College of Arts and Sciences

BA in Politics and Government

If you are planning a career in law, government, the civil services, politics, journalism, or the nonprofit sector, or policy analysis, our politics and government program gives you the opportunity to explore your interests and get hands-on experience before you graduate.

About the Major



Politics and government is the study of policy, government, and law giving you an understanding about the processes by which power, authority, influence, control, freedom, wealth, and other political resources are competitively pursued, captured, and distributed. You also study how these become public policies, part of government, and the law.   

Degree Requirements

You must complete a total of 37 credits in politics and government course. Our curriculum is organized into five areas:

  • American Politics and Government
  • Comparative Politics and Government
  • International Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Law and Politics

Required Courses

You must complete 13 credits of required courses which includes one of the following:

  • Power and Politics in America  
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations

For more information, and to see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Additional Requirements

An addition 24 credits of electives are required, with a course in at least four of the five areas and at least 15 credits at the 300 or 400 level.

Examples of courses include:

  • Race, Ethnicity, and Politics  
  • Political Communication  
  • Politics of the Third World
  • American Foreign Policy  
  • Late-Modern Political Theory
  • POL 451 - Civil Rights and Liberties  

For more information, and to see a complete list of additional degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

Minor Requirements

You must complete 18 credits of required courses, including 6 credits from among the following:

  • Power and Politics in America  
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Politics

In addition, 12 credits must be completed from the five areas, with at least 6 credits at the 300 and 400 level.

For more information, and to see a complete list of minor requirements, visit the Course Catalog.


Learning Outcomes

The Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government students will:

  • Develop familiarity with political processes and institutions at the local, national, and international level.
  • Be able to read and comprehend a wide range of material describing, analyzing, and evaluating political phenomena and develop a reflective awareness of their personal political values.
  • Be able to identify, apply, and evaluate political arguments.
  • Be able to understand, apply, and evaluate a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods of political inquiry.
  • Be able to apply this knowledge and these skills in oral and written discourse.

Benedicta Kwarteng

Politics and Government, International Studies, '23

Benedicta is planning on a career in foreign service in the hopes of becoming a diplomat. After learning about different cultures and broadening her knowledge and interest in foreign affairs, Benedicta chose to study abroad for a semester n Seoul, South Korea, at Yonsei University’s Underwood International College, where she took courses in diplomacy and international negotiations. 

Read more.

As someone interested in foreign affairs, getting the chance to go to a different country and indulge in the language and culture was a practical way for me to learn about foreign policy, This kind of experience is very rare and something that can set you apart from many applicants in the job market."

Genesis Guzman ‘19

Politics and Government,

Genesis Guzman was a PAYCE (Palestinian American Youth Civic Engagement) program fellow and attended an intense two-and-a-half-week podcasting workshop at Princess Sumaya University in Amman, Jordan in the summer of 2018. That fall, she helped students in the Power and Politics class create podcasts about civic engagement.

My goal is to help students learn what aspect of the story they are going to follow, and how to really get personal and build a connection with the person they’re interviewing.

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