The Bachelor of Arts in International Politics degree requires students to complete a minimum of 123 credits. Students must successfully complete:

  • 39 Requirements for the Major credits
    • 15 prescribed course credits
    • 12 option credits
    • 12 supporting course credits
  • 24 Bachelor of Arts degree requirement credits
  • 45 General Education credits
  • 15–18 elective credits

Course List - Bachelor of Arts in International Politics 

Requirements for the Major (39 credits)

Foundational Courses (Choose 9 Credits) 
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introduction to American National Government PL SC 001 Introduction to development and nature of American political culture, constitutional/structural arrangements, electoral/policy processes; sources of conflict and consensus. 3 credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics PL SC 003 Introduction to study of comparative government and politics: normative/empirical theories; government functions in modern societies; representative structures and processes. 3 credits
Contemporary Political Ideologies PL SC 007 Critical analysis of contemporary political ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, feminism, and environmentalism. 3 credits
International Relations PL SC 014 Characteristics of modern nation-states and forces governing their international relations; nationalism; imperialism; diplomacy; current problems of war and peace.  3 credits
Comparative Politics—Western Europe PL SC 020 Comparative analysis of political cultures, interest groups, parties, and decision-making processes in principal Western European political systems. 3 credits
Advanced Courses (Choose 6 Credits) 
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
International Political Economy  PL SC 412 The transnational politics of trade, investment, aid, raw materials, and the environment; nation-states, multinational corporations, and the U.N.

Prerequisite: ECON 102, ECON 104 or I B 303
3 credits
International Relations Theory PL SC 418W A survey of traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches for the analysis of international relations.

Prerequisite: PL SC 014
3 credits
The Politics of Terrorism PL SC 439 Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or PL SC 014, or permission of program
3 credits
American Foreign Policy PL SC 442 Principles of American foreign policy; processes of policy formulation; roles of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other government agencies.

Prerequisite: PL SC 014
3 credits
Supporting Courses (Choose 12 Credits) 
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Analyzing Public Policy in the American States PL SC 404

This course provides students with the tools to empirically evaluate policy proposals and outcomes in the American states.

Prerequisite: PL SC 001 , PL SC 309

3 credits
Strategy and Politics PL SC 410

This course examines political behavior using social choice theory and game theory.

Prerequisite: PL SC 001 , PL SC 003 , or PL SC 014

3 credits
International Political Economy  PL SC 412 The transnational politics of trade, investment, aid, raw materials, and the environment; nation-states, multinational corporations, and the U.N.

Prerequisite: ECON 102, ECON 104 or I B 303
3 credits
International Relations Theory PL SC 418W A survey of traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches for the analysis of international relations.

Prerequisite: PL SC 014
3 credits
The Politics of Terrorism PL SC 439 Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or PL SC 014, or permission of program
3 credits
American Foreign Policy PL SC 442 Principles of American foreign policy; processes of policy formulation; roles of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other government agencies.

Prerequisite: PL SC 014
3 credits
Governments and Politics of Western Europe PL SC 455 Comparative analysis of political and governmental structures of major West European nations; main functions and processes of such structures.

Prerequisite: PL SC 003 or PL SC 020
3 credits
Politics and Institutions of Latin-American Nations PL SC 456 Social forces and processes, governmental institutions, foreign policies of major states of Latin America.

Prerequisite: PL SC 003 or PL SC 020
3 credits
International Relations of the Middle East PL SC 467

The international relations of the Middle East, stressing national security policies of regional and outside actors, and major contemporary conflicts.

Prerequisite: PL SC 014 or HIST 181

3 credits
Politics and the Media PL SC 468 An examination of how politics and public policy affect and are shaped by the news media, as a political institution, in America.

Prerequisite: PL SC 001, PL SC 003, PL SC 022, PL SC 409, CAS 409, CAS 175, CAS 201, CAS 272 , COMM 100 or COMM 110
3 credits

Program Options (12 credits)

Choose one of the following program options. Courses for each program option will be determined in conjunction with your academic adviser.

International Relations
Description Credits
History (HIST): HIST 120, HIST 144 3 credits
Geography (GEOG): GEOG 1N, GEOG 3N, GEOG 30N 3 credits
Economics (ECON): ECON 102 or ECON 104 3 credits
HIST/GEOG/ECON: HIST 447, GEOG 430, GEOG 431, GEOG 438, ECON 333 or I B 303 3 credits
National Security
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Sociology of Deviance CRIM 406 Theory and research concerning behaviors and lifestyles viewed as significant departures from a group's normative expectations.

Prerequisite: CRIM 012
3 credits
Introduction to Security and Risk Analysis SRA 111 This introductory course spans areas of security, risk, and analysis covering contexts in government agencies and business organizations. 3 credits
Threat of Terrorism and Crime SRA 211 Provides overview of nature, scope, and seriousness of threats to security as a result of terrorism and crime.

Prerequisite: SRA 111
3 credits
History, Geography, or Economics selection HIST/GEOG/ECON HIST 120, HIST 144, HIST 447 or ECON 102, ECON 104, ECON 333 or IB 303 or GEOG 1N,GEOG 3N, GEOG 30N  GEOG 430, GEOG 431, GEOG 438 3 credits
International Political Economy
Description Credits
ECON 102 or ECON 104 3 credits
Economics or International Business (ECON/IB): ECON 333, ECON 433, ECON 434, ECON 471, IB 303 6 credits
HIST/GEOG: HIST 120, HIST 144, HIST 447, GEOG 1N, GEOG 3N,GEOG 30N ,GEOG 430, GEOG 431, GEOG 438 3 credits
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements (24 credits)
Description Credits
Foreign Language
(If foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination, these 0–12 credits may be completed from the electives)
12 credits
Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Natural Sciences, Quantification 9 credits
Other Cultures 3 credits
General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 6 credits
Humanities – GH 6 credits
Health and Wellness – GHW 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 9 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 6 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS* 9 credits
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Studies (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. 

Electives (15–18 credits)

Please note: Among the above degree requirements, students should incorporate at least 3 credits in US cultures, 3 credits in international (IL) cultures, and 3 credits in writing across the curriculum courses. The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.