Major in Political Science

Few majors offer the opportunity to be at the forefront of addressing the underlying problems that continue to plague our societies.

From world peace to health care policy to economic growth and stability, graduates with a degree in political science are prepared to enter a world of policy and debate with the tools needed to effect change at all levels of society.

A political science major provides excellent preparation for a wide range of fields, including law, government and community service, journalism, management, policymaking, finance and communications.

Major Requirements

The major in political science requires grades of C- or better in a minimum of nine courses in the department: eight core courses and one elective course. The senior seminar should be taken during the term prior to graduation.

Core Courses

The following two courses are required:

  • POL 201 American Federal Government (or equivalent)
  • POL 445 Senior Seminar

American Politics

Choose two courses from the following:

  • POL 202 American State and Local Government
  • POL 240 Law and Politics
  • POL 300 Urban Politics
  • POL 305 The American Presidency
  • POL 320 Congress
  • POL 360 Public Policy and Administration
  • POL 365 Environmental Politics and Policy
  • POL 411 Constitutional Law I: Civil Liberties
  • POL 412 Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights

World Politics

Choose two courses from the following:

  • POL 301 Comparative Politics: The New Europe
  • POL 302 Politics of Developing Nations
  • POL 303 Politics of the Middle East
  • POL 306 Politics of International Relations
  • POL 307 American Foreign Policy
  • POL 310 International Organizations
  • POL 406 Politics of International Economic Relations

Political Thought

Choose two courses from the following:

  • POL 314 Classical Political Thought
  • POL 315 Modern and Contemporary Political Theory
  • POL 319 American Political Thought
  • POL 401 Feminist Political Theory
  • POL 402 Political Justice

Electives

Choose one elective from the following (if not taken for the core):

  • BID 205 Understanding Politics through Literature
  • BID 308 European Union and Cities: Regional Integration and Urbanization in the European Union
  • BID 330 Federal Politics and Media Ethics
  • BID 335 Psychology and Political Philosophy of Gender
  • BID 355 Native Americans: Public Policy, Religion and Justice
  • BID 357 Feminist Poetry
  • POL 150 Introduction to Politics
  • POL 202 American State and Local Government
  • POL 240 Law and Politics
  • POL 300 Urban Politics
  • POL 301 Comparative Politics: The New Europe
  • POL 302 Politics of Developing Nations
  • POL 303 Politics of the Middle East
  • POL 305 The American Presidency
  • POL 306 Politics of International Relations
  • POL 307 American Foreign Policy
  • POL 310 International Organizations
  • POL 314 Classical Political Thought
  • POL 315 Modern and Contemporary Political Theory
  • POL 319 American Political Thought
  • POL 320 Congress
  • POL 340 Introduction to Law
  • POL 351 Mock Trial I (Fall Term; 1 credit or non-credit)
  • POL 352 Mock Trial J (January Term; non-credit)
  • POL 353 Mock Trial II* (Spring Term; .50 credit or non-credit)
  • POL 354 Mock Trial Spring Only (Spring Term; non-credit)
  • POL 360 Public Policy and Administration
  • POL 365 Environmental Politics and Policy
  • POL 401 Feminist Political Theory
  • POL 402 Political Justice
  • POL 406 Politics of International Economic Relations
  • POL 411 Constitutional Law I: Civil Liberties
  • POL 412 Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights
  • POL 452 Special Topics in Political Science
  • POL 468 Internships
  • POL 492 Independent Study

The Minor

A minor in political science is a valuable asset to any major, because the study of political science enhances our ability to make informed decisions, contribute to society and provides a versatile set of skills that can be applied to many careers.

The minor in political science consists of a minimum of five courses, three of which must be above the 200 level. One course must be in political thought. At least three courses must be taken at Elmhurst College.

Licensure for Secondary Teaching

Students who plan to pursue teacher licensure must complete additional course work in professional and Integrated Curriculum. In addition, students must also complete courses in broadfield social studies.

Students are required to demonstrate basic academic proficiency to be admitted to the secondary licensure program in the Department of Education, pass the social science: political science content-area test (#117), and pass edTPA in order to get a Professional Educator License. See the director of secondary education for further information.

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