Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014


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 Requirements

Major Grade Requirement

A grade of C- or better is required in all core courses.

Major Residency Requirement

Students transferring credit hours toward a major in Political Science must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours within the Department, regardless of the number of credits transferred.

Major Internship Opportunities

Political Science has a fieldwork program that provides students with part-time internships with state and local government and with political parties at the state and local level. Academic credit is available for such internships. For further information, contact the Department of Government and International Affairs.

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  Honors Program

This major has an optional component designed for the academically superior student who embraces challenge and wishes to go the extra mile.

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  Research Opportunities

There are research opportunities associated with this major.

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  Internship Opportunities

There is internship information associated with this major.


  Additional Requirements

There are additional requirements for this major such as grade, GPA, foreign language, and/or general education requirements.


  Additional Information

There is more information available for this major such as faculty, advising, and/or accreditation information.

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