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  • Political Science

    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 Major

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


    Critical TrackingModel Semester Plan

    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.

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    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 2001 Comparative Politics (GE-S and N)
      • INR 2001 International Relations (GE-S and N)
      • POS 2041 American Federal Government (GE-S)
      • POT 2002 Introduction to Political Theory (GE-H)
    • 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 Individual Work
        • No more than three credits of POS 4940 Political Internship (graded S/U)

    Required Coursework

    • STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics, 3 credits
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    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 is 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.
    • 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.
    • The Center for European Studies is 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Research is 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.
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    Combined Degree Program

    The combined 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 combined degree program is highly competitive and therefore very limited numbers of students are approved for this program.

    Students in the combined 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.

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    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.

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    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.
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    Critical Tracking

    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

    • Complete 1 of 4 political science critical-tracking courses: CPO 2001, INR 2001, POS 2041 or POT 2002
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    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
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    Model Semester Plan

    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.

    Semester 1 Credits
    Composition
    State Core GE-C; WR
    3
    Foreign language 4-5
    Mathematics
    State Core GE-M
    3
    Political science core course
    CPO 2001, INR 2001, POS 2041, or POT 2002
    3
    Total 13-14
    Semester 2 Credits
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life
    GE-H
    3​
    Biological or Physical Science
    State Core GE-B or P
    3
    Elective 3
    Foreign Language 3-5
    Political science core course 3
    Science laboratory
    GE-P or B
    1
    Total 16-18
    Semester 3 Credits
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1
    GE-M
    3
    Elective 3
    Elective
    Or foreign language if 4-3-3 option
    3
    Humanities
    State Core GE-H
    3
    Political science core course 3
    Total 15
    Semester 4 Credits
    Biological or Physical Science
    Area not taken in semester 2; GE-B or GE-P
    3
    Elective or
    Social and Behavioral Science (State Core GE-S, if POS 2041 not taken previously)
    3
    Elective 3
    Humanities
    GE-H
    3
    Physical Science
    GE-P
    3
    Total 15
    Semester 5 Credits
    ENC 3254 Professional Writing in the Discipline
    GE-C; WR
    3
    Biological Science
    GE-B
    3
    Elective
    3000 level or above, not in major; majors are encouraged to use some electives to pursue a minor.
    3
    Political science courses
    Two at 3000/4000 level
    6
    Total 15
    Semester 6 Credits
    POS 4934 Honors Preparation (department honors, optional) or
    Elective
    1
    Elective
    3000 level or above, not in major; majors are encouraged to use some electives to pursue a minor.
    3
    Electives 6
    Political science courses
    Two at 3000/4000 level
    6
    Total 16
    Semester 7 Credits
    POS 4734 Research Methods in Political Science (department honors, optional) or
    Political science course (3000/4000-level)
    3
    Elective 3
    Electives
    3000 level or above, not in major; majors are encouraged to use some electives to pursue a minor.
    6
    Political science course
    3000/4000 level
    3
    Total 15
    Semester 8 Credits
    Political science course or
    POS 4970 Senior Thesis (department honors, optional)
    2-4
    Electives 7
    Electives
    3000 level or above, not in major; majors are encouraged to use some electives to pursue a minor.
    6
    Total 15-17
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    Related Political Science Programs

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majors: political-science