The Department of Political Science offers instruction and research in the art and science of politics. Work within the department is organized around six basic fields: American government and politics, comparative politics, public policy, political theory, empirical theory and methodology, and international relations. The major in political science leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. 

The American subfield concentrates on the United States government and political system. Courses analyze topics such as interest groups, governmental regulation of business, political parties, the presidential and congressional systems, public priorities, the judicial system, and constitutional law. 

In the area of comparative politics, you’ll use a global perspective to investigate the interaction between politics and a wide range of phenomena: globalization, economic development, political protest, social capital, immigration, language policy, international organizations, and the environment.  In addition, you’ll investigate the effects and implications of socioeconomic and political changes in Europe and the European Union, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.

In the International Relations subfield you will study U.S. foreign policy, the dynamics of the international environment, international security, international organizations, international political economy, international law, and war and peace. 

Political theory courses focus primarily on the history of political thought and on enduring normative questions of political association, such as the nature of justice, the proper basis of political authority, the promise and problems of democratic theory, and the extent of duties across borders.

A degree in political science will provide you with knowledge and understanding of political issues and prepare you for a career in fields such as the civil service, journalism, management, politics, legislative analysis, criminology, city planning, and population studies. You can combine the major with teaching credentials and teach government, political science, and civics in secondary schools. 

If you plan to go on to the graduate level, you will find that the political science major provides excellent background for law school or graduate school in political science, sociology, economics or a number of other social science disciplines. 

Career Services (www.colorado.edu/career) helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work. 

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

Computers are used widely in departmental teaching and research. The department maintains a computer laboratory with terminals and printers for student use, and has two classrooms equipped with monitors. Students anticipating careers in government or research are especially encouraged to make use of the department’s computing facilities.

The International and National Voluntary Service Program (INVST) is a two-year academic program emphasizing sustainable development, ecological conservation and nonviolent social change. The program combines coursework with experiential learning and is affiliated with the Departments of Political Science and Sociology. 

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data and present the results. For more information, call UROP at 303-492-2596, http://enrichment.colorado.edu/urop/.

A semester or year at a foreign institution can give you a new perspective on the theoretical and practical problems of government. You may choose from over 250 study abroad programs and may spend from a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program selected. You may also earn credit as if you had taken the courses here, sometimes fulfilling core or major requirements. Language study is a prerequisite for participation in many of the programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. For more information, call the Office of International Education at 303-492-7741, or stop by the office in the Center for Community. You can find their home page at: http://studyabroad.colorado.edu/.

CU in D.C. is a program for students who want to put classroom learning into real world action. The program is a semester-long experience that combines a professional internship with CU coursework in Washington D.C. Internships in Washington D.C. offer students an opportunity to build bridges between knowledge gained in the academic environment of CU, and practical experience gained in the exciting, fast-paced world of the nation’s capital.  You can find more information about the program here: http://cuindc.colorado.edu/

The Political Science Department offers a 6 credit hour internship course, PSCI 4938, during the Fall and Spring terms. This course offers students the opportunity to integrate theoretical concepts related to politics with practical experience in political settings. The theoretical portion of the course is derived from required readings, seminar meetings of the class and other courses students have taken. Practical experience is obtained through placements in: executive, legislative and judicial offices; governmental agencies; with lobbyists or interest groups; campaigns or with other institutions directly involved in the political process. The department has over 80 agencies and organizations in Colorado that host our students. Owing to the need for direct oversight and the classroom component of the course, the Department of Political Science does not award course credit for internships outside of Colorado.  Please contact a political science academic advisor for more information.

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.
 

Political Science 4-Year Plan

NOTE: This example will outline the major requirements, but the order of some of your classes can vary greatly.  It is important to check your Degree Audit and work with your major advisor each semester to make sure you are aware of your requirements and graduation timeline.  This is especially true of students with added majors, minors, or certificates.

 

First Year – Fall Semester
PSCI 1101
(3): Intro to American Politics (meets Core U.S. Context)          
PSCI 2012 (3): Intro to Comparative Politics     
CORE (4): Natural Science with Lab (http://www.colorado.edu/artsandsciences/student-resources/core-curriculum/natural-science)      
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Lower-Division Written Communication)         
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)  

First Year – Spring Semester
PSCI 2223
(3): Intro to International Relations 
PSCI 2004 (3): Survey of Western Political Thought (meets Core Ideals and Values)     
CORE (3): Natural Science          
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)  
Elective or MAPS if needed (3)


Second Year – Fall Semester
PSCI 2075
(3): Quantitative Research Methods (meets Core Quantitative Reasoning and Mathematical Skills)      
PSCI (3): Required Upper-Division course (Four Area courses required; see Degree Audit)    
CORE (3): Content Area of Study
Elective (3)  
Elective (3)

Second Year – Spring Semester
PSCI 3105
(3): Designing Social Inquiry: An Intro to Analyzing Political Phenomena     
CORE (3): Content Area of Study
CORE (3): Natural Science          
CORE (3): Content Area of Study            
Elective (3)


Third Year – Fall Semester
PSCI
(3): Required Upper-Division course (Four Area courses required; see Degree Audit)
PSCI (3): Required Upper-Division course (Four Area courses required; see Degree Audit)    
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (suggested: Upper-Division Written Communication)         
Elective (3)
Elective (3)

Third Year – Spring Semester
PSCI
(3): Required Upper-Division course (Four Area courses required; see Degree Audit)
PSCI (3): Upper-division Elective (Twelve elective credits required; see Degree Audit) 
CORE (3): Natural Science          
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3)


Fourth Year – Fall Semester
PSCI
(3): Upper-division Elective (Twelve elective credits required; see Degree Audit)
PSCI (3): Upper-division Elective (Twelve elective credits required; see Degree Audit)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3)

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
PSCI
(3): Elective (Twelve elective credits required; see Degree Audit)     
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (suggested: Upper-Division Literature & the Arts)       
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3)