Political Science (BS)

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This program was approved for students entering the university in the Summer 2018–Spring 2019 catalog year. For more information about catalog year, go to Catalog Year Information.

Bachelor of Science in Political Science (POLSBS)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Department: Political Science

Program Information

Bachelor of Science in Political Science program at UofL cultivates an understanding of policy, politics and governments in the United States and around the globe. We offer a wide range of courses including campaigns and elections, the Presidency and Congress, social movements and civil rights, terrorism and war, constitutional law, environmental policy, religious politics, urban politics and poverty, and international politics. The department is a particularly inviting environment for students, with small class sizes, our own building, a computer lab, and options to specialize via several tracks in our major.

Political Science majors at the University of Louisville have been extremely successful in earning prestigious scholarships and fellowships. The roster of recent successes includes numerous Fulbright Award winners and multiple Truman Scholars. Since 2010, three of our students have won the annual Mary Churchill Humphrey scholarship, often described as UofL’s Rhodes Scholarship because it supports graduate study in Great Britain. Many of our majors go on to have successful careers in government, international affairs, nongovernmental organizations, business, academia, and media.

Completion of this degree requires work to be submitted for the department’s Learning Outcomes Measurement. For details, contact the department.

Degree Summary

General Education Requirements31
College/School Requirements13-15
Program/Major Requirements24
Track Requirements51-53
Minimum Total Hours121

Specific coursework information can be found on the Degree Requirements tab.


Accelerated BA-BS/MA

The Department of Political Science also offers its undergraduate majors an opportunity to earn both a BA (or BS) degree and an MA degree at an accelerated pace.  This program allows students to complete one semester (9 credit hours) of graduate coursework while enrolled as undergraduate students.  Typically, students finish their MA degrees within three semesters of completing their undergraduate degrees.

Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and must submit an application to the Department of Political Science. Applicants should have an undergraduate major or minor in social science or have sufficient alternative preparation in the social sciences.

Departmental Admission Requirements

There are no specific admission requirements for this degree plan. 

The Application for Major form can be found on the Arts & Sciences Advising Center website: louisville.edu/artsandsciences/advising/apply.

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements31

All degrees require the completion of the University-wide General Education Program (link provided above).  Some General Education requirements may be met in the requirements for the major or supporting coursework, in which case additional electives may be required to complete the minimum hours for the degree.

College/School Requirements

Arts & Sciences Requirements
GEN 100Student Success Center Orientation1
or GEN 101 Arts and Sciences Orientation
Foreign Language 16-8
Electives in Humanities or Natural Sciences at 300 level or above 26
WR—two approved courses at the 300 level or above 3
Minimum Total Hours13-15

Program/Major Requirements

Department of Political Science
POLS 325Public Administration 53
or POLS 326 Public Policy
POLS 390Contemporary Political Research3
POLS 495Senior Seminar 63
Law and Jurisprudence Area
Select three courses:9
American Constitutional Law
American Constitutional Law
Judicial Politics
Race, Law and Politics - D1, SB
Civil Rights and the Law II
International Law 5
Law, Diplomacy and Power
Public Policy Area
Select two courses:6
Urban Politics
Policy, Community & Service
Public Administration 6
Public Policy 6
American Foreign Policy
Politics of European Integration and Foreign Policy
National and International Security: Issues and Policies
Topics in Public Policy
Environmental Policy
Topics in Urban and Public Policy
Louisville Metro Council Internship
Frankfort Legislative Internship
Track Requirements51-53
Minimum Total Hours75-77

No more than 6 hours of POLS 430POLS 510POLS 511 and/or POLS 512 may count toward the major. 

Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Graduation requirement)
Requirement fulfilled by completing:
Senior Seminar

Track Requirements 

Track in Law and Public Policy (POLSBS LP)

POLS 201Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB3
POLS 202Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB3
POLS 330International Relations3
POLS Electives 9
Supporting Courses
ECON 201
ECON 202
Principles of Microeconomics - SB
Principles of Macroeconomics - SB
6
Electives in Social Sciences other than Political Science, with 6 hours at the 300-level or above12
Minimum Electives15-17
Minimum Total Hours51-53

Track in Paralegal Studies (POLSBS PAR)

Note: Completion of the BS in Political Science with Paralegal Track is not, without dual completion of the Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies, designed to prepare students for a career as a paralegal, nor does it constitute a Paralegal degree from an ABA-accredited program.

