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Political Science

Political science students at Saint Louis University learn how to address big questions, such as what makes a government legitimate or what makes up a good society. You’ll discover the root causes of global issues such as terrorism, poverty, refugees and war. And you’ll be prepared to understand political power at all levels.


Study elections in the United States, the role of law in political systems, economic development and democratization around the world, and diplomacy and globalization.

Major in Political Science

Students who study political science at SLU benefit from a program that combines the best aspects of a liberal arts college and a top research university. You’ll work with caring and enthusiastic faculty members and have the chance to participate in projects that address pressing national and international issues.

SLU’s degree in political science is a 34-credit hour program that includes courses in American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political thought.

You can choose among three options if you pursue a Bachelor of Arts in political science at SLU:

  • A general B.A. that allows you to pick courses that fit your particular interests.
  • A concentration in international affairs through which you’ll study such topics as economic development, international security and political change around the world (see concentration requirements).
  • A concentration in public law that focuses on law and courts and the relationship of both to larger issues of justice, social change and democracy (see concentration requirements).
  • A concentration in public policy that examines the practical application of knowledge to governance and social issues (see concentration requirements).

Honors Thesis:Qualified and highly motivated political science majors at SLU may complete an honors thesis. If you wish to do an honors thesis in political science you will need to inform theDepartment of Political Science chair of your interest in the spring of your junior year.

Students doing an honors thesis must have a political science GPA of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.4. The program involves a full year, two-course sequence: POLS 4990: Research Design and POLS 4991: Political Science Honors Thesis. Students doing honors theses will have a 37-hour major.

Accelerated option:SLU’s accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s program enables talented political science majors to start taking graduate courses before they have completed requirements for their bachelor’s degree. Applying for the program requires no fee or additional test scores.

  • POLS 1150: American Politics
  • POLS 2000: Methods in Political Science
  • One course in comparative politics
  • One course in international relations
  • One course in political thought picked from the following:
      • POLS 1700: Foundations of Political Theory
      • POLS 2700: Issues in Political Philosophy
      • POLS 3710: Ancient and Medieval Political Thought
      • POLS 3720: Renaissance Political Thought
      • POLS 3770: Feminist Theory, Gender Justice
      • Two 4000-level seminars - six credit hours (prerequisite: at least one course in the same subfield and at least junior standing - or instructor permission)
  •  Two 4000-level seminars - six credit hours (prerequisite: at least one course in the same subfield and at least junior standing - or instructor permission)
      • As an alternative to one of the 4000-level seminars, students having a grade-point average of 3.30 or better may, with department chair approval, take POLS 4960, an individual research project under the supervision of a political science faculty member.

      • With permission, students may write a political science honors thesis, which can substitute for one of the 4000-level seminars. Follow link to the right for more information.

      • Students may substitute 5000-level seminars taught by regular political science faculty for the required 4000-level seminars.

  •  Political science electives - 12 credit hours 

Model Course Schedule

Internships and Careers

Undergraduate students majoring in political science at SLU may take six credit hours of electives through internships offered in areas such as campaign practicum, foreign service, state and federal government, and overseas fieldwork.

Graduates from SLU with a degree in political science are prepared for jobs in government, international organizations, community and nonprofit organizations, education, law, NGOs, journalism, diplomacy, survey research and fields related to the promotion of social justice.

An undergraduate degree in political science also provides marketable skills in empirical data analysis and practical problem-solving. It is a traditional major for students interested in law school or planning a career in politics.


SLU’s political science faculty members are experts in a wide range of fields, including the American presidency, Asian and Middle Eastern politics, international security, political leadership and public policy.

  • Ellen Carnaghan, Ph.D.
  • J.D. Bowen
  • Wynne Moskop, Ph.D.
  • Robert Cropf, Ph.D.
  • James Gilsinan, Ph.D.
  • Ruth Groff, Ph.D.
  • Morgan Hazelton, Ph.D.
  • Nori Katagiri, Ph.D.
  • Michelle Lorenzini, Ph.D.
  • Steven Rogers, Ph.D.
  • Robert Strikwerda, Ph.D.
  • Emmanuel Uwalaka, Ph.D.
  • Kenneth Warren, Ph.D.
  • Penny Weiss, Ph.D.
Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
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Financial Aid

Minor in Political Science

To earn a minor in political science at SLU, students complete six courses with 18 credit hours of coursework.

If you pursue a general course of study, you will take three courses in three of the four major subfields of political science for a total of nine hours:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Thought

You also take three political science electives, for an additional nine hours of study.

You may also choose to specialize your study in one of the major subfields. In that case, you will take three courses from just one of the subfields, as well as nine hours of political science electives. No more than six hours of transfer credit and no more than three credits of internship can count toward the minor.

Benefits of Majoring in Political Science at SLU

Address Pressing Issues

SLU's unique location in the heart of St. Louis opens up opportunities for you to understand first-hand the challenges that face American cities and to gain the skills needed to affect change in your own communities. You can pursue internships in local or national government or with the many non-profit organizations in St. Louis.

Students who concentrate in public law have many opportunities for internships and benefit from assistance in law school applications from our department specialist in law and judicial politics.

Students who concentrate in international affairs can participate in interdisciplinary programs at SLU, including middle east studies, Russian and east European area studies, and Latin American studies. You can also study abroad at our sister campus in Madrid, Spain, or at many other locations worldwide.