Undergraduate Programs

B.A. in Political Science

SIGS Political Science Image, Students at the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Florida

The Political Science major studies the philosophy and institutions of government, as well as the behavioral elements of politics. It specifically focuses on American political institutions, state and local government, political behavior, elections, constitutional law, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.

Courses in this major will provide students with a detailed study of the institutions and processes of American Government, foundations in Political Theory, as well as an examination of the international system and foreign political systems through the study of International Relations and Comparative Politics. The nature and context of the program allows students, upon completion of the program, to confidently move on to an advanced degree in Political Science, seek employment in the public sector, or utilize skills acquired in analysis, communication and writing in private sector pursuits.

*SIGS also offers a Minor in Political Science


Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

6 credit hours POS, INR or CPO prefix lower-level course (ideally POS 1041 or POS 2041, and POS 1112 or POS 2112)

curriculum requirements

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to satisfy the requirements of the major. Students must take the 12 credit hours of required core courses in Political Science coursework. No more than six (6) credit hours can be taken from POS 4905, POS 4910 and POS 4941. Students enrolled in the Washington, D.C. semester program may have this rule altered by their advisor. (A GPA of 3.0 is required to enroll in these courses; the Chair may grant special exception for students with a GPA between 2.70 and 2.99).

In addition, all Political Science majors are required to take at least three (3) credit hours of Economics coursework. (Please see an advisor for recommendations.)

    CPO 2002 Introduction Comparative Politics or INR 2002 Introduction to International Relations
    Note that either CPO 2002 or INR 2002 must be taken as a core course. However, the other course not taken as a core course may be taken as an elective.
  • POS 2041 American National Government
  • POT 3003 Introduction to Political Theory
  • POS 3713 Empirical Political Analysis

Students should complete POT 3003 and POS 3713 by the end of their junior year; students transferring with 45 credit hours or more are encouraged to complete these courses within their first two semesters in residence at USF.

Students are further advised to not take POS 3713 and POT 3003 in the same semester. Please consult with the Political Science advisor with any questions regarding these recommendations. 

Students must choose electives from the seven fields listed below with at least one course from Field I, one course from Field II or III, and one course from any of Fields IV, V, VI, or VII. Core required courses must be completed before a course from a given field or field grouping may be taken.

Field I: Political Theory

  • POT 3013 Classical Political Theory
  • POT 4064 Contemporary Political Thought
  • POT 4054 Modern Political Theory
  • POT 4204 American Political Thought
  • POT 4936 Selected Topics in Political Theory

Field II: Comparative Government and Politics

  • CPO 4034 Politics of the Development Areas
  • CPO 4930 Comparative Government and Politics of Select Areas
  • CPO 5934 Selected Topics in Comparative Politics
  • ASN 3012 Japan Today
  • ASN 3014 China Today
  • ASN 3030 The Middle East
  • EUS 3000 Europe
  • EUS 3022 Russia
  • LAS 3002 Latin America

Field III: International Relations

  • AFA 2380 Theory and History of Genocide
  • INR 3102 American Foreign Policy
  • INR 4403 International Law
  • INR 4035 International Political Economy
  • INR 4502 International Organizations
  • INR 3336 Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy
  • INR 4254 Africa in World Affairs
  • INR 3011 Globalization
  • INR 3018 World Ideologies
  • INR 3033 International Political Cultures
  • INR 3038 International Wealth and Power
  • INR 3084 International Terrorism
  • INR 3141 Global Security Policy
  • INR 3202 International Human Rights
  • INR 4083 Conflict in the World
  • INR 5086 Issues in International Relations

Field IV: American National and State Governments

  • AMS 3700 Racism in American Society
  • POS 2080 The American Political Tradition
  • POS 3182 Florida Politics and Government
  • POS 3273 Practical Politics
  • POS 4413 The American Presidency
  • POS 2112 State and Local Government and Politics
  • POS 3453 Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • POS 4424 The American Congress
  • POS 3173 Southern Politics
  • POS 4204 Political Behavior, Public Opinion and Elections
  • PUP 4323 Women and Politics

Field V: Urban Government and Politics

  • POS 3142 Introduction to Urban Politics and Government
  • URP 4050 City Planning and Community Development

Field VI: Public Policy

  • INR 3102 American Foreign Policy
  • PUP 4203 Environmental Politics and Policy
  • PUP 4002 Public Policy
  • PUP 4323 Women and Politics
  • PUP 5607 Public Policy and Health Care
  • URP 4050 City Planning and Community Development

Field VII: Law and Politics

  • INR 4403 International Law
  • POS 3691 Introduction to Law and Politics
  • POS 4614 Constitutional Law I
  • POS 4624 Constitutional Law II
  • POS 3283 Judicial Process and Politics
  • POS 3697 Environmental Law
  • POS 4693 Women and Law I
  • POS 4694 Women and Law II

The following courses are not included within any of the seven fields, but may still be used as elective hours:

  • AMH 3571 African American History to 1865
  • AMH 3572 African American History since 1865
  • PAD 3003 Introduction to Public & Community Service
  • PAD 4144 Non-Profit & Public Policy
  • PAD 4204 Public Financial Administration
  • PAD 4415 Personnel & Supervision in Today's Organizations
  • POS 4905 Independent Study
  • POS 4910 Individual Research
  • POS 4941 Field Work
  • URP 4052 Urban and Regional Planning

forms & additional information

Office of Admissions
SIGS Undergraduate Resources
Undergraduate Studies 
Office for Undergraduate Research 
Independent Study Form
SIGS Undergraduate Incomplete Grade Contract


Stephen Sovilla, Academic Advisor