Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Program Contact: Scott McLean   203-582-8686

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program provides courses that balance social scientific analysis of power relations with a focus on the politics and values of community, wherever community can be found, restored or created. Through their course work and activities, students develop foundational knowledge regarding the causes and consequences of socioeconomic inequalities in the United States and around the world; the rise of the U.S. as a global power and how that power is used; the major environmental, political and socioeconomic threats facing the global community; and the historical development of American democracy and its application to contemporary political challenges.

Political science majors also develop the ability to engage in normative and empirical forms of inquiry: they can explain how different subfields in the discipline approach the study of politics scientifically, and they can critically analyze the justifications for individual political actions and governmental policies using normative and ethical reasoning. Students complete the major with a senior seminar in which they engage major questions in political science and develop a sustained, independently conceived contribution to these questions in the form of a senior thesis. Upon graduation, political science majors have the tools necessary for active, informed and sustained engagement with the political process.

In addition to the core requirements common to all political science majors, students may choose to concentrate their studies either in the politics track, the public policy and leadership track, or the global affairs track. For more information about these three tracks, see the Tracks tab. The department strongly advises students as they design their academic and professional development outside the Political Science major. Extracurricular leadership activities, courses in diversity, and a background in statistics and economics are encouraged as ways to support learning in the public policy and leadership track.

Because experiences in government or politics are key to learning how to apply and transfer knowledge gained in the classroom to the professional or civic realm, political science majors at Quinnipiac are required to have a for-credit “Experiential Learning” course or internship. Students may choose between an advanced internship, a course in the Quinnipiac Washington, D.C., Semester program, a political science course taken as part of a Study Abroad semester, or a course where academic learning is integrated with a community service learning project. More information about the experiential learning requirement can be found on the Curriculum tab

BA in Political Science Curriculum

The BA in Political Science requires the completion of 36 credits, with a minimum grade of C in all courses. No more than 6 credits of internship (PO 295PO 395) may count toward the completion of the major. In addition to the University Curriculum and the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum requirements, students majoring in Political Science must meet the following requirements for graduation:

Political Science Core Requirements:

PO 131Introduction to American Government and Politics3
PO 211Introduction to International Relations3
PO 215Political Theory3
PO 225American Political Movements3
PO 303Political Inquiry3
PO 408Senior Seminar3
PO 395 or PO 365 or a Service Learning course or Washington, D.C., Semester course or Study Abroad course in politics or other course approved by the department.3-6
Total Credits21-24

Experiential Requirement

At Quinnipiac, political science majors are required to have a for-credit “Experiential Learning” course or internship. Students may choose between an advanced internship, a course in the Quinnipiac Washington, D.C., Semester program, a political science course taken as part of a Study Abroad semester, or a course where academic learning is integrated with a community service learning project. Students should plan with their academic advisers early to complete this requirement before the start of their senior year. With department approval, this requirement may be completed with one of the following:

  • A political science advanced internship PO 395 of 3 or more credits;
  • A political science course taken in a study abroad program;
  • A political science course taken in the Washington, D.C., program or PO 365;
  • A service learning course in any discipline (must have “SL” designation).

Electives: Tracks in Political Science

Students choosing to focus their studies in the politics track, the public policy and leadership track, or the global affairs track may choose from among the following electives beyond the core required courses:

Politics Track

Select 15 credits of the following political science or cognate courses15
Political Science courses:
Issues in Politics
Public Policy and Administration
Ethics and Public Leadership
Environmental Politics and Policy
American Political Thought
Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy (PL 217)
Women and Political Thought (WS 219)
Introduction to Latin America
The Politics of Intimacy
Elections and Political Parties (SL: Service Learning)
International Political Economy
Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy
Congress and the President
Topics in International Relations
Philosophy of War and Peace (PL 312)
Democratic Theory and Practice
International Law (LE 317)
International Interventions
Comparative Government
Political Psychology and Public Opinion
Topics in Comparative Government
Middle Eastern History and Politics
Topics in African Politics
Human Rights: Theory and Practice (PL 337)
Comparative Constitutional Law (LE 342)
Political Communication
American Constitutional Law (LE340)
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Topics in American Politics
Presidential Election Campaigns (SL: Service Learning)
Inside Washington, D.C.
State and Local Government
Women and Public Policy (WS 387)
Independent Study in Political Science
Cognate courses: 1
Globalization and International Business
Social Psychology
Social Welfare Institutions
Total Credits15

Public Policy and Leadership Track

Select 15 credits of the following:15
Public Policy and Administration
Ethics and Public Leadership
Environmental Politics and Policy
American Political Thought
The Politics of Intimacy
Elections and Political Parties (SL: Service Learning)
Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy
Congress and the President
Democratic Theory and Practice
Political Psychology and Public Opinion
Politics of Race and Ethnicity
Political Communication
American Constitutional Law (LE340)
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Topics in American Politics
Presidential Election Campaigns (SL: Service Learning)
Inside Washington, D.C.
State and Local Government
Women and Public Policy (WS 387)
Cognate courses: 1
Social Psychology
Social Welfare Institutions
Total Credits15

Global Affairs Track 

Select 15 credits of the following political science or cognate courses:15
Issues in Politics
Environmental Politics and Policy
Introduction to Latin America
International Political Economy
Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy
Topics in International Relations
Philosophy of War and Peace (PL 312)
International Law (LE 317)
International Interventions
Comparative Government
Middle Eastern History and Politics
Topics in African Politics
Politics of Race and Ethnicity
Human Rights: Theory and Practice (PL 337)
Comparative Constitutional Law (LE 342)
Cognate courses 1
Globalization and International Business
Total Credits15

Politics Tracks 

The politics track provides students with a general background in political issues, policies and topics according to the interests of the student. Students may select any of the electives offered in the the department to complete this track. The politics track is ideal for students interested in experiencing a wide variety of topics and exploring diverse forms of political phenomena — from local government to national policy to global issues.

Public Policy and Leadership Track

The public policy and leadership track provides students with the opportunity to undertake an academic and experiential program that will develop the intellectual tools for leadership and public service in government and nongovernmental organizations. Courses and experiential programs within this concentration emphasize the study of civic engagement, leadership skills, institutional design, the policymaking process and the ethical responsibilities of leadership within an increasingly diverse community. This track is distinctive in how it combines the study of public policy with analysis of the increasingly important ethical dilemmas of public leadership in issues of gender, race and ethnicity.

Global Affairs Track

The global affairs track provides students with the experience and intellectual tools for service and leadership in governmental and nongovernmental organizations that operate in the international/global realm. The program of study emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of politics and organization at the international level; in addition to work in political science, a student following this track is encouraged to pursue upper-level courses in anthropology, sociology, history, economics, language and management. Students may choose to further specialize with a geographic region of focus based around the study of comparative politics or an institutional focus based around the study of international law and organizations.

Admission Requirements: College of Arts and Sciences

The requirements for admission into the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences programs are the same as those for admission to Quinnipiac University.

Admission to the university is competitive, and applicants are expected to present a strong college prep program in high school. Prospective freshmen are strongly encouraged to file an application as early in the senior year as possible, and arrange to have first quarter grades sent from their high school counselor as soon as they are available.

For detailed admission requirements, including required documents, please visit the Admissions page of this catalog.