Political Science

Major Requirements

Major: Political Science

Degree Type: B.A. or B.S.
Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate: 120

University Degree Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of all requirements of the curriculum in which one is enrolled.
  2. Earn a minimum total of 120 credits in approved coursework.  Some academic programs exceed this minimum.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the general education requirements as specified by the university.
  4. A minimum institutional GPA of 2.00 based on work taken at NDSU.
  5. At least 30 credits must be NDSU resident credits.  Resident credits include credits registered and paid for at NDSU.
  6. At least 36 credits presented for graduation must be in courses numbered 300 or higher.
  7. Students presenting transfer credit must meet the NDSU residence credits and the minimum upper level credit. Of the 30 credits earned in residence, a minimum of 15 semester credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above, and 15 semester credits must be in the student’s curricula for their declared major.

For complete information, please refer to the Degree and Graduation Requirements section of this Bulletin.

University General Education Requirements

A list of university approved general education courses and administrative policies are available here.

Category C: Communication12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Category R: Quantitative Reasoning 3
Category S: Science and Technology 10
Category A: Humanities and Fine Arts 6
Category B: Social and Behavioral Sciences 6
Category W: Wellness 2
Category D: Cultural Diversity *†
Category G: Global Perspectives *†
Total Credits39

Courses for category D & G are satisfied by completing D & G designated courses in another general education category.

General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable. Students should carefully review major requirements to determine if specific courses can also satisfy these general education categories.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
POLS 110Introduction to Political Science (May satisfy general education category B)3
or POLS 115 American Government
POLS 220International Politics3
or POLS 225 Comparative Politics
POLS 240Political Ideologies3
POLS 325Applied Research Methods3
POLS 470Quantitative Methods for Political Science and Public Policy3
Select a minimum of five courses from at least three of the four areas listed below (Area 1-4):15
Area 1:
Women and Politics
Political Behavior-Executive-Legislative Process
Political Behavior-Political Parties
State and Local Politics
Public Policy Analysis
Inequality and Public Policy
Area 2:
Inequality and Public Policy
Constitutional Law-Civil Liberties
Constitutional Law-Criminal Justice
Crime and Public Policy
Law and Public Policy
U.S. National Security Law
Area 3:
Global Policy Issues
International Law
Ethnic Conflicts
Environmental Policy and Politics
International Criminal Law
U.S. National Security Law
Area 4:
Global Policy Issues
Politics of the Developing Countries
Politics of the Industrialized Countries
Comparative Political Economy
Environmental Policy and Politics
Comparative Democratic Institutions
Political Science Electives9
Any POLS prefix class (except POLS 397) and no more than 3 credits of POLS 494 and POLS 496.
Total Credits39
Degree Notes:
  • An optional accelerated program in the B.S./B.A. in Political Science degree and the Masters in Public Policy (MPP) is available.
    • Students may apply for admission to the accelerated undergraduate political science program after completing a minimum of 60 undergraduate credits.
    • Students must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA for admission to the MPP graduate program. The GRE is not required for admission to the MPP program in this accelerated option.
    • Students admitted to the MPP program must complete a Accelerated Degree Program Declaration Form upon admission.
    • Students admitted in the accelerated program may count up to 15 graduate credits toward the undergraduate degree. These 15 credits must come from 600 and 700 level classes that fulfill requirements in the MPP program. 
      POLS 623Public Policy Analysis (Use for Area I)3
      POLS 710Global Public Policy (Use for Area IV)3
      POLS 705Policy Design and Evaluation (Use for POLS elective)3
      POLS 724Public Budgeting and Finance (Use for Area I)3
      POLS 726Harm Reduction for Policymakers (Use for POLS elective)3
      POLS 670Quantitative Methods for Political Science and Public Policy (Use for POLS elective)3

Minor Requirements

Minor: Political Science

Required Credits: 21

Required Courses
POLS 110Introduction to Political Science3
or POLS 115 American Government
POLS 220International Politics3
or POLS 225 Comparative Politics
POLS 240Political Ideologies3
Any POLS prefix classes with no more than 3 credits of POLS 494 and POLS 496. Minimum of 6 credits must be at or above 300 level.
Total Credits21