Political Science (BA)

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

Program Information

Bachelor of Arts 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 Requirements 131
College/School Requirements22
Program/Major Requirements 115
Track Requirements 1, 253
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 Requirements *31
The following courses are required by the program and satisfy the respective General Education Requirement(s):
Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB

*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 112
Electives in Humanities or Natural Sciences 29
WR—two approved courses at the 300 level or above 3
Minimum Total Hours22

Program/Major Requirements

Department of Political Science
POLS 201Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB 43
POLS 202Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB 43
POLS 330International Relations3
POLS 390Contemporary Political Research 53
POLS 495Senior Seminar - CUE, WR (CUE) 63
Track Requirements (see Tracks tab for coursework) 753
Minimum Total Hours68

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

Only 40 hours in the major department may be applied toward the Bachelor of Arts Degree.

At least 50 of the total minimum hours required must be at the 300 level or above. 

Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Graduation requirement)
Requirement fulfilled by completing:
Senior Seminar - CUE, WR

Track Requirements 

Students who satisfy General Education Requirements by courses defined by the program will require additional electives to complete the minimum hours for the degree.

Track in Applied Politics (POLSBA APO)

Political Institutions
Select two of the following: 6
Urban Political Economy
Urban Politics
State Government
American Presidency
Judicial Politics
American Congress
Public Administration
Public Policy
International Organization - WR
Political Identity and Behavior
Select two of the following: 6
Gender, Sexuality & Law
Religion and United States Politics
Media and Politics
Civil Rights and the Law II
Public Opinion
American Political Parties and Elections
Queer Politics
Women in American Politics
African American Politics - D1, SB
Information Technology and Politics
Global Environmental Politics
Women in Developing Countries - WR
Experiential Learning
Select one of the following: 3
Policy, Community & Service
Cooperative Internship in Political Science
Chinese Culture
Louisville Metro Council Internship
Practicum
Frankfort Legislative Internship
Coping with Conflict
International Negotiation
POLS Elective3
Supporting Courses
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics - SB3
Minimum Electives32
Minimum Total Hours53

Track in Global Politics and International Affairs (POLSBA GIA)

International Relations Area
Select two of the following: 6
International Organization - WR
International Law - WR
American Foreign Policy
The Politics of Global Economic Relations
Global Environmental Politics
Politics of European Integration and Foreign Policy
Law, Diplomacy and Power
National and International Security: Issues and Policies
Terrorism
Political Violence
Politics of Oil
World Order
Latin America in the World
Topics in International Relations
Topics in World Affairs
Topics in International Relations
Coping with Conflict
International Negotiation
Comparative Politics Area
Select two of the following: 6
Comparative Urban Politics
Information Technology and Politics
Politics and Government of Western Europe
Russia and Eurasia - WR
Democratization
Comparative Political Culture - WR
African Government and Politics
Introduction to Middle East Politics
Political Islam
Comparative Political Economy
Politics of Oil
Politics of East Asia
Politics and Government of Southeast Asia
Comparative Political Development in Latin America
Latin America in the World
Topics in Comparative Politics
The United States and East Asia - WR
Topics in Comparative Politics
Women in Developing Countries - WR
POLS Electives 16
Supporting Courses
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics - SB3
Minimum Electives32
Minimum Total Hours53

No Track - Political Science BA (POLSBA)

Students in this plan of study are required to take at least one course from each of Political Science's five subfields. 

