Home >> Undergraduate Programs >> Major/Minor Requirements

Major/Minor Requirements

The Department of Political Science requirements for the major apply to both Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. In addition to the University's requirements for graduation, the major in Political Science includes at least 30 semester hours in Political Science coursework with a grade of C- or better in each course. These 30 hours must include at least:

  • 21 semester hours at the 3000 or 4000 level or higher
  • 21 semester hours in the classroom (as distinguished from individual credits for honors, directed studies, and internships), including at least 15 semester hours at FSU
  • At least 3 of the following introductory courses:
POS1041 - American Government: National (required of all students in the major)
CPO2002 - Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
INR2002 - Introduction to International Relations
PAD3003 - Public Administration in American Society
PUP3002 - Introduction to Public Policy
  • At least 6 hours (typically 2 classes) each in 3 of the departmental subfields (American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Public Policy, Public Administration)
  • POS3713 - Research Methods in Political Science
  • No student who has accumulated three or more grades below "C-" (D+, D, D-, F, U) in political science courses taken for credit, at Florida State University or elsewhere, will be permitted to continue toward a degree with a major in political science. Please see the General Bulletin for additional detail about departmental requirements.

Political Science majors must have a minor or a second major and must meet the requirements stipulated by that department. Public Administration is not allowable as a minor because those classes can count as part of the political science major.

The majority of political scientists have adopted a method for studying political questions that differs from the approach taken by journalists, historians, and political commentators. They have adopted the scientific method, used in other disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry and medical research. This means that political scientists, as well as other social scientists, use data - quantifiable facts and figures -- to systematically test explanations of political phenomena. Much of the research in political science uses statistical tests to determine which explanations are best supported by the data.

In order to assist political science majors in understanding and evaluating social science research, the Department has designed this course to acquaint students with how the scientific method is applied to the social sciences; how social science research is designed; how data is collected; and how presentations of research findings are interpreted. This course seeks to develop basic analytic skills that students can apply in a variety of career settings.

This course should be taken as early as possible since it helps students understand the reading materials in their upper-level classes; to research topics for term papers; to participate in the internship program; and to design an honors thesis.

Minor Requirements
Students are encouraged to supplement their education with a minor in Political Science. The requirements include:

  • 15 semester hours of political science with grades of C- or better
  • 9 hours at the 3000 level or higher, including at least 6 earned at FSU
  • no more than a combined total of 6 hours in PAD and PHM prefix courses.

Any PAD course except their internship can be counted toward the minor. From the Department of Philosophy, only PHM3331 and PHM4340 can be counted. The political science internship (POS4941) cannot be counted toward the minor.

Undergraduate Forms and Information:
Undergraduate Handbook
Undergraduate Major Advising Checklist
Departmental Policy on Late/Retroactive Drop Requests
Directed Independent Study/Honors Work Request
Internship Information

Fields of Study
Academic Advising
Academic Opportunities
Undergraduate Internship