The Law and Politics option in Political Science will provide students with the opportunity to focus their undergraduate studies on topics involving:

  • The role of the courts and other relevant institutions in defining the breadth and scope of government
  • Judicial procedures and behaviors and their implications for our democracy
  • Relationships between the various branches of the U.S. government, as well as between state and federal governments
  • Normative arguments regarding justice and equality in theory and in practice

This option is relevant for students who are interested in a career in law, politics, and/or public service in relevant government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector, primarily at the local, state, or national level.



Note: Major options are not available for Ecampus students.


I. Foundation Courses (12 credits)

Students must take at least 3 of the introductory courses, including:

  1. PS 201. Introduction to United States Government and Politics (4), AND
  2. PS 206. Introduction to Political Thought (4), and AND
  3. EITHER PS 204. Introduction to Comparative Politics (4) OR PS 205. Introduction to International Relations (4)


II. Methods/WIC (4 credits)

PS 300. Research Methods (4)


III. Upper Division Option Courses (24 credits)

Select 24 credits from the list below.  Up to 8 upper division credits can come from classes listed below in the programs of Economics and Sociology. Other courses as approved by the department.

PS 311. Congressional Politics (4)
PS 312. Presidential Politics (4)
PS 325. Gender and Law (4)
PS 326. Judicial Process and Politics (4)
PS 331. State and Local Politics (4)
PS 354. International Law and Organizations (4)

PS 361. Classical Political Thought (4)
PS 362. Modern Political Thought (4)
PS 363. Gender and Race in American Political Thought (4)
PS 364. Contemporary Political Theory (4)
PS 365. American Political Thought (4)
PS 366. From Atlantis to Utopia: The Politics of the Ideal State (4)
PS 371. Public Policy Problems (4)
PS 372. Public Administration (4)
PS 375. The Civil Rights Movement and Policies (4)
PS 381. Constitutional Law: Government Powers and Constraints (4)
PS 382. Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (4)
PS 383. Constitutional Law: Civil Rights (4)
PS 384. Constitutional Law: Rights of the Accused (4)
PS 413. Ethics in Public Policy (4)

ECON 461. Law, Economics, and Regulation (4)
SOC 340. Deviant Behavior and Social Control (4)
SOC 438. US Immigration Issues in the 21st Century (4)
SOC 440. Juvenile Delinquency (4)
SOC 441. Criminology and Penology (4)

SOC 442. Sociology of Drug Use and Abuse (4)
SOC 448. Law and Society (4)


IV. Political Science Electives (12 credits)

Any political science courses may be taken to reach the minimum of 52 total credits in the major with at least 36 of these at the upper-division level.


V. Learning Outside the Classroom

Political science majors are strongly encouraged to pursue educational opportunities outside of the classroom, and these experiences can fulfill some political science graduation requirements.  Such experiences can include research, thesis writing, projects or internships.  Credits will be placed in the appropriate PS 401 - 410 designator.  A maximum of 8 credits from any combination of PS 401 - 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.  Students can discuss all of these opportunities with the political science undergraduate advisor.