Bachelor of Arts Degree
Arts and Sciences
Time to Completion
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Contact InformationDepartment Website
1110 Crosley Tower
PO Box 210375
What Is Political Science ?
Political science is the study of politics and government, both in the United States and around the world. Political science majors develop strong research and analytical skills while exploring topics such as the philosophies on which governments have been founded, the ways in which citizens affect and are affected by their governments, and relationships within the international community.
Political science majors typically possess (or are willing to develop) the strong analytical skills necessary for interpreting and evaluating arguments. Most like to read and succeed when asked to work independently. Political science students also enjoy vigorous in-class discussion and like to apply their learning to real-world problems as well as to theoretical concerns. Consequently, political science majors enjoy researching and debating different points of view on wide-ranging issues involving politics and public affairs.
Like students who graduate with other liberal arts majors, graduates with a B.A. in political science are prepared for many different career options. While many political science majors use their degree to prepare for law school and eventual legal careers, other students establish careers in:
- State, local and federal government
- Party politics
- Secondary education
- Public relations
Majors also pursue graduate degrees in political science, becoming professors and researchers in colleges and universities.
The department in UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) offers a wide range of courses designed to equip the student with basic and advanced information about political life in this country and abroad; conceptual, communication and methodological skills; normative and analytic theories with which to study contemporary and emerging public issues; and an awareness of how political science relates to the other social sciences and the humanities.
The department's own graduate programs (M.A. and Ph.D.) contribute to undergraduate teaching and learning. Majors belong to the Political Science Student Association, the undergraduate chapter of the Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, and have participated in mock trial competitions, model United Nations simulations and Naval Academy conferences. Many students do internships in a variety of governmental, political or legal positions.
A&S provides flexible degree requirements to allow for and encourage multiple areas of study. Free electives allow students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.
- International human rights
- Languages or area studies
- Security studies
Students minoring in political science must complete a total of 30 hours with no less than a 2.0 grade point average. Students should declare the POL minor.
I. Four Introductory Courses (12 hours from the following):
POL 110 Introduction to American Politics I
POL 111 Introduction to American Politics II
POL 140 Introduction to Political Theory
POL 160 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POL 180 Introduction to International Relations
II. Six Upper Level Courses (18 hours in Political Science Field Distribution Courses (listed on the major checklist). Courses are listed in four separate distribution areas: American Politics, Political Theory, Comparative Politics, and International Relations. Students pursuing the minor can take any combination of courses they choose, based on their own interests and goals. As a result, students pursuing the minor might not necessarily have one course from each of the four areas. Each course counts only once, but some are listed under multiple areas.)
Additional Electives (optional and only with department permission)
POL 406 Internship Practicum
POL 253 Political Inquiry I: Approaches
POL 254 Political Inquiry II: Methods
* recommended for pre-law students
This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this major. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.
If you are currently enrolled at UC, you can audit your degree online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school use the course applicability system (CAS) to see how credits you have earned will apply to this major at UC. For course descriptions by college, click here.
|First Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*English Composition||ENGL 101-102||6|
|Elementary Probability & Statistics (QR)||STAT 147-148-149||9|
|*Foreign Language||see checklist||9-15|
|Introduction to American Politics I & II||POL 110-111||6|
|Introduction to Political Theory||POL 140||3|
|Introduction to Comparative Politics||POL 160||3|
|Introduction to International Relations||POL 180||3|
|*Humanities (HU)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||0-6|
|Total for first year||45|
|Second Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*Intermediate Composition||ENGL 289||3|
|*Foreign Language (if necessary)||see checklist||0-9|
|Political Inquiry I & II: Approaches & Methods||POL 253-254||6|
|Field Distribution Course: American Politics||see major checklist||3|
|Field Distribution Course: Political Theory||see major checklist||3|
|Field Distribution Course: Comparative Politics||see major checklist||3|
|Field Distribution Course: International Relations||see major checklist||3|
|*Literature (LT)||see offerings||3|
|*Natural Science (NS)||see offerings||9|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||0-9|
|Total for second year||45|
|Third & Fourth Years||Course Number||Credits|
|Field Distribution Courses: (chosen from any area)||see major checklist||24-27|
|Capstone (choose one of the following options)||3-6|
|(a) Senior Project||POL 490||(3-6)|
|(b) Graduate Seminar||POL 700-level||(varies)|
|(c) Senior Thesis - Honors||POL 495-496||(varies)|
|*Social Sciences (SS)||see offerings||6|
|*Humanities, Literature, or Fine Arts (HU, LT, or FA)||see offerings||3|
|*Social & Ethical Issues (if not already taken, SE)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||45|
|Total for third & fourth years||90|
|Minimum total overall||180|
*Needed to fulfill A&S college requirements.
Students in McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tri-state location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.
Political science majors benefit from the active research mission of the department, including not only faculty scholarship but also a vibrant M.A./Ph.D. program, both of which enhance the learning environment for undergraduates. In conjunction with the political science major, the department administers certificate programs in security studies (international and homeland security), international human rights and Asian studies. The department also enjoys long-standing research excellence in political behavior, public opinion polling, survey research and other areas of American politics.
Political science majors belong to the Political Science Student Association and the undergraduate chapters of the national law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta and the national honor society in political science Pi Sigma Alpha.
Students are also eligible to apply for grants for research and travel from The Charles Phelps Taft Research Center.
Special programs include honors, independent study, internships, credit for approved field projects in the metropolitan area and competitive congressional internships in Washington, D.C.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA. Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following state of Ohio articulation requirements with no more than two units missing:
- English (4 units)*
- College-preparatory mathematics (3 units)*
- Science (2 units)
- Social science (2 units)
- Foreign language (2 units)*
- Additional college-prep subjects (3 units)
*McMicken College of Arts and Sciences does not allow units missing from these areas.
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was not in any of the UC colleges must apply through the Office of Admissions. Applicants in this category must submit transcripts for all secondary school and college-level work. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all college-level work is required for admission consideration. Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus applicants who have received an associate degree from an accredited college or university and whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.
Changing Major Requirements
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was as a degree student in one of UC’s other colleges can apply directly to the A&S college office. Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus students who have:
- at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions),
- successfully completed two quarters of English composition or its equivalent, and
- gained credit for a college-level mathematics course.
A&S students must meet the college residency requirement of 45.0 hours which begins immediately upon matriculation in the college and consists of courses taught within A&S.
To graduate from McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:
- Earn at least 180 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit, and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 180.
- Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
- Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
- Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 45 credits after matriculating into the college. These minimum 45 credits must be taught within McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (15), and also must be completed after gaining admission to the college.
- Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
- Complete the College Core Requirements.
- Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.
UC operates on a quarter system, with 10-week grading periods beginning in late September, early January, late March and mid-June. While midyear admission is possible, fall quarter is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that quarter. Applicants to McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).