Saint Louis University

Major in Political Science

Students can choose among four options for their B.A.:

  • A general major that allows students to pick courses that fit their particular interests (requirements below)
  • A concentration in international affairs that permits students to study such topics as economic development, international security, and political change around the world (requirements here)
  • A concentration in public law that focuses attention on law and courts and the relationship of both to larger issues of justice, social change, and democracy (requirements here)
  • A concentration in public policy that examines the practical application of knowledge to governance and social issues (requirements here)

Requirements for the general B.A (34 hours, including the following):

One course in each of the following sub-fields of Political Science:

American Politics - All students must complete POLS 1150 American Political Systems (If student declared for the Political Science major prior to fall 2015, POLS 110 will count for this requirement). 3 credit hours

Comparative Politics - pick one class, 3 credit hours

International Relations - pick one class, 3 credit hours

Political Thought - pick one class from POLS 1700 Foundations of Political Theory, POLS 2700 Issues in Political Philosophy, POLS 3710 Ancient and Medieval Political Thought, POLS 3720 Renaissance and Modern Political Thought, or POLS 3770 Feminist Theory, Gender Justice, 3 credit hours

POLS 2000 Methods in Political Science - 4 credit hours, including lab (prerequisite: any two Political Science classes or instructor permission)

Two 4000-level seminars - 6 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 (formerly POLS 483), 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

Political science majors may not count more than four 1000 level courses toward work toward the 34-hours Political Science requirement. Majors may not count more than six hours of independent study (POLS 4980) and/or internship work toward the major. Majors must complete at least four 3000 or higher courses. Only 15 hours of transfer credit can apply towards the major. The two 4000-level courses and the methods class must be completed at Saint Louis University and not by transfer credit. Substitutions must be approved by the department Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies.


Electives to complete 120 credit hours.

Some rules for picking classes

Model course schedule

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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