Major in Political Science

Contact UsContact Admissions Request InfoGet on our mailing list Visit SHUSchedule a Campus Visit Apply NowCreate your account

The study of political science is current as today, as modern as tomorrow, and as ancient as the origins of the Western tradition that gave birth to the concepts of modernity, democracy, human rights and the individual. It is no accident that the contemporary English word governor is derived from the ancient Greek word, kybernite – steersman or helmsman. For the questions of how to realize the good life in a good society are no less pertinent today than two millennia ago.

The major is designed to awaken in students an appreciation and an understanding of politics and government in the broadest and deepest sense. It requires the completion of 36 credits, of which 27 must be earned through formal classroom instruction. The remainder can be earned through formal coursework or Political Science internships. 

Courses are offered in four major areas:

  • American politics
  • Comparative politics
  • International relations
  • Political theory

Suggested Four-Year Sequence of Study

Year 1, Fall

  • PO 121 Introduction to American Government
  • HICC 101 The Human Journey: Historical Paths to Civilization
  • EN 110 Academic Writing
  • IL 101 Information Literacy (1 credit)
  • Electives from B1 - B4 areas

Year 1, Spring

  • PO 122 Introduction to International Relations
  • ENCC 102 Literary Expressions of the Human Journey
  • CA 101 Effective Communication
  • MA 101 Modern College Mathematics I
  • Elective from B1 - B4 areas

YEAR 2, Fall

  • PO 200 Approaches to Political Science
  • CC103A The Human Community: The Individual and Society
  • PO Political Science Electives
  • Elective from B1 - B4 areas
  • BA/BS Requirement

YEAR 2, Spring

  • PO Political Science Electives
  • RS/PHCC 104 The Human Search for Truth, Justice, and the Common Good
  • Elective from B1 - B4 areas
  • BA/BS Requirement

YEAR 3, Fall

  • PO 300 Foundations of Political Thought
  • PO Political Science Electives
  • Elective from B1 - B4 areas
  • Free Elective

YEAR 3, Spring

  • PO Political Science Electives
  • Elective from B1 - B4 areas
  • Free Electives

YEAR 4, Fall

  • PO 395 Senior Seminar in Political Science
  • Elective from B1 - B4 areas
  • Free Electives

YEAR 4, Spring

  • PO Political Science Elective
  • Free Electives

Required Courses

  • PO 121 Introduction to American Government
  • PO 122 Introduction to International Relations
  • PO 200 Approaches to Political Science
  • PO 300 Foundations of Political Thought
  • PO 395 Senior Seminar

Students are also required to take at least one course in comparative politics (PO 309-310, 314-318). The remaining 18 credits can be taken as electives.