Political Science Requirements

Main Content

The Department of Political Science offers a curriculum that provides students both a broad understanding of politics in the world today and the knowledge and skills that help students to specialize and advance in their own areas of interest.  The department offers a polictical science major and a political science minor for the Bachelors of Arts degree.  Within the major, students may take a general track or choose one of three specializations:  pre-law, international affairs, or public service.  The major provides students the flexbility to choose from a wide range of courses that prepare them for their future plans and careers.  Students are encouraged to link their academic study with practical experience through internships and study abroad programs.

Students planning to major in political science should consult with an academic advisor as early as possible to plan their program of study. Students majoring in political science must complete core and elective requirements listed below for a minimum of 33 hours of which at least 15 must be earned at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. A minimum of three of these courses must be taken at the 400 level. POLS 405, POLS 406, POLS 416, POLS 418, POLS 435, POLS 436, POLS 437, POLS 439, POLS 444, POLS 455, POLS 459, POLS 460, POLS 466, POLS 475, or POLS 480 also satisfies the College of Liberal Arts Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) requirement.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 11
Requirements for Major in Political Science 33
Core Courses: POLS 114, POLS 250, POLS 270, and POLS 300 12
Political Science 400 level courses 9
Political Science electives 12
Minor 15-18
Electives 17-20
Total 120

Political Science Major - International Affairs Specialization

Political science majors preparing for careers in international affairs must meet the basic requirements for the political science major including core courses, a minimum of 33 credit hours in political science, three 400-level courses, international affairs specialization requirements, and completion of an existing minor or interdisciplinary program of study. The Director of Undergraduate Studies approves minors and study abroad programs.

International Affairs Specialization Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 11
Requirements for Major in Political Science 48-51
Core Requirements: POLS 114, POLS 250, POLS 270, and POLS 300 12
International Affairs Course Sequence POLS 372I, POLS 375, POLS 480 9
Political Science 400 level courses 6
Political Science electives 6
Minor (or interdisciplinary study) 15-18
Electives 17-22
Total 120

Political Science Major - Pre-Law Specialization

Political science majors preparing for law school must meet the basic requirements for the political science major including core courses, a minimum of 33 credit hours in political science, three 400-level courses, pre-law specialization requirements, and completion of an existing minor, internship, or interdisciplinary program of study. The Director of Undergraduate Studies approves minors and study abroad programs.

Pre-Law Specialization Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 11
Requirements for Major in Political Science 51-57
Core Requirements: POLS 114, POLS 250, POLS 270, and POLS 300 12
Pre-Law Course Sequence POLS 230, POLS 333A, POLS 333B, and any two of the following: POLS 435, POLS 436, POLS 437, POLS 438, or POLS 475 15
Political Science 400 level courses 3
Political Science 300-400 level electives 9
Minor, Internship, or Interdisciplinary Study - (12 hrs. of minor course must be 300-400 level) 12-18
Electives 17-20
Total 120

Political Science Major - Public Service Specialization

Political science majors preparing for public service careers must meet the basic requirements for the political science major including core courses, a minimum of 33 credit hours in political science, three 400-level courses, public service specialization requirements and completion of an existing minor, internship, or interdisciplinary program of study. The Director of Undergraduate Studies approves minors and study abroad programs.

Public Service Specialization Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 11
Requirements for Major in Political Science 49-52
Core Requirements: POLS 114, POLS 250, POLS 270, and POLS 300 12
Public Service Course Sequence: POLS 340 and any three of the following: POLS 422, POLS 432, POLS 436, POLS 442, POLS 443, POLS 444, POLS 447 or POLS 449 12
Political Science Electives 12
Minor, Internship, (or Interdisciplinary Study) 12-18
Electives 18-21
Total 120

Political Science Minor

A minor in political science consists of 15 hours to be approved by the department advisor. At least nine of the required 15 credit hours must be earned at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Legal Studies Minor

The Legal Studies Minor provides an interdisciplinary education to students interested in matters related to law and legal, political, and social change. The minor consists of eighteen hours of coursework, of which at least three must be upper-division (300 or 400 level) courses. There are two required courses (six hours) and four electives (twelve hours). One course from each of the remaining themes is required. Students may apply no more than six hours of credit from their major toward the minor. No more than six hours can be taken from any one department. At least twelve of the required eighteen credit hours must be earned at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The minor includes courses from Paralegal Studies, but the Legal Studies Minor is not intended to prepare a student for a career as a paralegal nor is it approved by the American Bar Association to prepare a student for a career as a paralegal. The American Bar Association does not make recommendations for any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. The minor is built on this broad understanding of legal studies as a cross-disciplinary field.

Legal Studies Minor Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
Foundation courses: POLS 230 and ENGL 290 6
Reasoning, Theory, and Methods. One of the following ANTH 240D, CMST 221, CMST 262, CMST 280, CMST 325, CMST 326, CCJ 201, ECON 350, PARL 305, PHIL 105, PHIL 310, PHIL 445, SOC 301, or SOC 312 3
Institutions and Social Practices. One of the following: CCJ 310, JRNL 332, JRNL 399, PARL 320, PARL 350, PARL 360, POLS 323, POLS 333A, POLS 333B, POLS 334, POLS 435, POLS 436, POLS 438, POLS 439, or POLS 475 3
History, Culture, and Diversity. Chose one: AFR 311A, AFR 311B, AFR 330, AFR 332, AFR 334, AFR 339, AD 101, AD 267, ANTH 410L, ANTH 410T, CCJ 203, CCJ 374, CCJ 460, CMST 416, CMST 447, ECON 302I, ECON 329, HIST 110, HIST 112, HIST 201, HIST 202, HIST 300, HIST 301, HIST 324, HIST 437, HIST 460, HIST 487, LING 341, LING 320I, PHIL 211, POLS 215, POLS 326, POLS 332I, POLS 352I, PSYC 223, PSYC 233, PSYC 333, PSYC 470, SOC 223, SOC 215, SOC 340, SOC 407, SOC 424, SOC 435, SOC 455, SOC 473, SOC 475, WGSS 201, WGSS 223, WGSS 233, WGSS 302, WGSS 438, or WGSS 440 3
Justice and Ethics. Choose one: JRNL 334, JRNL 434, PARL 365, PHIL 104, PHIL 309, PHIL 344, PHIL 375, PHIL 474, or POLS 437 3
Total 18

Research and Teaching

The faculty in the department come from major academic institutions from around the country. Faculty teaching and research have received national and university wide recognition. Full-time faculty teach virtually all political science courses. The department emphasizes small sections and a close student/faculty relationship.

Advisement

Students in political science have access to the advisement services in the College of Liberal Arts. Students may also see a political science professor for more specialized counseling. Help is offered in course selection and registration, in long-range planning, and career information.

Awards

The department administers several endowed annual awards. See the departmental web page: politicalscience.siu.edu or contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for additional information on eligibility requirements.