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The Political Science Program offers three options for Political Science majors:

1. General Political Science Major
The General Political Science curriculum provides basic, thorough coverage of the major areas of study within the discipline of Political Science. These include American government and political institutions, public law and judicial politics, comparative politics, international politics, public policy, political thought, methodology and research and public administration. Courses also examine the intersection of politics with other social institutions such as religion, social groups and media.
The general degree in Political Science prepares students for a variety of careers, including public policy and administration at local, national and international levels. Graduates from our program presently hold elective office, work in state and local government as well as non-profit organizations, and conduct academic research. Many others work in areas of law, business and the media. Some are political consultants on campaigns. For those students seeking a more specialized course of study, the program offers two areas of concentration.
2. Pre-Law Concentration
The Pre-Law Concentration provides a rigorous curriculum focusing on the law and legal studies in order to prepare highly qualified students to pursue a number of careers after college. Most of the graduates will pursue either law school or graduate school for legal studies. However, many students continue their studies in public administration, criminal justice administration, or public policy. An undergraduate curriculum, taken in preparation for law school, should encompass courses that emphasize analytical thinking, cogent writing and confident verbal skills. Moreover, a student should have a profound understanding of the socio-political, historical and economic contexts in which laws are made, broken and interpreted. The program’s Pre-Law concentration provides such a curriculum.
3. Public Administration and Policy Concentration
The Public Administration and Policy Concentration integrates a traditional management-oriented approach with an analytical, problem-solving emphasis to produce a solid foundation that combines links theory with practice. This hybrid, innovative concentration uniquely prepares students with the skills necessary to address the challenges administrators face in the public arena. In order to prepare highly qualified students to pursue many different careers after college, this curriculum cultivates skills that enable individuals to manage and govern the public’s resources effectively, efficiently and ethically; the program is designed to teach students the business of government. Most of the graduates will pursue either graduate school in public administration or research and policy analysis.
Learning outside of the classroom is a feature of study in the Political Science Program. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in internships and/or field work. The program manages three internship programs with the State of West Virginia – the Judith A. Herndon Fellowship, the Frasure-Singleton Internship, and an internship with the Higher Education Policy Commission. In addition, the program is active in internships like the W.Va. Governor’s Internship Program, and the program provides opportunities to volunteer with political campaigns, political parties and civic groups.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

120 hours required for graduation

General Education - 35 - 40 Hours
Cognates (All Political Science Majors) - 18 Hours

  • PSYC 200 – Statistics for the Social Sciences
  • Six hours of the same Modern Foreign Language
  • ECON 201 or 202
  • HIST 207or 208
  • ENGL 112, 201, or 204

Core Courses (All Political Science Majors) - 17 Hours

  • POSC 100, 101, 205, 225, 311 and either POSC 400 or 497
  • Completion of one of the categories below:

 1. General Political Science Major - 27 Hours

  • POSC 204 and 210
  • 15 additional credit hours of 300 or 400 level Political
  • Sciences courses (with faculty approval)
  • Six hours of the same Modern Foreign Language
2. Pre-Law Concentration - 21 Hours
  • POSC 204 or 210
  • POSC 305, 319 and 320
  • Choose one course from each of the following two groups plus one additional course from either group:
    • Group A: POSC 304, 402, 408, 410 and 415
    • Group B: POSC 306, 403, 404 and 405

 3. Public Administration and Policy Concentration - 27 Hours

  • POSC 204
  • POSC 306, 307 and 405
  • BA 301, 310 and 320
  • Six additional credit hours of 300 or 400 level Political Sciences courses (with faculty approval)

Electives - to bring total credit hours to 120

  • Up to six hours in Cooperative Education may be earned in major-related work.
  • Up to 12 credit hours of the following courses may be double-counted as General Education courses:
    • POSC 100; Introduction to Government and Politics (three hours) to satisfy the requirement for Social Structures
    • POSC 101: American Government (three hours) to satisfy the requirement for American Traditions
    • GED courses in approved Modern Foreign Languages (six hours)


Minor in Political Science - 15 Credit Hours
POSC 100; 101; 204 or 210; and six hours from any 300 or 400 level Political Science course.

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