Undergraduate Fields of Study

The study of Political Science at FSU is divided into five subfields. The prefix of each course number indicates its subfield:

CPO – Comparative Politics
INR – International Relations
POS – American Government
PUP – Public Policy
PAD – Public Administration

Comparative Politics

Introductory course and prerequisite to upper-level courses in the field: CPO2002

Comparative politics studies the domestic politics of countries throughout the world and develops an understanding of how politics works by observing the differences and similarities among various political systems. Comparative politics is interdisciplinary because to understand the politics of a country, we must also understand something of its economy, social system, international position, history, and culture.

International Relations

Introductory course and prerequisite to upper-level courses in the field: INR2002

International relations is the study of the political relationships among the world’s national governments. Courses in international relations look at many of the problems and issues of world politics and provide possible explanations for the events we witness. Topics include such things as the causes and effects of war and peace; the difficulties faced by nations in making agreements; the role of international organizations such as the United Nations; the formation of foreign policy; and global responses to contemporary social problems.

American Government

(Note that some courses with the POS prefix are not American Government courses)
Introductory course and prerequisite to upper-level courses in the field: POS1041

The study of American politics aims to answer important and enduring questions about politics and government at the local, state, and national levels. Various courses consider such topics as political participation and voting behavior; the conduct of elected politicians, both in campaigning and in governing; and institutions like interest groups, bureaucracy, and the courts. Courses use theoretical, historical, and analytical perspectives to illuminate the workings of the American political system.

Public Policy

Introductory course and prerequisite to upper-level courses in the field: PUP3002

The study of public policy focuses on what governments do, how and why they do it, and what the consequences are. Such studies may focus on governmental decisions made at any level and in any nation, and can range from studies of specific government actions or programs to more general assessments of government performance.

Public Administration

Introductory course: PAD3003 – a good first course, not prerequisite to upper-level courses.

Public administration courses are taught by the Reuben Askew School of Public Administration. The PAD internship is the only one of their courses that cannot count toward the political science major.

Public administration studies the role and functioning of bureaucracies in the formulation and implementation of public policy. It looks at the legal, financial, and managerial aspects of government activities, with a practical and applied approach. It can be thought of a business administration for the public sector.