BA with a Major in Political Science

Degree Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from UIC, students must complete university, college, and department degree requirements. The Department of Political Science degree requirements are outlined below. Students should consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies.

Summary of Requirements
Major Requirements33
General Education and Electives to reach minimum Total Hours87
Total Hours120

General Education

See General Education and Writing-in-the-Discipline in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for information on meeting these requirements.

Major Requirements

Required Courses
POLS 101Introduction to American Government and Politics a,b3
POLS 200Methods of Political Science3
Select two of the following: c6
Introduction to Political Theory
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Scope of Political Science
Select one of the following: d3
Seminar on American Politics
Topics in Comparative Politics
Seminar: Topics in International Relations
Seminar in Political Theory
Four additional political science courses at the 200-level (or above) and two additional political science courses at the 300-level (or above) e18
Total Hours33
a

This course is approved for the Understanding the Individual and Society General Education category.

b

This course is approved for the Understanding U.S. Society General Education category. 

c

Students should consult the General Education section of the catalog to determine if any of these courses are approved General Education courses. 

d

Any of these courses may be used to fulfill the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirement. 

e

Not including POLS 305.

Transfer courses in political science must have grades of C or better to count toward the major or minor.

Recommended Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing in Academic and Public Contexts 3
POLS 101 Introduction to American Government and Politics a 3
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3-5
 Hours13-15
Spring Semester
ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research 3
POLS 120
Introduction to Political Theory a
or Introduction to Comparative Politics
or Introduction to International Relations
or Scope of Political Science
3
General Education Requirement course 3
General Education Requirement course 3-5
Foreign Language 4
 Hours16-18
Second Year
Fall Semester
POLS 120
Introduction to Political Theory a
or Introduction to Comparative Politics
or Introduction to International Relations
or Scope of Political Science
3
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3
General Education Requirement course 3
General Education Requirement course 3
 Hours16
Spring Semester
POLS 200 Methods of Political Science 3
POLS 2xx, 3xx, or 4xx c 3
POLS 2xx c 3
General Education Requirement course 3-5
Foreign Language 4
 Hours16-18
Third Year
Fall Semester
POLS 2xx, 3xx, or 4xx c 3
POLS 2xx c 3
POLS 201 Political Data Analysis (or Quantitative Reasoning course) b 3-5
Electives 6
 Hours15-17
Spring Semester
POLS 3xx or 4xx e 3
Electives 12
 Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
POLS 3xx or 4xx e 3
Select one of the following in either the fall or spring semesters: c 0-3
Seminar on American Politics  
Topics in Comparative Politics  
Seminar: Topics in International Relations  
Seminar in Political Theory  
Electives 12
 Hours15-18
Spring Semester
Select one of the following in either the fall or spring semesters: c 0-3
Seminar on American Politics  
Topics in Comparative Politics  
Seminar: Topics in International Relations  
Seminar in Political Theory  
Electives 14-15
 Hours14-18
 Total Hours120
a

POLS 101 and POLS 120 may be used to satisfy two of the nine courses in the General Education Requirement.

b

Satisfies Quantitative Reasoning (with a grade of C or better) but is not required for the major. To be eligible, you must first satisfy the math prerequisite.

c

Any of these courses may be used to fulfill the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirement. May be taken fall or spring semester.