Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14


Political Science (POL)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 45.1001

College of Arts & Sciences


Major Description

The undergraduate program leading to the B.A. degree in political science offers a general purpose degree, and a number of more specialized alternatives. The program is designed for students interested in and seeking to understand political problems, issues, and the nature of the political process, as well as the philosophical and legal basis of political structures and processes at local, state, national, and international levels. Satisfying the degree requirements prepares students for positions in the public and private sectors, for law school, for graduate work in political science, international relations, public administration, and related disciplines, for positions in education, and for applied political activity

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete the A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

In addition, all Political Science majors are required to take at least three (3) credit hours of Economics coursework. (Please see an advisor for recommendations).

Students should complete any two introductory courses with a
  • POS, INR or CPO prefix lower-level course 6 credit hours
  • A grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade.

Total Major Hours: 36 Hours

Major Core

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to satisfy the requirements of the major. Students must take the 12 credit hours of required core courses in Political Science coursework. No more than six (6) credit hours can be taken from POS 4905, POS 4910 and POS 4941. Students enrolled in the Washington, D.C. semester program may have this rule altered by their advisor. (A GPA of 3.0 is required to enroll in these courses; the Chair may grant special exception for students with a GPA between 2.70 and 2.99).

Major Core Courses - 12 Hours

  • CPO 2002 Introduction Comparative Politics or INR 2002 Introduction to International Relations
    • Note that either CPO 2002 or INR 2002 must be taken as a core course. However, the other course not taken as a core course may be taken as an elective.
  • POS 2041 American National Government
  • POT 3003 Introduction to Political Theory
  • POS 3713 Empirical Political Analysis
Students should complete POT 3003 and POS 3713 by the end of their junior year; students transferring with 45 credit hours or more must complete these courses within their first two semesters in residence at USF.

Major Elective Courses - 24 Hours

Students must choose electives from the seven fields listed below with at least one course from Field I, one course from Field II or III, and one course from any of Fields IV, V, VI, or VII. Core required courses must be completed before a course from a given field or field grouping may be taken.

Field I: Political Theory

Field II: Comparative Government and Politics

Field III: International Relations

Field IV: American National and State Governments

  • POS 2080 The American Political Tradition
  • POS 3182 Florida Politics and Government
  • POS 4413 The American Presidency
  • POS 2112 State and Local Government and Politics
  • POS 3453 Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • POS 4424 The American Congress
  • POS 3173 Southern Politics
  • POS 4204 Political Behavior, Public Opinion and Elections

Field V: Urban Government and Politics

  • POS 3142 Introduction to Urban Politics and Government
  • URP 4050 City Planning and Community Development

Field VI: Public Policy

Field VII: Law and Politics

The following courses are not included within any of the seven fields, but may still be used as elective hours:

Additional Major Information

Major Faculty

Professors: J.E. Benton, E. Conteh-Morgan, A. Hechiche, S. MacManus, J. Merrick, M.M. Milani, D. Slider, H.E. Vanden; Associate Professors: M.M. Amen, K. Caruson, M.T. Gibbons, C.A. Hall, D. Peng, B. Reiter, S. Roach, M.S. Solomon, S. Tauber; Assistant Professors: E. Choi, P. Funke, S. Pemberton, J. Woo; Professor Emeritus: H. Nelson, F.U. Ohaegbulam.

Major Other Information

The Political Science Program offers a pre-law plan designed for the undergraduate students who are considering a career related to law (Courses on Law and Politics are listed under Field VII of the Political Science undergraduate curriculum). The Pre-Law Plan is available to students of all majors. The courses making up the field are of particular interest to law-oriented students, but may be taken by others as well. Those following the pre-law plan are recommended to complete courses that can help them develop necessary skills to study law. Students receive the skills and information needed for entry into a number of law-related positions in business and government. Please see the departmental undergraduate advisor to obtain more information about the pre-law plan.

Prior to admission to law school, a student must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), as given by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey.

The Law School Admission Test is given simultaneously several times each year at the University of South Florida and numerous other testing centers throughout the state. Students should plan to take the test at least one year prior to planned enrollment in law school. Additional information is available from the Department of Government and International Affairs, University of South Florida.

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  Honors Program

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  Additional Requirements

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  Additional Information

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