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Bachelor of Arts in
Political Science

Courses

The online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science is a liberal arts program requiring 123 credits for completion. The content of our courses can provide you with the knowledge and skills to help you navigate the American political system as well as gain an understanding of international relations and the politics of other nations. 

In meeting these requirements, students must take at least one course at any level from four of the five fields offered in the department:

  • Political Theory
  • Political Methodology 
  • American Politics/Public Administration 
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. 

PLSC Courses at or Above the 400 Level (select 15 credits)

  • 3
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to various methods of analyzing strategic behavior using social choice and game theories.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 , PLSC 3 , or PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    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 IB 303

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches for the analysis of international relations.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of electoral politics in the United States.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 100 or PLSC 14 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of American foreign policy; processes of policy formulation; roles of the President, Congress, the State Department, and other government agencies.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14

  • 3
    credits

    This course engages students in the empirical study of public opinion.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 and PLSC 309

  • 3
    credits

    Social forces and processes, governmental institutions, foreign policies of major states of Latin America.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 3 or PLSC 200N

  • 3
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 14 or HIST 181

  • 3
    credits

    An examination of how politics and public policy affect and are shaped by the news media, as a political institution, in America.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1 or PLSC 3

  • 3
    credits

    The origins of judicial review, landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and their impact on the American form of government.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of the roles, procedures, and policies characterizing the American legal system.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Analyzes behavior of judges and other participants in the legal process; examines how and why courts function as policymaking bodies.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Basic characteristics and processes of the national legislature and executive; roles and interaction of these institutions in the policy process.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced analysis of public policy, emphasizing policy evaluation and the factors that determine policy success and failure.

    • Prerequisite

      (PLSC 1 and PLSC 2) or PUBPL 304W

PLSC Courses at Any Level (select 15 credits)

At least 9 of these credits must be at the 100 level or above. Up to 6 credits of these 15 credits may be taken in related or complementary disciplines with approval of an academic adviser.

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to the society and cultures of the State of Israel from 1948 to the present.

  • 3
    credits

    This course introduces students to the politics and governing institutions of European countries through a historical and comparative perspective.

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores the historical and contemporary struggles of particular groups within American society to expand their rights.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to conceptualization, research design, and measurement in political research.

    • Prerequisite

      any 3 credits in political science

  • 3
    credits

    Data analysis and statistical applications in political research, including data processing, inferential statistics, contingency analysis, correlation and regression, and multivariate analysis.

    • Prerequisite

      any 3 credits in political science

Additional Courses (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines the American democracy by looking at the dynamic interaction between the founding ideals of the United States government, the institutions established by the Constitution, and the ongoing contest for power within and through those institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to study of comparative government and politics: normative/empirical theories; government functions in modern societies; representative structures and processes.

  • 3
    credits

    This course introduces students to both the scientific study of politics and the way that study advances our understanding of political actors, events, processes, and institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    Characteristics of modern nation-states and forces governing their international relations; nationalism; imperialism; diplomacy; current problems of war and peace.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to basic issues in political theory through analysis of selected major political thinkers.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Some Bachelor of Arts requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major, General Education courses, or electives. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foreign Language: 0–12 credits
    Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language.
  • B.A. Fields: 9 credits
    Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (cannot be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
  • Other Cultures: 0–3 credits
    Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • 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
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    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. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

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.

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