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Academic Program Guide

Political Science

College: Social Sciences and Public Policy
Degree: BA or BS
Specialized Admission: No

Contact: Elisa Kuchvalek
Address: 533 Bellamy Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306
Phone: (850) 644-5727

Description of Major

*Please Note: Face-to-face/in-person instruction of this program is available ONLY at the main campus in Tallahassee, FL. This program is NOT available via Online/Distance Learning.*

The major in Political Science is designed to educate citizens and promote their active interest in public affairs; prepare students for teaching and research in political science; provide a broad background for careers in public administration and other forms of government service and for careers in politics; offer pre-professional curriculum in foreign affairs and international relations; and provide a pre-law curriculum. The Political Science major offers coursework in the general areas of comparative political science, international relations, American government and politics, public policy, and public administration. Students are required to take at least two courses (or 6 credit hours) from each of three of these areas.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Coursework: (6 hours)
POS X041 (3) American Government

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the “Student Services” section of .

Requirements for Progression to the Upper-Division Major
To be admitted, students must complete at least 52 hours with a minimum FSU GPA of 2.00 and most of the General Education requirements met, including freshman English composition and mathematics, or an AA degree.


Major Program of Studies at FSU: (30 hours)
30 hours in Political Science with grades of C minus or higher, 21 hours of which must be numbered above 2999. At least 21 hours must be in regular classroom courses; no more than 9 credits may be in any combination of DIS, honors, or internship. A minimum of 15 hours in the major must be completed at FSU.

No student in the Political Science major who has accumulated three (3) or more grades below C minus (D+, D, D minus, F, or U) in political science courses, at Florida State University or elsewhere, will be permitted to continue toward a degree with a major in political science.

Three (3) introductory courses; select from the following:
CPO 2002 (3) Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
INR 2002 (3) Introduction to International Relations
PAD 3003 (3) Introduction to Public Administration
* POS 1041 (3) Introduction to American Government (required for the major)
PUP 3002 (3) Introduction to Public Policy

Two (2) courses in at least three (3) of the following subfields (six courses total) The three introductory courses may also “count” here.

Comparative Political Science (CPO)
International Relations (INR)
Public Administration (PAD)
American Government and Politics (POS)
Public Policy (PUP)

One (1) research course. This should be completed by the first semester of the junior year.

* POS 3713 (3) Understanding Political Science Research (required)

Additional Political Science courses to bring total hours in the major to 30

Additional credits may include regular classes, DIS, honors credit, or internship.

* POS 1041 and POS 3713 are required courses for this major.

Minor Coursework: (12 hours minimum)
Political Science majors must complete, with a C minus grade or better in each course, a minor in an approved department or interdisciplinary program, meeting the requirements set forth by that department. A minor will normally range from 12-18 hours. Public Administration courses may apply toward the 30 hours required in Political Science but cannot constitute a minor for Political Science majors. Completion of a second major may be substituted for this requirement.

Digital Literacy: (0-3 hours)
CGS 2060 (3), CGS 2100 (3), or BSC 2010L (1) will fulfill the requirement for this major.

Oral Communication Competency: (3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met through with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Major Coursework 30*
Minor Coursework 12
Digital Literacy 1-3
Oral Competency 3
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*NOTE: Some Political Science courses may be applied to both General Education requirements and the major.


Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at


1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.
4. Students who plan to earn the B. A. degree must complete a foreign language through the intermediate (2200 or equivalent) level and nine additional hours in the fields of history and humanities.

Employment Information

Salary Information: For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: Teacher: Secondary, College(requires advanced degree), Archivist: Political History, Researcher: Public and Private, City Planning Aide, Urban Planner, Analyst: Legislative, Executive, Customs Worker: Agent, Inspector, Staff Assistants: State, Local, or Federal Government, Labor-Relations Specialist, Manager: City, World Trade, Lawyer: (Professional School), Veterans’ Claims Representative, Foreign Service Officer, Journalist, Special Agent (F.B.I., C.I.A.), Campaign Operative, Lobbyist, Activist/organizer, Career counselor, Immigration officer, Law Enforcement, Mediator(requires additional certification), Policy Analyst, Public Affairs Research Analyst.

Representative Employers: Government: Federal, State, or Local, Colleges and Universities, Local School Boards, Corporations, Media (print, electronic), Political Action Committees, Civic & Taxpayers ’ Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Regional Planning Councils, Political Party Headquarters, Political consultants, Political Candidates, Public interest groups (Common Cause, PIRG, etc.).

View Political Science Academic Map