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Political Science Undergraduate Major (BA, BS, CRED, HBA, HBS) Major/Option offered thru Ecampus - Distance Ed

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College of Liberal Arts | School of Public Policy


Environmental and Energy Politics
International Affairs
Law and Politics

Also available via Ecampus.

Political Science is the systematic study of politics wherever it takes place—in governmental institutions, the international arena, and civil society. Political science majors at Oregon State may choose the general political science major, or one of the three options that focus on law and politics, international affairs, or environmental and energy politics. All political science majors learn to think critically, write clearly and speak persuasively. They learn the ideas of great political thinkers, learn the political fundamentals behind the headlines, and have engaging discussions from all points of view with other students and professors.

Students selecting the Political Science major must complete 52 credits of political science course work, of which at least 36 credits must be upper-division courses. As part of these overall credit totals, Political Science majors must complete:

I. Foundation Courses

Three of the four introductory courses:

The school encourages students to take the foundation courses in their first or second year.

PS 201. *Introduction to United States Government and Politics (4)
PS 204. *Introduction to Comparative Politics (4)
PS 205. *Introduction to International Relations (4)
PS 206. *Introduction to Political Thought (4)

Students who choose to specialize in one of the options for the major are required to take two of the introductory courses as specified for the option and choose the third introductory course.

Few upper-division political science courses have enforced prerequisites, but taking the corresponding intro course is often good preparation (for example, PS 201 Introduction to United States Government would assist with PS 321 Constitutional Law: Government Powers and Constraints).

II. Methods/WIC

The research methods and WIC course. The school encourages students to take the Methods/WIC course late in their second or early in their third year.

PS 300. ^Research Methods (4)

III. Upper-Division Subfield Courses

A. For the general major, students must take:

One course each from at least three of the four following subfields:

  1. American national government and politics, to include the judiciary, state and local government, public policy, public administration: PS 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 321, 322, 323, 326, 328, 331, 371, 374, 375, 425, 455, 473, 475, 476, 477, 478.
  2. Comparative politics: PS 341, 343, 344, 345, 348, 350, 441, 446, 449.
  3. International relations: PS 351, 356, 454, 455, 457, 458, 470, 477.
  4. Political philosophy: PS 361, 362, 363, 365, 461, 462.

B. For the options, students choose from a list of courses approved for the option.

IV. Potential for Specialization

Students may choose a general political science major or may choose from one of three transcript-visible options:

  1. Environmental Politics and Policy
  2. International Affairs
  3. Law, Politics, and Society

V. Potential for Learning Outside the Classroom.

Political science majors are strongly encouraged to pursue experiential learning and other educational opportunities outside of the classroom, and these experiences can be used to fulfill some political science graduation requirements. Such experiences can include research, thesis writing, projects, or internship. Credits will be placed in the appropriate PS 401–PS 410 designator. A maximum of 8 credits from any combination of PS 401–PS 410 may be applied to the major, although additional credits from courses in this range may be applied to general graduation requirements. Additional experiential learning opportunities include "field schools" and study abroad. Students should discuss all of these opportunities with the political science undergraduate advisor.

VI. Additional Requirements for the Major


* Baccalaureate Core Course (BCC)
^ Writing Intensive Course (WIC)

Major/Option offered thru Ecampus - Distance Ed - Signifies that the Major/Option can be completed thru Ecampus - Distance Ed

Major Code: 960

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