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Bachelor's Degree Programs
Political Science

Major in Political Science

Politics is all about power: who has it, how it is used, and what effect it has. The goal of the Department of Political Science is to provide students with a superior program of study of the many different and intriguing ways in which power is given, taken, distributed, limited, manipulated, and used, and to help them better appreciate and understand the many different forms taken by systems of government around the world.

The department offers introductory courses in all the major subfields of the discipline: American politics, public policy, public law, political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. We also offer a wide variety of advanced courses in which students can learn more about topics as varied as Indiana state government; national politics in Washington, D.C.; the political systems of Africa, Asia, and Europe; the mechanics of voting and public opinion; and critical policy issues of our time, such as welfare, crime, war, globalization, the environment, and women in politics. Our students also gain hands-on experience through internships and multi-college political simulations.

Our majors have gone on to careers in fields as diverse as politics, business, teaching, human services, the media, and working for interest groups, and many have gone on to graduate school in politics and law. Courses in political science help majors and non-majors alike become critical observers of—and informed participants in—politics and government at the local, national, and international levels.

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science (POLS) requires satisfactory completion of the following:

  • completion of general education and distribution requirements as indicated in the School of Liberal Arts section of the IUPUI bulletin that was current when the student declared a major in Political Science,
  • completion of a total of 33 credit hours, with a minimum grade of C in each course,
  • 15 credits of Political Science courses must be taken at IUPUI (effective Fall 2015) and 9 credits of 300- to 400- level Political Science courses must be of regular classroom format (not readings or research).

Major Requirements:

Required core courses

  • POLS-Y 103: Introduction to American Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 205: Analyzing Politics (3 cr.) (Prerequisite: MATH 11000, MATH 11100 or higher)
Choose two of the following:
  • POLS-Y 215: Introduction to Political Theory (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 217: Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 219: Introduction to International Relations (3 cr.)

It is highly recommended that all 200 level major courses be completed before enrolling in 300/400 level major courses. 

  • POLS-Y 490: Senior Seminar

Topics vary by semester.  POLS-Y 490 is should be taken during the student’s senior year and must be taken at IUPUI and after the successful completion of POLS-Y 205. 


18 credit hours, of which 15 must be from the 300-level and above (no more than six of these hours from POLS-Y 480, POLS- Y481 and POLS-Y 498).

Offerings will vary by semester.  Choose among courses in American, Comparative, or International politics, Political Theory, or Policy Studies; or enroll in directed readings with one of the faculty.