Major Requirements

Political Science majors are required to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA in all major coursework completed at OSU. S/U grading (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) in major courses is not allowed.  Majors must also earn at least a C- in the PS 300 Research Methods course.

Students selecting a major in Political Science must complete at least 52 credits of Political Science coursework, of which at least 36 credits must be upper division coursework (300-400 level). As part of these overall credit totals, Political Science majors must complete:


I. Foundation Courses (12 credits)

The school encourages students to take the foundation courses in their first or second year.

Students must take at least 3 of the introductory courses (12 credits)

  • PS 201 Introduction to United State Government and Politics (4)
  • PS 204 Introduction to Comparative Politics (4)
  • PS 205 Introduction to International Relations (4)
  • PS 206 Introduction to Political Thought (4)

Few upper-division political science courses have enforced pre-requisites, but taking the corresponding intro course is often good preparation (for example, PS 201 Introduction to United States Government would assist with PS 321 Constitutional Law: Government Powers and Constraints).


II. Methods and WIC (4 credits)

Students must take the designated Methods/WIC course for the major. The school encourages students to take the Methods/WIC course late in their second or early in their third year.

  • PS 300 Research Methods (4)


III. Upper Division Subfield Courses (36 credits total)

Students must take one upper division course in at least 3 out of the 4 subfields:

  1. American national government and politics, to include the judiciary, state and local government, public policy, public administration: PS 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 325, 326, 331, 371, 372, 374, 375, 381, 382, 383, 384, 455, 473, 475, 476, 477, or 478.
  2. Comparative politics: PS 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 348, 350, 441, or 446.
  3. International relations: PS 351, 354, 356, 427, 428, 453, 455, 457, 458, 470, 474, or 477.
  4. Political philosophy: PS 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 413, or 461.


IV. Potential for Learning Outside the Classroom

Political science majors are strongly encouraged to pursue experiential learning and other educational opportunities outside of the classroom, and these experiences can be used to fulfill some political science graduation requirements. Such experiences can include research, thesis writing, projects, or internship. Credits will be placed in the appropriate PS 401–PS 410 designator. A maximum of 8 credits from any combination of PS 401–PS 410 may be applied to the major, although additional credits from courses in this range may be applied to general graduation requirements. Additional experiential learning opportunities include "field schools" and study abroad. Student should discuss all of these opportunities with the political science undergraduate advisor.


Undergraduate Major Options


Undergraduate Major Degree Maps