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Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The study of politics at RWU covers the institutions, processes and pre-dispositions by which human affairs are governed, both nationally and internationally. The program offers students a comprehensive and balanced selection of courses, exposing them to the traditional subfields of the discipline: American national politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, public administration, and public policy. Courses are designed to broaden student horizons and to improve student proficiency in critical analysis. Courses are also intended to provide a basis for intelligent citizenship, increase capacity for community service, and orient students toward a life-long interest in learning. Internships, independent study, and study abroad are encouraged. The study of politics at RWU develops skills that are useful for law school and legal careers, business careers, various international and public policy careers, as well as for careers in politics per se.


Majors pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in political science must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements and the College speech requirement, COMM 210. In addition, majors must complete three political science foundation courses; nine advanced courses, with at least four each from the American National Politics/Political Theory category and the International Relations/Comparative Politics category; plus a two-course research sequence in political science; plus a sufficient number of general electives to total 120 credits. Majors are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major.
The three courses listed below are required of all majors and are prerequisites for advanced courses in the relevant subfields.
POLSC 100 American Government and Politics  
POLSC 110 The United States in World Affairs  
POLSC 120 Comparative Politics  

Nine other political science courses are also required. At least four must be completed from each of the following two categories.

American National Politics

POLSC 200 The Constitution and American Politics  
POLSC 202 Congress and the Legislative Process  
POLSC 203 The American Presidency  
POLSC 260 Public Administration  
POLSC 301 Campaigns and Elections  
POLSC 302 Political Parties and Interest Groups  
POLSC 303 Politics and the Media  
POLSC 304 Public Opinion  
POLSC 305 Judicial Politics  
POLSC 306 Political Attitudes and Behavior  
POLSC 307 Gender in American Politics  
POLSC 308 Race and Ethnicity in American Politics  
POLSC 309 Film and Politics  
POLSC 350 Political Theory  
POLSC 361 State and Local Government  
POLSC 362 Urban Politics  
POLSC 375 Health Policy  
POLSC 380 Public Policy  
POLSC 383 Global Environmental Politics  
POLSC 400 Washington Internship  
POLSC 401 Washington Public Policy Seminar  
POLSC 402 Washington Independent Research Project  
POLSC 430 Special Topics (American National Politics or Political Theory topic)  
POLSC 440 Independent Research Project  

International Relations/Comparative Politics/Political Theory

POLSC 210 International Relations  
POLSC 212 Model United Nations  
POLSC 215 Strategy and National Security Policy  
POLSC 221 Comparative Politics in the Third World  
POLSC 309 Film and Politics  
POLSC 321 Politics and Ethnic Conflict  
POLSC 325 Modern European Politics  
POLSC 326 Post-Communist World  
POLSC 327 Politics of the Middle East  
POLSC 328 Politics of Latin America  
POLSC 330 Revolution and Social Change  
POLSC 335 International Negotiation  
POLSC 340 International Political Economy  
POLSC 346 Foreign Policies of Russia and China  
POLSC 348 Rogue States, Allies, and Regional Powers  
POLSC 350 Political Theory  
POLSC 383 Global Environmental Politics  
POLSC 386 International Law and Organization  
POLSC 428 Mexican Politics  
POLSC 429 Cultures in Contact: Mexico Today  
POLSC 430 Special Topics (International Relations or Comparative Politics topic)  
POLSC 440 Independent Research Project  


a two course research sequence – examining in depth a topic chosen by the student – completes the major:

POLSC 240 Research Methods in Political Science  
POLSC 442 Senior Research Seminar