2019-2020 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Dec 05, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, BA

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100 Eggers Hall
Chair:  Brian Taylor


Lamis Abdelaaty, Hossein Bashiriyeh, Kenneth Baynes, Keith Bybee, Horace Campbell, Matthew Cleary, Elizabeth Cohen, Francine D’Amico, Renée de Nevers, Gavan Duffy, Colin Elman, Miriam Fendius Elman, Margarita Estévez-Abe, Christopher Faricy, Shana Gadarian, Ryan Griffiths, Dimitar Gueorguiev, Petra Hejnova, Erin Hern, Jennifer Jackson, Margaret Hermann, Seth Jolly, Thomas Keck, Audie Klotz, W. Henry Lambright, Daniel McDowell, Glyn Morgan, Terrell Northrup, Sarah Pralle, Dennis Rasmussen, Grant Reeher, Mark Rupert, Shane Sanders, S.N. Sangmpam, Yüksel Sezgin, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Brian Taylor, Laurence Thomas, Margaret Susan Thompson, Emily Thorson, Simon Weschle, Steven White

Political science is the study of politics, government, and their relationship with other aspects of society. Courses in political science enable students to use political theory and empirical analyses to make sense of their world, to interpret political phenomena in the United States and in other areas of the world, and to understand global politics. Political science students gain research, critical thinking, and writing skills that help prepare them for a variety of careers including law, public service, electoral politics, public policy, nonprofit advocacy, international relations, business, journalism, communication, and academia.


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.

Students matriculating prior to Fall 2018 must use the list as it appears in the online course catalog for the academic year in which they entered Syracuse University.

Political Science courses that do not count toward a political science major concentration:

Political Science Major Concentrations

Students matriculating in or after Fall 2018 must use the following list to determine a political science major concentration.

Comparative Politics

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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