Public and International Affairs

Undergraduate Major in Political Science

  • Students pursing a B.A. degree must have 39 hours of Political Science Classes including:

    (15 hours, take all five courses)

    PLS 101 American National Government
    PLS 201 Introduction to Political Science Methods
    PLS 220 Introduction to International Relations
    PLS 230 Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
    PLS 401 Senior Seminar (need to have taken all other core classes, 30 hours completed in the major, plus senior status)

    (3 hours, take one course)
    Students must complete one of the following courses in
    Political Theory
    PLS 212 - Introduction to Political Theory
    PLS 310 - Legal Philosophy and Jurisprudence
    PLS 312 - Scope and Methods of Political Science
    PLS 313 - Early Political Thought
    PLS 314 - Modern Political Thought
    PLS 315 - Contemporary Political Ideologies
    PLS 317 - Political Thought of Asia
    PLS 415 - American Political Thought

    (18 hours, take six courses)
  • A total of 18 hours must be at the 300-400 levels.
  • PLS 401 counts toward the 300-400 level requirement, as do upper-level distribution courses listed below.
    (9 hours, take three courses):
  • Upper-level courses must include one of the following courses in American Political Behavior or Political Institutions.
    PLS 300 - American Constitutional Law I
    PLS 301 - American Constitutional Law II
    PLS 302 - Public Opinion and Democracy
    PLS 303 - Elections and Voting Behavior
    PLS 306 - Congress and the Presidency
    PLS 307 - The American Legislature
    PLS 308 - Public Administration
    PLS 309 - The American Chief Executive
    PLS 316 - Women in Politics
    PLS 340 - Blacks in American Politics
    PLS 405 - American Parties and Pressure Groups
    PLS 406 - Contemporary Southern Politics
    PLS 422 - Contemporary American Foreign Policy
  • Upper-level courses must include one of the following courses in International Relations.
    PLS 421 - Model United Nations II
    PLS 423 - National Security Policy
    PLS 424 - International Security
    PLS 425 - International Politics
    PLS 426 - International Law
    PLS 427 - International Organizations
    PLS 428 - Global Terrorism
    PLS 429 - International Political Economy.
  • Upper-level courses must include one of the following courses in Comparative Politics:
    PLS 330 - Political Systems of Africa
    PLS 331 - Politics in Developing Nations
    PLS 332 - Politics of Central America and the Caribbean
    PLS 333 - Politics of South America
    PLS 334 - Revolutionary Movements
    PLS 335 - European Political Systems
    PLS 336 - Russian and Post-Soviet Political Systems
    PLS 338 - Political Systems of the Middle East
    PLS 339 - Asian Politics.


  • Only course grades C- or better will count toward the major.
  • The overall major GPA must be 2.0 or higher.


In addition to completing requirements for the major, political science majors seeking teaching licensure in social studies must complete the Teacher Education Program requirements at the Watson College of Education and a minimum of 21 collateral hours including HST 101, HST 102, HST 104, HST 105 and HST 106, and at least one course in each of the following areas: economics, geography, and sociology or anthropology.

For information on the Teacher Education Program admissions criteria and the courses required for licensure in North Carolina, see the Watson College of Education. Students planning to pursue teaching licensure should apply to the Watson College of Education as soon as admissions requirements are met (typically in the sophomore year) and plan their programs in regular consultation with their advisors. Note: Teacher licensure requirements are established at the state level and may be changed by the state at any time.

Students planning to do graduate work are encouraged to study a modern foreign language and to acquire a basic knowledge of computer science, statistics, and calculus.

Please see the Undergraduate Catalogue for additional information.