Political Science

major

The Political Science major prepares students for a wide range of careers in government, non-governmental organizations, politics, law, and the private sector. Students take coursework in areas as diverse as American and comparative politics, political theory, international relations, public policy, and public administration.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Department of Political Science provides a high quality educational program for undergraduate students as well as a rigorous honors program. The department also offers a highly selective graduate education ranging from innovative M.A. programs to a comprehensive Ph.D. program.
Website

CONTACT

352.392.0262 (tel) | 352.392.8127 (fax)

P.O. Box 117325
234 ANDERSON HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7325
Map

 Curriculum

Political science majors are encouraged to serve in a political internship and participate in an overseas studies program. There are also numerous opportunities for students to conduct independent research with faculty. Recent graduates serve throughout federal, state and local government, attend law and graduate school, and work in the non-profit and private sectors.

Students leave the major with an understanding of how politics and government operate, an appreciation for the values governments pursue, and the critical and analytic skills necessary for understanding the empirical and normative dimensions of the political world.

Coursework for the Major

Majors must complete 30 credits of political science coursework, plus STA 2023, all with minimum grades of C. A minimum of 15 credits of political science courses (of the 30 required) must be completed at UF, per the department’s residency requirement.

Required Coursework

  • 30 credits of political science coursework, including 3 of these 4 core courses:
    CPO 2001Comparative Politics (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences and International)3
    INR 2001Introduction to International Relations (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences and International)3
    POS 2041American Federal Government (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)3
    POT 2002Introduction to Political Theory (Gen Ed Humanities)3
  • The remaining political science courses may include:
    • No more than three additional credits of 1000/2000-level courses
    • Additional courses at the 3000 level or higher, including
      • No more than three credits of POS 4905
      • No more than three credits of POS 4940 (graded S/U)

Required Coursework

Recommended Coursework

The following centers and programs are affiliated with the Department of Political Science. Many of them offer minors and/or certificates that complement a degree in political science.

The Bob Graham Center for Public Service

A community of students, scholars and politically engaged citizens devoted to enhanced citizenship; the training of current and future public and civic leaders who can identify problems and spearhead change; and the development of policy on issues of importance to Florida, the United States and the global community. The center offers a minor in public leadership, an interdisciplinary program of study that provides students with the skills and knowledge critical to serving as effective and ethical public leaders.

More Info

The Bob Graham Center was established in 2006 with the goal of creating a community of students, scholars, and citizens who share a commitment to revitalizing the civic culture of Florida and the nation. Former Governor and U. S. Senator Bob Graham founded the Center as a place where students acquire the skills and knowledge to become informed citizens, with the expressed purpose of strengthening the nation’s democratic institutions.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.846.1575

220 PUGH HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-2030
Map

Curriculum

The Center for African Studies

Promotes excellence in teaching and research on Africa in all disciplines at the University of Florida. In addition to undergraduate education, the center promotes and supports graduate studies as essential for the development of a continuing community of Africanist scholars. The center has over 100 affiliated teaching and research faculty in a variety of fields, including languages, the humanities, the social sciences, agriculture, business, engineering, education, fine arts, environmental studies and conservation, journalism, and law. The center offers an African studies minor that provides a multidisciplinary grounding in an important world area for those who want to pursue careers in a range of professions as well as for those who intend to go on to graduate school.

More Info

As a National Resource Center for African Studies, the mission of the center is to promote excellence in teaching and research on Africa in all the disciplines at the University of Florida. The Center for African Studies also disseminates knowledge about Africa to the wider community through an integrated outreach program to schools, colleges, community groups, and businesses.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.392.2183 (tel) | 352.392.2435 (fax)

PO Box 115560
427 GRINTER HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-5560
Map

Curriculum

The Center for European Studies

Designed to assist in the development of area and language skills among students through fostering rich academic and cultural environments, including broad language and areas studies courses, degree options, and study abroad opportunities. It also fosters greater international awareness in the broader community through educational programs for state and local government, business organizations, K-12 students and teachers, the media and the general public. The center offers a

  • European Union studies certificate and minor, which are designed to give students the opportunity to gain European Union expertise through multidisciplinary coursework.
  • East-Central European studies certificate and minor, which give students the opportunity to study Eastern and Central Europe from an interdisciplinary perspective that incorporates both area and language studies.