Completion of the Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies requires at least 10 semester hours of legal specialty coursework to be completed through traditional classroom instruction.

The Associate of Arts Program in Paralegal Studies is not currently accepting applications for Admission.

POLS 201Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB3
or POLS 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB
POLS Electives 3
Paralegal Track
PARA 101Legal Systems and the Paralegal3
PARA 102Legal Research and Writing3
PARA 203Advanced Legal Research and Writing3
PARA 399Professional Ethics for Paralegals1
PARA 390Paralegal Internship3
PARA Electives15
Supporting Courses
ECON 201
ECON 202
Principles of Microeconomics - SB
Principles of Macroeconomics - SB
6
PHIL 211Critical Thinking - AH3
or PHIL 311 Introduction to Logic
MATH 107Finite Mathematics3
or MATH 180 Elements of Calculus - QR
Minimum Electives5-7
Minimum Total Hours51-53

Flight Plan

Flight Plans for Political Science (BS)

Track in Law and Public Policy

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 101
Arts and Sciences Orientation
or Student Success Center Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
POLS 201 Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences Lab - SL 1
Foreign Language 1 3-4
 Hours15
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Quantitative Reasoning - QR 3-4
General Elective 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
 Hours16-17
Year 2
Fall
POLS 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB 3
POLS 330 International Relations 3
Social Science elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 325
Public Administration
or Public Policy
3
ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics - SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
Political Science Law course 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
Year 3
Fall
Humanities or Natural Sciences WR elective (300 level or above) 3
ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics - SB 3
Political Science Law course 3
Political Science Public Policy course 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities US Diversity - AHD1 3
 Hours15
Spring
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
Social Science elective 3
Political Science Law course 3
POLS 390 Contemporary Political Research 3
Social Science elective 3
 Hours15
Year 4
Fall
Political Science Public Policy course 3
Political Science elective 3
Social Science elective (300 level or above) 3
General Elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 495 Senior Seminar 3
Political Science elective 3
Political Science elective 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours121-122

Track in Paralegal Studies

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 101
Arts and Sciences Orientation
or Student Success Center Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
MATH 180 Elements of Calculus - QR 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
PARA 101 Legal Systems and the Paralegal 3
 Hours14
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
POLS 201 Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB 3
PARA 102 Legal Research and Writing 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
 Hours16
Year 2
Fall
PARA 203 Advanced Legal Research and Writing 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences Lab - SL 1
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities US Diversity - AHD1 3
General Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring
Paralegal Studies elective (300 level or above) 3
Paralegal Studies elective (300 level or above) 3
Humanities or Natural Science WR elective (300 level or above) 3
ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics - SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
 Hours15
Year 3
Fall
POLS 325
Public Administration
or Public Policy
3
PARA 390 Paralegal Internship 3
PARA 399 Professional Ethics for Paralegals 1
Paralegal Studies elective (300 level or above) 3
Political Science Law course 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities Global Diversity - AHD2 3
 Hours16
Spring
ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics - SB 3
PHIL 211
Critical Thinking - AH
or Introduction to Logic
3
POLS 390 Contemporary Political Research 3
Paralegal Studies elective (300 level or above) 3
Political Science Policy course 3
 Hours15
Year 4
Fall
Political Science Law course 3
Political Science Policy course 3
Political Science elective 3
General Elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 495 Senior Seminar 3
General elective 2
Political Science Law course 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
Paralegal Studies elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours14
 Minimum Total Hours121

Degree Audit reports illustrate how your completed courses fulfill the requirements of your academic plan.  What-if reports allow you to compare the courses you have completed in your current academic plan to the courses required in another academic plan.  For both reports, please consult with your advisor before editing your course schedule.

To create either report:

  1. Log into your ULink account.
  2. Click on the Student Services tab.
  3. Next, click on "View my Academic Advisement Report" to run a Degree Audit report in the Undergraduate Advising area. 
  4. To create a What-if report, click on "Create a What-if Advisement Report."

Click here to run a Degree Audit report, or create a What-if report.