Students of Political Science study governments: how they evolve, why they exist, the forms and social functions they assume, why they change, and who controls them. To understand governments, students of Political Science also study politics: how people behave in their relationship to government, what they do to influence government, and how government attempts to influence people’s behavior and beliefs about what it does. Students of politics appreciate how cultural, historical, and economic forces affect the evolution of governments and mass political behavior.
The Bachelor of Arts program in Political Science focuses on three areas of instruction:
American politics, including legislative and executive institutions, political parties and interest groups, public administration, public opinion and elections, and state and urban government.
International relations and comparative politics, including American foreign policy, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Russian, African, and Asian politics; national security policy, terrorism, human rights, and developing political systems;
Law and the courts, and political theory, including public law, judicial politics, constitutional law, criminal justice, civil liberties, and environmental law, feminist theory, political philosophy, political ideologies, the history of political thought, and political analysis.
Students can be admitted into the College of Liberal Arts after completing ENG 1100 or ENG 1140 with a grade of C or by completing at least two other Wright State Core courses taught by the College with a grade of “C” or higher.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with the BA in Political Science will be able to:
- apply analytical tools to analyze problems relevant to the public sector or the nonprofit sector.
- use critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate local, national, or global political, legal, or social issues.
- communicate effectively in writing.
- demonstrate an understanding of the value of diversity and multicultural competence in today’s global environment.
Political Science Honors Program
Political Science majors may earn departmental honors by completing the following requirements:
Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all Political Science course work and a 3.0 in cumulative GPA overall in all course work,
Complete an honors project (20-page minimum) associated with a 4000-level course in Political Science with a grade of A or B (interested students should contact the chair of the School of Social Sciences and International Studies for more information).
By completing these requirements and the eight-course Honors Program requirement, majors may earn the designation “University Honors Scholar” upon graduation. Interested students should contact the University Honors Program for more information.
For more information
I. Wright State Core: 38 Hours
Element 1: Communication: 6 Hours
Element 2: Mathematics: 3 Hours
Element 3: Global Traditions: 6 Hours
Element 4: Arts and Humanities: 3 Hours
Element 5: Social Sciences: 6 Hours
Element 6: Natural Sciences: 8 Hours
Additional Core Courses: 6 Hours
II. College Requirements: 18-22 Hours
Foreign Language: 12-16 Hours
Through 2020 level (1010, 1020, 2010, 2020) of one language:
Arabic, Spanish, French, German, Greek, Latin, Chinese, American Sign Language or other.
Methods of Inquiry: 6 Hours
III. Departmental Requirements: 42 Hours
Complete A through C below:
Six credit hours required from the following:
B. Area Requirements
18 credit hours required. Choose six hours from each of the three areas listed below.
Area I - American Government & Politics (6 hours)
Area II - International and Comparative Politics (6 hours)
Area III - Law, Courts, and Political Theory (6 hours)
C. Major Electives
18 credit hours required. Choose 18 hours of any upper-level PLS courses with a minimum of 3 hours at the 4000-level.
Law & Government Option
Students who want this focus may choose the Law and Government Option (6 hours, plus 12 hours of additional PLS electives).
IV. Electives: 18-22 Hours
Graduation Planning Strategy
The Graduation Planning Strategy (GPS) has been created to illustrate one option to complete degree requirements within a particular time frame. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to adjust this plan based on credit already earned, individual needs or curricular changes that may not be reflected in this year’s catalog.