More Info

The Center for European Studies (CES), housed within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS), is an interdisciplinary area studies center focused on the study of Europe, and facilitating the training of scholars and experts in European studies in the United States. In addition to the minors, certificates, and major, the center offers study abroad programs in Europe and various scholarships and grants for undergraduates.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.294.7142 (tel) | 352.392.8966 (fax)

P.O. Box 117342
3324 TURLINGTON HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7342
Map

 Curriculum

The Center for Jewish Studies

Provides an undergraduate, interdepartmental curriculum that serves as a basis for understanding the broad spectrum of Jewish culture, religion, and civilization. The center offers both a major and minor through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These may serve as preparation for graduate work in Jewish studies and the rabbinate, as background for a career in Jewish education or community service, or as an area of special interest which enriches the undergraduate experience.

More Info

The Center for Jewish Studies promotes academic study of Jewish culture, history, and politics for all students at the University of Florida. The Center’s curriculum encourages critical thinking, textual analysis, research, oral argumentation, and writing. The Center has scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as study abroad opportunities.
Website

CONTACT

352.392.9247

P.O. Box 118020
1120 Turlington Hall
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-8020
Map

 Curriculum

The Center for Latin American Studies

Advances knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and enhances the scope and quality of Latin American studies at the University of Florida. The center administers an interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate academic program in Latin American studies as well as a minor and certificate.

More Info

The Center for Latin American Studies advances knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and its peoples throughout the Hemisphere, enhances the scope and quality of research, teaching, and outreach in Latin American, Caribbeans and Latinx Studies.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.273.4705 (tel) | 352.392.7682 (fax)

P.O. Box 115530
319 GRINTER HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-5530
Map

 Curriculum

The Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Research

An interdisciplinary forum for the study of gender and sexualities, their intersections with race/ethnicity, class, and other sociocultural systems. The Center's core faculty members have expertise in gender, race/ethnicity, and sexualities/LGBTQ+ studies; feminist intersectional analysis; transnational and postcolonial feminist analysis; Chicana/o, Latina/o, Afro-Latino Studies, Haitian and Caribbean studies; and cultural and literary studies. They apply this expertise in the study of critical domains such as collective identity and activism, health and medicine, law and politics, immigration, work, leadership and business, history, literatures and cultures, media and art, and social movements. In addition, the Center has over 100 affiliate faculty members with wide-ranging expertise and course offerings. Besides the major in Women's Studies, students may pursue one of three minors: Women's Studies, Theories and Politics of Sexuality, and Health Disparities in Society.

More Info

The Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Research advances research, teaching, and leadership on how multiple systems of power intertwine to shape culture, society, and people’s lived experiences. Students explore how gender, class, race, sexuality, and other systems of power shape important domains such as health, work, culture, media, politics, leadership, and organizations. Students also learn how to put this knowledge into practice to transform these systems
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.392.3365 (tel) | 352.392.4873 (fax)

P.O. Box 117352
200 USTLER HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7352
Map

 Curriculum

Combination Degree Program

The combination bachelor's/master's degree program is designed for superior students who have the ability to pursue an accelerated program in political science leading to the Master of Arts in political science. This program is not generally recommended for students considering a Ph.D. program in political science at UF. Admission to the combination-degree program is highly competitive and therefore very limited numbers of students are approved for this program.

Students in the combination program may pursue the general M.A. in political science or certificates in public affairs or political campaigning. Up to 12 semester credits of approved graduate-level political science courses can be used as dual credit for both degrees. All other requirements for the bachelor's and the master's degrees must be satisfied. For more application process information, contact the undergraduate and graduate coordinators in the Department of Political Science.

Overseas Studies

Majors are encouraged to seek out opportunities for international study, during the summer or for the academic year. The credit generally will be applied toward the major and the degree. Contact the undergraduate coordinator about credit for study abroad. Visit the UF International Center in room 170 of the Hub for more information.

Relevant Minors and Certificates

International Relations Certificate

Political science and non-major students who are interested in international relations can pursue undergraduate training in two ways: through an interdisciplinary major in International Studies that includes courses on comparative politics and international relations or through a certificate in international relations. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. More information can be found under interdisciplinary studies majors listing and certificate programs.


