Political Science Programs

teacher and students in a political science course

Political Science Programs

Political Science Major

To graduate with a political science major, students must complete 33 credit hours, normally 11 courses, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in the department.

All majors must complete one introductory course, PSC 101: Politics, typically during their freshman year.

Majors must also complete one methods course, PSC 302: Research Methods in Political Science, typically during their junior year.

Additionally, majors must take one course in each of the four major subfields:

  • American politics,
  • comparative government and politics,
  • political theory,
  • and international relations.

See the major fields table for information on these courses. Note that these courses are not all offered every semester or even every year. Students should always check at preregistration to see what is being offered in future semesters. Students also should note that there are many political science courses that do not fulfill any of these four fields.

Students must also complete four PSC electives, which can be any four PSC courses of their choosing. HPM 408 and SOC 342 may also count as PSC electives towards completion of the degree.

Finally, all majors take a Research Seminar in Political Science (PSC 488 or 489), typically during their senior year.

Major Fields

American Politics
  • PSC 201-American Politics
  • PSC 211-Public Administration
  • PSC 300-Law and Society
  • PSC 303-Urban Politics
  • PSC 305-Legislative Process
  • PSC 306-The American Presidency
  • PSC 310-American Foreign Policy
  • PSC 311-American Constitutional Law
  • PSC 312-Civil Liberties
  • PSC 315- Elections and Electoral Behavior
  • PSC 316-Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • PSC 317-Comparative State Politics
  • PSC 318-American Public Policy
  • PSC 319-Political Attitudes and Public Opinion
  • PSC 326-Mass Media​ and Politics
  • PSC 327-American Electoral and Campaign Communication
  • PSC 416-Race and Politics in the Americas
Comparative Politics
  • PSC 205-Comparative Politics
  • PSC 324–Gov’t. and Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union
  • PSC 325–Comparative Revolutions
  • PSC 329 Middle East Politics
  • PSC 333–European Politics
  • PSC 334–African Politics
  • PSC 336-Latin American Politics
  • PSC 416–Race and Politics in the Americas​
Political Theory
  • PSC 204-Political Theory
  • PSC 341-Classical Political Theory
  • PSC 342-Modern Political Theory
  • PSC 343-Contemporary Political Theory
  • PSC 344-Democratic Theory
  • PSC 348-American Political Theory
  • PSC 421 Political Thought in Science Fiction
International Relations
  • PSC 207-International Relations
  • PSC 369- International Law & Organization
  • PSC 361- International Politics of the Middle East
  • PSC 430- International Political Economy

Political Science Minor

Requirements: To graduate with a political science minor, students must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours), including PSC 101 and five more political science courses of their choosing, of which, two must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Public Administration Program

The Public Administration Program is a special certificate program with the purpose of assisting students contemplating a career in government service. The required courses, from a variety of disciplines, introduce skills and knowledge to prepare students for graduate degree programs in public sector fields, such as the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) or the Masters in Public Policy (MPP).

Washington Semester Program

The Washington Semester Program is a distinct division of American University with its own separate campus, faculty, and curriculum. There are seven programs offered by the Washington Semester program from which to choose: American Politics; Global Economics and Business; Foreign Policy; Sustainable Development; International Law and Organizations; Journalism & New Media; Justice and Law.