American Politics 23
Select one of the following:
State Government
American Presidency
American Constitutional Law
American Constitutional Law
Judicial Politics
Race, Law and Politics - D1, SB
Gender, Sexuality & Law
American Congress
Religion and United States Politics
Media and Politics
Civil Rights and the Law II
Public Opinion
American Political Parties and Elections
Queer Politics
Women in American Politics
African American Politics - D1, SB
Topics in American Politics
Topics in American Politics
Topics in Digital Politics
Public Policy 2, 33
Choose one of the following:
Urban Political Economy
Comparative Urban Politics
Urban Politics
Policy, Community & Service
Public Administration
Public Policy
American Foreign Policy
Topics in Public Policy
Environmental Policy
Topics in Urban and Public Policy
Louisville Metro Council Internship
Practicum
Frankfort Legislative Internship
International Relations 2, 3, 4, 53
Choose one of the following:
International Organization - WR
International Law - WR
American Foreign Policy
The Politics of Global Economic Relations
Global Environmental Politics
Politics of European Integration and Foreign Policy
Law, Diplomacy and Power
National and International Security: Issues and Policies
Terrorism
Political Violence
Politics of Oil
World Order
Latin America in the World
Topics in International Relations
Topics in World Affairs
Topics in International Relations
Coping with Conflict
International Negotiation
Comparative Politics 2, 4, 53
Choose one of the following:
Comparative Urban Politics
Information Technology and Politics
Politics and Government of Western Europe
Russia and Eurasia - WR
Democratization
Comparative Political Culture - WR
African Government and Politics
Introduction to Middle East Politics
Political Islam
Comparative Political Economy
Politics of Oil
Politics of East Asia
Politics and Government of Southeast Asia
Comparative Political Development in Latin America
Latin America in the World
Topics in Comparative Politics
The United States and East Asia - WR
Topics in Comparative Politics
Women in Developing Countries - WR
Political Theory 23
Choose one of the following:
Early Political Thought
Modern Political Thought
American Political Thought
Democracy and Its Critics - WR
Political Theory and Utopia - WR
American Utopian Communities
Contemporary Political Theory
Topics in Political Theory
Topics in Political Theory - WR
Feminist Theory - WR
Political Science Electives6
Supporting Courses
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics - SB3
Electives in Social Sciences other than Political Science, with 9 hours at the 300-level or above15
Minimum Electives14
Minimum Total Hours53

Flight Plan


No Track - Political Science (BA)

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
POLS 201 Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB 3
POLS 111 Political Discourse - OC 3
ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics - SB 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
 Hours16-17
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
POLS 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
Foreign Language 2 3
General Elective 3
 Hours15
Year 2
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Quantitative Reasoning - QR 3-4
Foreign Language 3 3-4
Political Science American Politics elective 3
General Elective 3
 Hours15-17
Spring
POLS 330 International Relations 3
Humanities or Natural Science Wr elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences Lab - SL 1
Foreign Language 4 3-4
Political Science Comparative Politics elective 3
 Hours16-17
Year 3
Fall
Social Science elective 3
Social Science elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities US Diversity - AHD1 3
Political Science International Relations elective 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 390 Contemporary Political Research 3
Political Science Public Policy elective 3
Social Science elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
Social Science elective 3
 Hours15
Year 4
Fall
Social Science elective (300 level or above) 3
Political Science Political Theory elective 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
Political Science elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 495 Senior Seminar - CUE, WR 3
Political Science elective 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours122-126

Track in Applied Politics

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
POLS 201 Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
General Elective 3
General Elective 2
 Hours15-16
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
POLS 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
 Hours15-16
Year 2
Fall
POLS 330 International Relations 3
General Elective 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Quantitative Reasoning - QR 3-4
Foreign Language 3 3-4
 Hours15-17
Spring
ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics - SB 3
Humanities or Natural Science WR Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences Lab - SL 1
General Elective 3
Foreign Language 4 3-4
 Hours16-17
Year 3
Fall
General elective 3
General elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities US Diversity - AHD1 3
Political Science elective 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 390 Contemporary Political Research 3
Political Science Political Institutions course 3
General elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
Political Science Experiential Learning course 3
 Hours15
Year 4
Fall
Political Science Political Institutions course 3
Political Science Political Identity course 3
General elective (300 level or above) 3
General elective 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 495 Senior Seminar - CUE, WR 3
Political Science Political Identity course 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours121-126

Track in Global Politics and International Affairs

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center Orientation
or Arts and Sciences Orientation
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing - WC 3
POLS 201 Introduction to American Government and Politics - SB 3
Foreign Language 1 3-4
General elective 3
General elective 2
 Hours15-16
Spring
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing - WC 3
POLS 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics - D2, SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
Foreign Language 2 3-4
 Hours15-16
Year 2
Fall
POLS 330 International Relations 3
General Elective 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences Historical Perspective - SBH 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Quantitative Reasoning - QR 3-4
Foreign Language 3 3-4
 Hours15-17
Spring
ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics - SB 3
Humanities or Natural Science WR Elective (300 level or above) 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences Lab - SL 1
General elective 3
Foreign Language 4 3-4
 Hours16-17
Year 3
Fall
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
General elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 390 Contemporary Political Research 3
Political Science International Relations course 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities US Diversity - AHD1 3
Social Science elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
Year 4
Fall
Political Science International Relations course 3
Political Science Comparative Politics course 3
Humanities or Natural Science elective (300 level or above) 3
Political Science elective 3
General elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
POLS 495 Senior Seminar - CUE, WR 3
Political Science Comparative Politics course 3
Political Science elective 3
General elective 3
General elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours121-126

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.