Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Political science is the study of power—who wields it and to what end. Political science majors study how governments interact with individuals or other governments and examine the results of those interactions.

Students choose courses from five areas of study: American government and politics, comparative government and politics, political theory, international relations, and public administration and public policy. As they progress through the major, they develop writing and critical thinking skills, as well as a better understanding of the world around them.

Political science majors have gone on to careers in all levels of government, including working for the governor or U.S. senators and even running for office themselves. After graduation, students also may go into teaching, work for a multinational corporation or attend graduate or law school.

Review the political science handbook.

University Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of 120 credits. A typical class consists of three credits. At least 42 of these credits must be taken at the 300 or above level. Students should review the admission information and registration and records chapters in their catalog year for more information.

College of Liberal Arts Requirements

All students must declare both a major and minor and complete requirements for each. The political science department accepts any minor approved by the College of Liberal Arts.

Completion of four semesters of foreign language is required. The University of Nevada, Reno offers two years of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. This requirement also may be fulfilled by the completion of the fourth year of high school language or by passing a placement exam.

Additional College Requirements (6-20 Credits)

*Credits may vary depending on initial course placement in foreign language.

Foreign Language (0-14 Credits)

Successful completion of the foreign language requirement may be accomplished through one of four options:

  1. Complete a fourth semester college course in a foreign language
  2. Complete a fourth semester course in American Sign Language;
  3. Demonstrate proficiency through placement examination or other means through the Department of World Language
  4. Show transcript evidence of successful completion of a fourth-year high school course in foreign language

College Breadth Requirement (6 Credits)

Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in the college shall be required to take, within the College of Liberal Arts, two courses (6 credits) that are outside the departments in which they major or minor and that exclude courses taken to fulfill Core Curriculum requirements.

Major Requirements (30 Credits)

PSC 101 is required for the Political Science major, but does not have to be taken first. Thirty credits are required for the major with at least one of the classes in each of the following five areas. Eighteen of the credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above. Only six credits of internship courses may be used to fill the 30-credit requirement.

Minor Requirements (18-21 Credits)

Students must complete 18-21 credits in a minor. The Political Science department accepts any minor approved by the College of Liberal Arts.

Electives (16-30 Credits)

Total Credits 120
Note: A candidate for a bachelor's degree must earn a minimum of 42 credits numbered 300 or above.

More Info