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Department of Political Science

BA with a Major in Political Science

Minor in Political Science

Distinction


1102 Behavioral Science Building (BSB)
(312) 996–3105
lyles@uic.edu
http://pols.uic.edu/
Administration: Professor and Department Head, Dennis Judd
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Kevin Lyles

 


Political science is the systematic study of politics and its connection to human life as a whole. It focuses on the way people are governed and govern themselves in a wide variety of settings—including the state, the workplace, schools, and the family—and the way in which governance in those settings affects their life chances and shapes their sense of self. Students who elect this major examine, among other things, the relationships between law and political institutions, economic and political power, and culture and political identity. They develop the analytical, interpretive, and critical methods necessary to understand these relationships at local, national, regional, or international levels, and thus, to act as responsible citizens at those levels. They also learn to write well. In short, political science is central to a well-rounded liberal arts education.

Political science also provides excellent preparation for careers in law, government, teaching, journalism, business, and the nonprofit sector.

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.

BA with a Major in Political Science Degree Requirements
Hours
Major Requirements
33
General Education and Electives to reach Minimum Total Hours
87
Minimum Total Hours—BA with a Major in Political Science
120


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

Courses
Hours
POLS 101—Introduction to American Government and Politicsab
3
POLS 200—Methods of Political Science
3
   
Two courses from the following:c
6
POLS 120—Introduction to Political Theory (3)  
POLS 130—Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 184—Introduction to International Relations (3)  
POLS 190—Scope of Political Science (3)a
   
One course from the following:d
3
POLS 329—Seminar on American Politics (3)  
POLS 349—Topics in Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 389—Seminar: Topics in International Relations (3)  
POLS 399—Seminar in Political Theory (3)  
   
Four additional political science courses at the 200-level (or above) and two additional political science courses at the 300-level (or above)e
18
Total Hours—Major Requirements
33

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.

In addition, the Department of Political Science offers two concentrations: the Concentration in Law and Courts and the Concentration in Urban Politics.

Major Requirements, Concentration in Law and Courts

Courses
Hours
POLS 101—Introduction to American Government and Politicsab
3
POLS 200—Methods of Political Science
3
   
Two courses from the following:c
6
POLS 120—Introduction to Political Theory (3)  
POLS 130—Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 184—Introduction to International Relations (3)  
POLS 190—Scope of Political Science (3)a
   
One course from the following:d
3
POLS 329—Seminar on American Politics (3)  
POLS 349—Topics in Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 389—Seminar: Topics in International Relations (3)  
POLS 399—Seminar in Political Theory (3)  
   
Four additional political science courses at the 200-level (or above) and two additional political science courses at the 300-level (or above)e, including three courses from the following:
18
POLS 258—The Judicial Process (3)  
POLS 287—International Law (3)  
POLS 353—Constitutional Law (3)  
POLS 354—The Constitution and Civil Liberties (3)  
POLS 356—Constitutional Law: Women, Gender
and Privacy (3)
 
POLS 358—Constitutional Law: African American Legal History (3)  
POLS 359—Topics in Public Law (3)  
POLS 451—Law and Public Policy (3)  
Total Hours—Major Requirements, Concentration in Law and Courts
33

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.

Note: At the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies, students may substitute a course from another department for one of the courses in public law.

Major Requirements, Concentration in Urban Politics

Courses
Hours
POLS 101—Introduction to American Government and Politicsab
3
POLS 200—Methods of Political Science
3
   
Two courses from the following:c
6
POLS 120—Introduction to Political Theory (3)  
POLS 130—Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 184—Introduction to International Relations (3)  
POLS 190—Scope of Political Science (3)
   
One course from the following:d
3
POLS 329—Seminar on American Politics (3)  
POLS 349—Topics in Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 389—Seminar: Topics in International Relations (3)  
POLS 399—Seminar in Political Theory (3)  
   
Four additional political science courses at the 200-level (or above) and two additional political science courses at the 300-level (or above)e, including the following:
18
POLS 210—Introduction to Urban Politics (3) OR  
POLS 211—Chicago’s Future (3)  
AND POLS 301—Field Experience in Political Science (6)  
Total Hours—Major Requirements, Concentration in Urban Politics
33

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.

Note: At the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies, students may substitute a course from another department for one of their three courses in urban politics.

Recommended Plan of Study

To view a recommended plan of study for the major in Political Science, please visit the LAS website http://www.las.uic.edu/students/prospective-undergraduate/degree-programs/four-year-model-plans.

Minor in Political Science

Students from other disciplines who want to minor in Political Science must complete 18 credit hours as outlined below:

Required Courses—Political Science Minor
Hours
POLS 101—Introduction to American Government and Politics
3
POLS 200—Methods of Political Science
3
   
One course from the following:
3
POLS 120—Introduction to Political Theory (3)  
POLS 130—Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)  
POLS 184—Introduction to International Relations (3)  
POLS 190—Scope of Political Science (3)
   
Three additional POLS courses at the 200-level or above, at least one of which must be at the 300-level or above
9
Total Hours—Political Science Minor
18

 

Distinction

To be considered for graduation with Distinction in political science, a student must have a minimum, cumulative UIC GPA of 3.25/4.00 and a minimum GPA of 3.50/4.00 in all political science courses. Students with the required grade point averages must write and present to a faculty examining committee of the department an acceptable essay while enrolled in POLS 305—Honors Course and defend it before that committee. The student must enroll in POLS 305 for 3 semester hours in each of the fall and spring semesters of the student’s senior year. Both the course and credit hours must be in addition to those required for the major. The level of distinction (Distinction, High Distinction, Highest Distinction) is determined by the department faculty, who will consider the recommendation of the faculty examining committee and the candidate’s GPA.