PS bannerIn addition to the core major curriculum, the Political Science program has 4 concentrations within the major. These concentrations allow students to focus their degree on a portion of political science that interests them most. In order to complete the political science major, students must choose one concentration. The concentrations are as follows:

Political Institutions

 

Political Institutions Concentration

In this concentration students study American politics and processes, public law, transnational and comparative politics and topics in political philosophy. This concentration is a great fit for those interested in careers in law, politics or government - locally, nationally and globally.

Required Coursework:

Introductory Courses (8 credits)
  • PS 201 - Power and Politics, 4 credits
  • PS 202 - Law, Politics, and the Constitution, 4 credits
American Politics and Processes (8 credits)
Select two courses:
  • PS 310 - The Politics of Mass Media, 4 credits
  • PS 313 - American Politics, 4 credits
  • PS 317 - Collective Action, 4 credits
  • PS 324 - Political Campaigns, 4 credits
  • PS 325 - Elections, Money, and Democracy in America, 4 credits
  • PS 436 - Health Care Policy: “Obamacare and Beyond”, 4 credits
Topic-related courses:
  • PS 399 - Special Studies, 1 to 18 credits
  • PS 401 - Research, 1 to 18 credits
  • PS 407 - Seminar, 1 to 4 credits
  • PS 409 - Practicum, 1 to 16 credits
Public Law (8 credits)
Select two courses:
  • PS 325 - Elections, Money, and Democracy in America, 4 credits
  • PS 340 - Law, Science, and the Environment, 4 credits
  • PS 341 - The Constitution and the Supreme Court, 4 credits
  • PS 342 - Environmental Law and Policy, 4 credits
  • PS 343 - The Constitution and the Presidency, 4 credits
  • PS 421 - International Law, 4 credits
  • PS 436 - Health Care Policy: “Obamacare and Beyond”, 4 credits
Topic-related courses:
  • PS 399 - Special Studies, 1 to 18 credits
  • PS 401 - Research, 1 to 18 credits
  • PS 407 - Seminar, 1 to 4 credits
  • PS 409 - Practicum, 1 to 16 credits
Transnational and Comparative Politics (8 credits)
Select two courses:
  • PS 355 - Comparative Politics, 4 credits
  • PS 358 - Terrorism, 4 credits
  • PS 421 - International Law, 4 credits
  • PS 453 - United States Foreign Relations since 1945, 4 credits
  • PS 454 - U.S.-Latin American Relations, 4 credits
  • PS 460 - Grand Strategy, 4 credits
Topic-related courses
  • PS 399 - Special Studies, 1 to 18 credits
  • PS 401 - Research, 1 to 18 credits
  • PS 407 - Seminar, 1 to 4 credits
  • PS 409 - Practicum, 1 to 16 credits
  • PS 469 - Topics in Political Philosophy, 4 credits


Two additional upper-division political science courses (8 credits)

Global and Strategic Studies

Global and Strategic Studies Concentration

In this concentration students study global politics through courses such as International Law, US Foreign Relations, Terrorism, Comparative Politics and more. Additionally, students explore political strategy through courses such as Collective Action, Grand Strategy, Twentieth Century Revolutions, the Politics of Mass Media, War in the Modern World, and more! This concentration is a great fit for students who are interested in the strategic nature of politics as well as international politics.

Required Coursework:

Introductory Courses (8 credits)
  • PS 110 - Globalization, 4 credits
  • PS 201 - Power and Politics, 4 credits, or HST 111 - World Civilizations, 4 credits
Core Upper Division Courses (20 credits)
  • PS 355 - Comparative Politics, 4 credits
  • PS 358 - Terrorism, 4 credits
  • PS 421 - International Law, 4 credits
  • PS 453 - United States Foreign Relations since 1945, 4 credits
  • PS 460 or HST 460 - Grand Strategy, 4 credits
Elective Coursework (16 credits)
Students will take four courses:
  • PS 310 - The Politics of Mass Media, 4 credits
  • PS 317 - Collective Action, 4 credits
  • PS 372 - Twentieth-Century Revolutions, 4 credits
  • PS 382 or HST 382 - Vietnam War and Film, 4 credits
  • PS 452 or HST 452 - United States Foreign Relations through 1945, 4 credits
  • PS 454 or HST 454 - U.S.-Latin American Relations, 4 credits
  • PS 469 - Topics in Political Philosophy, 4 credits
  • HST 348 - Marx and Jesus in Latin America, 4 credits
  • HST 363 - History of Africa, 4 credits
  • HST 380 - War in the Modern World, 4 credits

Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement Concentration

This concentration prepares students to become engaged in many aspects of civic life, enabling them to be advocates and responsible participants in public discourse and debate. Students are immersed politics, contemporary history, communication, and public policy. Their learning is set against a background of the integration of cultures, markets and policy challenges that cut across the boundaries of nation states.

