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What Are the Courses in an Undergraduate Degree in Political Science?

The specific titles of courses taught in an undergraduate political science degree program will vary by institution; however, core concepts in these programs are the same. Read on to learn more about the courses in an undergraduate political science degree program.

Courses in an Undergraduate Degree in Political Science

Although course offerings can differ from one program to the next, you can find commonalities in core course subjects. Core political science undergraduate degree program courses can cover the following topics:

  • Comparative politics
  • U.S. government and politics
  • Public policy
  • International relations
  • Political theory

Important Facts About Undergraduate Degrees in Political Science

DegreesBachelor of Arts (BA); Bachelor of Science (BS)
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or GED equivalent
Key SkillsInterpersonal communication, Global and cultural awareness, Problem-solving
Possible CareersDiplomat, International Market Researcher, Campaign Worker, Lobbyist
Median Salary (2018)$117,570 (Political Scientists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)3% (Political Scientists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Comparative Politics

The course is an examination of contemporary politics and political development in former Soviet bloc, Africa, Latin America and Western Europe. You'll be introduced to theories of political change and political development and the comparative method used in political science.

U.S. Government and Politics

This introductory course in American government and politics looks at the development of the local, state and federal government. You'll study the U.S. constitution, the two-party system, civil and political rights, and the procedures, powers, nature and structure of national political institutions.

Public Policy

This is a beginning course in public policy that examines the adoption, implementation and evaluation of various public policies. Most introductory courses cover such policy issues as economic regulation, foreign policy, the environment, crime, energy, poverty and civil liberties.

International Relations

International relations looks at political relations between different types of governments. Power, nationalism and international organizations are also common focuses in courses of this kind. You may study trends in international politics and explore the future of the international political system.

Political Theory

A core course in political theory examines the history of political theory, starting with Plato and Aristotle, moving through the Enlightenment and then covering modern day political theory. The course looks at theories of political order, justice, liberty and obedience.