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Department of Political Science

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Major & Minor Requirements

Major Requirements

The Department of Political Science requirements for the major apply to both Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. In addition to the University's requirements for graduation, the major in Political Science includes at least 30 semester hours in Political Science coursework with a grade of C- or better in each course. These 30 hours must include at least:

21 semester hours at the 3000 or 4000 level or higher

21 semester hours in the classroom (as distinguished from individual credits for honors, directed studies, and internships), including at least 12 semester hours at FSU

At least 3 of the following introductory courses:

  •           POS1041 - American Government: National
  •           CPO2002 - Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
  •           INR2002 - Introduction to International Relations
  •           PAD3003 - Public Administration in American Society
  •           PUP3002 - Introduction to Public Policy

POS1041 or its equivalent must be completed before students may be officially reclassified under upper-class status for the major

At least 6 hours (typically 2 classes) in three of the department's five subfields (American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Public Policy, Public Administration). Introductory courses are counted toward subfield requirements.

POS3713 - Research Methods in Political Science: The majority of political scientists have adopted a method for studying political questions that differs from the approach taken by journalists, historians, and political commentators. They have adopted the scientific method, used in other disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry and medical research. This means that political scientists, as well as other social scientists, use data - quantifiable facts and figures -- to systematically test explanations of political phenomena. Much of the research in political science uses statistical tests to determine which explanations are best supported by the data. In order to assist political science majors in understanding and evaluating social science research, the Department has designed this course to acquaint students with how the scientific method is applied to the social sciences; how social science research is designed; how data is collected; and how presentations of research findings are interpreted. This course seeks to develop basic analytic skills that students can apply in a variety of career settings. This course should be taken as early as possible since it helps students understand the reading materials in their upper-level classes; to research topics for term papers; to participate in the internship program; and to design an honors thesis.

Political Science majors must have a minor or a second major and must meet the requirements stipulated by that department. Public Administration is not allowable as a minor because those classes can count as part of the Political Science major.

Please note:

-Certain courses with the POS prefix (POS2001, POS3713, POS3949, POS4715, POS4935, and POS4941) do not count towards the American Government subfield for Political Science major requirements.

-INR prefix courses offered by the Department of International Affairs do not count towards Political Science major/minor requirements. Only INR courses under the "SSPOS" Academic Organization in the course search are accepted for Political Science.


Minor Requirements

Students are encouraged to supplement their educations with a minor in Political Science. The requirements include:

15 semester hours of Political Science with grades of C- or better

9 hours at the 3000 level or higher, including at least 6 earned at FSU

No more than a combined total of 6 hours in PAD and PHM prefix courses.

Any PAD course except their internship can be counted toward the minor. From the Department of Philosophy, only PHM3331 and PHM4340 can be counted. The Political Science internship cannot be counted toward the minor.