The challenging interdisciplinary curriculum is both intellectually stimulating and career-oriented, engaging students in collaborative learning. Completion of the Civic Engagement curriculum prepares students for careers as journalists, communications specialists, political campaign organizers, nonprofit and NGO entrepreneurs, policy analysts, and other cutting edge careers that harness and coordinate the aspirations of people to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Required Coursework:

Lower Division (20 credits):

Communication Sequence
Choose any two of the following courses, 8 credits

  • COMM 200 - Communication Across Culture, 4 credits
  • COMM 203 - Media Literacy, 4 credits
  • COMM 202 - Introduction to Popular Culture, 4 credits
  • COMM 210 - Public Speaking, 4 credits
  • COMM 225 - Small Group Communication, 4 credits
Political Science Sequence
Choose any two of the following courses, 8 credits
  • PS 110 - Globalization, 4 credits
  • PS 201 - Power and Politics, 4 credits
  • PS 202 - Law, Politics, and the Constitution, 4 credits
History Sequence (4 credits)
  • HST 251 - American History and Life, 4 credits

Upper Division (28 credits):

Elective Courses:
Communication Sequence (Choose any two courses, 8 credits)

  • COMM 310 - Advanced Public Speaking, 4 credits
  • COMM 330 - Interviewing and Listening, 4 credits
  • COMM 332 - Discourse Analysis of Social Problems, 4 credits
  • COMM 343 - Argumentation and Critical Thinking, 4 credits
  • COMM 355 - Communication, Culture, and Conflict, 4 credits
  • COMM 412 - Evaluation of Public Communication, 4 credits
  • COMM 441 - International Communication, 4 credits
  • COMM 460B - Communication and Third-World Development, 4 credits
  • COMM 460C - Culture, Identity, and Communication, 4 credits
  • COMM 363 - Documentary Film: Theory and Criticism, 4 credits
Political Science Sequence (Choose any three courses, 12 credits)
  • PS 310 - The Politics of Mass Media, 4 credits
  • PS 313 - American Politics, 4 credits
  • PS 317 - Collective Action, 4 credits
  • PS 324 - Political Campaigns, 4 credits
  • PS 325 - Elections, Money, and Democracy in America, 4 credits
  • PS 342 - Environmental Law and Policy, 4 credits
  • PS 358 - Terrorism, 4 credits
  • PS 360 - Politics and Film, 4 credits
  • PS 372 - Twentieth-Century Revolutions, 4 credits
  • PS 421 - International Law, 4 credits
  • PS 430A - Nonprofit Grantwriting and Government Relations, 4 credits
  • PS 430B - Nonprofit Volunteerism, Board Development, and Community Mobilization, 4 credits
  • PS 436 - Health Care Policy: “Obamacare and Beyond”, 4 credits
  • PS 469 - Topics in Political Philosophy, 4 credits
History Sequence(Choose any two courses, 8 credits)
  • HST 332 or PS 332 - Money and Power in the United States since 192, 4 credits 
  • HST 336 - Modern U.S. Society and Culture, 4 credits
  • HST 372 - Twentieth-Century Revolutions, 4 credits
  • HST 380 - War in the Modern World, 4 credits

Political Philosophy

Political Philosophy Concentration

This concentration is the only opportunity for SOU students to receive a bachelor's degree which includes the study of philosophy. Through the combination of philosophy and politics, students in this concentration explore western philosophy, intellectual history, and the intersection of philosophy and political science. This program prepares students to ask big questions regarding morals and ethics in politics.

Required Coursework:

Lower Division Requirements (12 credits)
  • PS 201 - Power and Politics, 4 credits
  • PHL 201 - Introduction to Philosophy, 4 credits, or PHL 205 - Ethics: Moral Issues, 4 credits
  • PHL 203 - Introduction to Logic 4, credits
Political Philosophy Courses (two courses, 8 credits)
  • PHL 420 - Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, 4 credits
  • PS 469 - Topics in Political Philosophy, 4 credits
Intellectual History (Choose one course, 4 credits)
  • HST 339 - World Renaissance and Reformation, 4 credits
  • HST 342 - Modern Europe, 4 credits
  • HST 348 - Marx and Jesus in Latin America, 4 credits
Upper Division Philosophy Electives (Choose three courses,12 credits)
  • PHL 301 - History of Western Philosophy, 4 credits
  • PHL 302 - History of Western Philosophy, 4 credits 
  • PHL 303 - History of Western Philosophy, 4 credits 
Or substitute one of the following for one course of the PHL 301-303 sequence:
  • PHL 323 - Moral Theory, 4 credits
  • PHL 330 - Science, Democracy, and Citizenship, 4 credits
  • or an appropriate PHL 399 or PHL 407 course
Two Political Science Electives from the list below: (8 credits)
  • PS 317 - Collective Action, 4 credits
  • PS 325 - Elections, Money, and Democracy in America, 4 credits
  • PS 341 - The Constitution and the Supreme Court, 4 credits
  • PS 358 - Terrorism, 4 credits
  • PS 421 - International Law, 4 credits
  • PS 469 - Topics in Political Philosophy, 4 credits