Political Campaigning Certificate

The Department of Political Science offers a certificate in political campaigning to its undergraduate majors. The certificate is designed for students who may wish to consider pursuing careers in practical politics, including campaign management, lobbying, issue advocacy, and others. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. Additional information is available on the department website.

Public Affairs Certificate

The certificate in public affairs is designed for those students interested in a career in or near government. Students take courses in public administration, policy process, policy analysis and one or more substantive policy courses in foreign policy, education, health, immigration, civil rights, welfare, or environmental protection. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. The certificate is open to non-political science majors as well. Additional information is available on the department website.

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for entry to each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

Semester 2

  • Complete 1 additional political science critical-tracking course or STA 2023 with a 2.25 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 3

  • Complete 1 additional political science critical-tracking course or STA 2023 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 4

  • Complete 3 of 4 political science critical-tracking courses and STA 2023 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 5

  • Complete 1 additional political science course at the 3000 level or higher with a minimum grade of C and maintain a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete 1 additional political science course at the 3000 level or higher with a minimum grade of C and maintain a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 7

  • Complete 1 additional political science course at the 3000 level or higher with a minimum grade of C and maintain a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 8

  • Complete 1 additional political science course at the 3000 level or higher with a minimum grade of C and maintain a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H, or S).

Because a large number of political science courses are approved for general education social and behavioral sciences, the plan below assumes students will take at least 9 credits of GE-S courses. Students should monitor their progress toward general education in their degree audit to ensure they meet the GE-S requirement.

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
Select one political science core course (Critical Tracking): 3
Comparative Politics  
Introduction to International Relations  
American Federal Government  
Introduction to Political Theory  
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
State Core Gen Ed Mathematics 3
Foreign language 4-5
 Credits13-14
Semester Two
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
Political science core course (Critical Tracking) 3
Science laboratory (Gen Ed Physical or Biological Sciences) 1
State Core Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences 3
Foreign language 3-5
Elective 3
 Credits16-18
Semester Three
STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Mathematics) 3
Elective 3
Elective or foreign language if 4-3-3 option 3
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
Political science core course (Critical Tracking) 3
 Credits15
Semester Four
Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences (area not taken in semester two) 2 3
Select one: 3
Elective
 
 
Elective 3
Gen Ed Humanities 3
Gen Ed Physical Sciences 3
 Credits15
Semester Five
ENC 3254 Professional Writing in the Discipline (Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement) 3
Gen Ed Biological Sciences 3
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 3 3
Political science courses (Critical Tracking; 3000/4000 level) 6
 Credits15
Semester Six
Select one: 1
Honors Preparation (department honors, optional)  
Elective
 
Political science courses (3000/4000 level; Critical Tracking) 6
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 3 3
Electives 6
 Credits16
Semester Seven
Select one: 3
Research Methods in Political Science (department honors, optional)  
Political science course (3000/4000-level)
 
Political science course (3000/4000 level; Critical Tracking) 3
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 3 6
Elective 3
 Credits15
Semester Eight
Select one: 2-4
Political science course (3000/4000 level; Critical Tracking)
 
Senior Thesis (department honors, optional)  
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 3 6
Electives 7
 Credits15-17
 Total Credits120

The major in political science provides an understanding of how government and politics operate in the U.S. and elsewhere. Students will develop the critical analytic and research skills to study government and politics and be able to articulate information and ideas about government and politics.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Complete 30 credits of political science coursework with minimum grades of C, including a minimum of 18 credits at the 3000/4000 levels.
  • Complete an introductory statistics course.
  • Complete two 3000/4000-level political science courses with a writing component, graded by department rubric.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Identify, describe and define basic factual information and analytical concepts concerning political systems.

Critical Thinking

  1. Analyze political issues and phenomena using political science concepts, theories and methods through internships and research projects.

Communication

  1. Use argument and evidence effectively to communicate original analysis of political phenomena.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3
CPO 2001 I I I
INR 2001 I I I
INR 3603 R R R
PAD 3003 R R R
PAD 4940 R, A R, A R, A
POS 2041 I I I
POS 3204 R R R
POS 4734 R, A R, A R, A
POS 4905 R, A R, A R, A
POS 4931 R, A R, A R, A
POS 4940 R, A R, A R, A
POS 4970 R, A R, A R, A
POT 2002 I I I

Assessment Types

  • Research project
  • Internship report
  • Thesis