2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Apr 22, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, BA

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100 Eggers Hall

Chair:  Brian Taylor


Lamis Abdelaaty, Kristi J. Andersen, Michael Barkun, Hossein Bashiriyeh, Kenneth Baynes, James P. Bennett, G. Matthew Bonham, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Keith J. Bybee, Horace Campbell, Matthew R. Cleary, Elizabeth F. Cohen, Francine D’Amico, Renée de Nevers, David Kwame Dixon, Gavan Duffy, Colin Elman, Miriam Fendius Elman, Margarita Estévez-Abe, Christopher G. Faricy, Shana Gadarian, Dimitar D. Gueorguiev, Petra Hejnova, Margaret Hermann, Seth Jolly, Thomas M. Keck, Audie Klotz, W. Henry Lambright, Robert D. McClure, Daniel McDowell, Glyn Morgan, Sarah B. Pralle, Grant D. Reeher, Mark Rupert, Anoop Sadanandan, S.N. Sangmpam, Yüksel Sezgin, Jeffrey M. Stonecash, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Brian D. Taylor, Laurence Thomas, Margaret Susan Thompson, Danielle M. Thomsen, Emily A. Thorson, Stuart J. Thorson, Simon J. Weschle, Steven M. White

The study of political science helps us answer critical questions about how power in exercised in society and how benefits and burdens are distributed among the world’s countries and citizens within them. Political Science can serve as the core of a liberal arts education, helping you to master critical thinking, research, and writing skills while exposing you to some of the most important traditions of thought about politics and public life. It can prepare you for a lifetime of active and informed citizenship. And it can help you prepare a path to law school, graduate school, and careers in law, public service, electoral politics, public policy, journalism and communications, non-profit advocacy, international relations, and academia, among other fields.


Students are required to fulfill the requirements for the B.A. or minor in political science as stipulated in the course catalog for the academic year in which they enter Syracuse University. Graduation with a B.A. or a minor in political science requires a 2.0 average in the upper-division coursework applied toward the major or minor.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Describe U.S. political institutions and processes and explain how they operate

2. Describe the structure and politics of the international system or countries outside the United States

3. Apply political science concepts, theories, and/or philosophies to current political issues and policy debates

4. Communicate in written and oral form about politics in a way that demonstrates the ability to organize ideas, create and defend an argument, and use and cite sources properly

5. Conduct or evaluate political research, whether quantitative or qualitative in nature, and evaluate the extent to which arguments are well reasoned and/or empirically supported

Major Requirements

To declare a political science major, students must complete one PSC course with a grade no lower than a C-. The B.A. in political science requires 30 credits. Majors must complete PSC 121  and PSC 202 ; an additional lower division course (100 or 200 level); six upper division courses; and an additional course at any level. Please note that PSC courses with a grade of D may not be applied to the major requirements. 

The upper-division courses regularly offered by the department are included in the list below. PSC majors must take at least one course from the approved list of courses with international content (approved courses are designated with an asterisk [*], see list below). Political science majors must take at least 9 credits of coursework included in one concentration of related upper-division courses. (Concentrations are listed below.) Experience credit courses may not be used to satisfy major requirements. Political science majors seeking a degree with honors must satisfy the requirements of the Honors Program in addition to the requirements for the major in political science.

Political Science Courses and Concentrations

The courses regularly offered by the department for application toward a major are listed below. Special topics courses (PSC 300 , PSC 400  , PSC 411 ) and courses which may be taken multiple times (PSC 350 ) may be included in a concentration with the approval of the undergraduate advisor. Courses taken abroad may also count with the approval of the undergraduate advisor. Finally, students may petition to construct their own concentration; this petition will be considered by the department’s Undergraduate Studies Committee.

Comparative Politics

Distinction in Political Science

Minimum Department GPA 3.5

Minimum Cumulative GPA 3.5

Additional Information

Award of Distinction in Political Science requires successful completion of 6 credits of distinction thesis preparatory coursework (PSC 495  and PSC 496 ) and successful defense of written thesis.

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