Program Requirements | Political Science | SIU

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Program Requirements

Majoring in Political Science

The undergraduate major in Political Science consists of a minimum of 33 credit hours (11 courses). All majors must take the following courses: POLS 114 (Introduction to American Government and Politics), POLS 205 (Introduction to Political Thought), POLS 250 (Introduction to Comparative Politics), POLS 270 (Introduction to International Relations), and POLS 300 (Introduction to Political Science: Methods). As part of the 33 hours of undergraduate studies, majors must take a minimum of three 400-level courses. At least 15 of the 33 hours should be completed at SIU Carbondale.

Students may enroll in a maximum of one political science Individualized Learning Program (ILP) course for credit toward the political science major. Also, political science majors may not take 400-level ILP courses for major credit.

The Department of Political Science also offers three specializations within the major: Pre-Law, International Affairs, and Public Service.

Students are encouraged to complete an internship in the career field of interest to gain practical experience and knowledge in the professional realm. Internships can be arranged in the Carbondale area, Springfield, IL, Washington, D.C., or even with an international organization.

Political Science also offers to students who excel academically the opportunity to enter the Department's Honors Program. After completion of their junior year, students with a 3.5 GPA in Political Science (3.25 GPA overall) may petition for admission to the Honor's program. The student must then complete POLS 390 under the direction of a faculty member and the following semester enroll in POLS 494 to write the honor's thesis. Any students interested in joining the honors program, or who think they might be qualified, should discuss this option with the Undergraduate Program Director at the beginning of their junior year.

»To view all major requirements in a PDF table, click here.

Minoring in Political Science

A minor in political science consists of fifteen hours to be approved by the department adviser. At least nine of the required fifteen credit hours must be earned at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.