Political Science Major & Minor

The study of politics is the study of power in human societies: how it is set up, how it changes, and how it can be evaluated. On the one hand, political science attempts to understand things like political revolution and stability, democracy and dictatorship, or economic prosperity and poverty. But political science also tries to discover the reasons for why government is needed, and where it often goes wrong. In short, the study of politics is concerned not only with the way the world is, but also how it can be improved.

The political science major and minor at Southern Virginia University are intended especially for students who are planning for a career in law, non-profit administration, and public service. But as part of a liberal arts education, the political science program also trains students in the skills of thinking and communication that are valuable in any professional career path. In the political science program, students will have the opportunity to think about political concepts such as justice, authority, and freedom; to understand classic and modern views of the American republic; and to study issues in world politics such as democratization, economic development, and war.

Learning Objectives

Students completing Southern Virginia University’s political science major are expected acquire the following:

  1. Knowledge of central concepts and theories in comparative politics and knowledge of the main political institutions of five political systems, including the United States.
  2. Knowledge of the key ideas in one major period in Western political thought.
  3. Knowledge of the key concepts in microeconomics.
  4. Knowledge of key theories and ideas in one of three subfields: American politics, political economy, or international relations.
  5. Ability to write a research paper in a major subfield of political science.

Program Coordinator: Dr. Jeremiah John

Major Requirements (30-37 credit hours)

Major Core (13 credit hours)

Emphasis Coursework (12-24 credits)

Students will choose one of the following five areas of emphasis:

Download the Politics Major Checklist

Minor Requirements (18 credit hours)

Download the Politics Minor Checklist