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BA in Political Science


Explore what President John F. Kennedy called the "art of the possible" with a political science degree.

At Quinnipiac, the study of political science combines a focus on philosophical investigation into the nature of justice with a more practical focus on the nature of politics, power and power relationships. Thus, a student will take classes that compare the nature of governments around the world, explore the operations of politics in local, national and international contexts, and promote the ability to influence the society in which we live. Most students complement their courses in government and politics with study across the arts and sciences, particularly in such areas as history, English, economics and philosophy.

Learning by doing is an emphasis in the political science program; we provide you with opportunities to participate in the political realm at every level of national and international society. Each year a number of students qualify to spend a semester in a multidisciplinary, experiential learning program in Washington, D.C., that combines an internship with course work in political science, journalism, museum studies and the arts.

Political science majors have accepted internships with the U.S. State Department, with Congress, with regional radio and TV stations, with political parties and with legislative staffs at the state capital in Hartford. We also promote and support a variety of study-abroad experiences, and offer classes that engage students directly in political action at the local, national and international levels. We believe these opportunities make not only for a better and more interesting learning experience, but also better prepare graduates for interesting and productive lives after Quinnipiac.

Graduates can choose from a wide range of career options, including work in government, international affairs, and journalism. Graduates can also enter the nonprofit realm, work for a lobbying firm, or begin careers in education or business. Many pursue graduate studies in law or public policy.

Curriculum + Requirements

The BA in political science requires the completion of 36 credits distributed as follows, with a minimum grade of C in all courses. No more than 6 credits of internship (PO 295, PO 395) may count toward completion of the major.

The core requirements for the political science major are (18 credits):
PO 131 Introduction to American Government & Politics (3 credits)
PO 211 Introduction to International Relations (3 credits)
PO 215 Political Theory (3 credits)
PO 225 American Political Movements (3 credits
PO 401 Political Inquiry (3 credits)
PO 408 Senior Seminar (3 credits)

Electives (15 credits). Five political science courses or cognate.

A. Political science courses:

Course

Title

Credits

PO 205

Public Policy and Administration

3

PO 206

Ethics and Public Leadership

3

PO 216

American Political Thought

3

PO 218

Politics of Health

3

PO 219

Women and Political Thought

3

PO 221

Introduction to Latin America

3

PO 231

Elections and Political Parties

3

PO 245

International Political Economy

3

PO 247

Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy

3

PO 270

State and Local Government

3

PO 280

Congress and the Presidency

3

PO 287

Women and Public Policy

3

PO 299

Independent Study in Political Science

3

PO 311

Topics in International Relations

3

PO 315

Democratic Theory and Practice

3

PO 317

International Law

3

PO 318

Development of International Organizations

3

PO 321

Comparative Government

3

PO 325

Political Psychology and Public Opinion

3

PO 331

Topics in Comparative Government

3

PO 332

European Politics

3

PO 333

Middle Eastern History and Politics

3

PO 334

Topics in African Politics

3

PO 337

Human Rights: Theory and Practice

3

PO 342

Comparative Constitutional Law

3

PO 348

Political Communication

3

PO 350

Topics in Political Theory

3

PO 353

American Constitutional Law

3

PO 354

Civil Rights and Liberties I

3

PO 355

Civil Rights and Liberties II

3

PO 357

Supreme Court and Foreign Policy

3

PO 360

Topics in American Government

3

PO 362

Presidential Election Campaigns

3

PO 365

Inside Washington, D.C.

3

PO 390

Politics and Urban Change

3

PO 399

Intermediate Independent Study in Political Science

3

PO 499

Advanced Independent Study in Political Science

4



B. Cognate courses: In addition to political science courses, a student may count up to two of the following courses toward completion of the political science major:

IB 201 International Business (3 credits)
PS 261 Social Psychology (3 credits)
SO 264 Social Welfare Institutions (3 credits)
SO 285 Protest and Change (3 credits)
SO 340 Peace and Conflict Resolution (3 credits)

Experiential requirement
PO 395 Advanced Internship (3-6 credits) or equivalent approved by the department. Students should plan with their academic advisers early to complete this requirement before the start of their senior year. With departmental approval, PO 395 may be substituted with one of the following:

  • Political science course taken in the study abroad program
  • Political science course taken in the Washington, D.C. program
  • Service learning course in any discipline, but must have “SL” designation

Portfolio Requirement
In addition, students in their senior year assemble a portfolio of representative academic work done in political science, which includes a senior thesis, internship paper (or equivalent) and other key assignments.

Tracks in Political Science
In addition to the core requirements common to all political science majors, those choosing to focus their studies in either the public policy and leadership track or the global affairs track choose from among the following electives:

Public Policy and Leadership Track (take 15 credits):

Course Title Credits
PO 205 Public Policy and Administration 3
PO 206 Ethics and Public Leadership 3
PO 231 Elections and Political Parties 3
PO 247 Actors and Processes in U.S. Foregin Policy 3
PO 270 State and Local Government 3
PO 280 Congress and the President 3
PO 287 Women and Public Policy 3
PO 315 Democratic Theory and Practice 3
PO 325 Political Psychology and Public Opinion 3
PO 360 Topics in American Politics 3
PO 362 Presidential Election Campaigns 3
PO 365 Inside Washington 3

Global Affairs Track (take 15 credits):

Course Title Credits
PO 221 Introduction to Latin America 3
PO 245 International Political Economy 3
PO 247 Actors and Processes in U.S. Foregin Policy 3
PO 311 Topics in International Relations 3
PO 317 International Law 3
PO 318 Development of International Organizations 3
PO 321 Comparative Government 3
PO 332 European Politics 3
PO 333 Middle Eastern History and Politics 3
PO 334 Topics in African Politics 3
PO 337 Human Rights: Theory and Practice 3

Washington, D.C. Program

students in DC
The Washington, D.C. semester programs are multidisciplinary, experiential learning programs bringing students from around the nation and the world to semester-length internships, research projects and seminars in the nation's capitol.

Quinnipiac is affiliated with two organizations, which offer modules that focus on students' particular areas of interest, such as American politics, economic policy, journalism, international development and the arts. Occasionally students have the opportunity for two-week inter-term and summer seminars. All students must complete an independent research project related to their experience in the program.

Quinnipiac students must have a 3.0 GPA or better to be eligible, and they should not be under any judicial sanctions. Students may have the GPA requirement waived by application to the associate vice president for academic affairs.

Minor in Political Science

A minor in political science is awarded upon completion of 18 credits with a grade of C or better. At least 6 credits must be earned at the 300 level or above. No more than 3 credits of internship in political science (PO 295 or PO 395) may count toward completion of the minor.