can earn honors in political science. Students earn honors status when they complete POLI 490 Senior Seminar with an A grade and graduate with an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.3 GPA in political science.



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Last update: 5/30/2013

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