See the big picture: Learn to analyze complex political problems and find viable solutions in both public and private sectors with a political science degree.

With a Bachelor of Science in political science from University of Maryland Global Campus, you'll develop a comprehensive understanding of American government and global politics. By analyzing political structures, theory, and problems, you'll learn to interpret complex political problems and propose potential solutions. You'll also have an opportunity to enhance your professionalism and fine-tune your communication and organizational skills.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2019–2020 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Political Science Bachelor's Degree

In your core political science courses, you'll develop research and communication skills. Courses examine issues in policy development, global terrorism, foreign policy, defense policy and arms control, the intelligence community, and challenges in modern politics.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Analyze and participate in the creation of public policy at the local, state, federal, and international levels by building consensus and using effective lobbying techniques
  • Participate in and influence government at all levels through an understanding of the establishment, structure, and interaction of governmental institutions
  • Use effective writing, research, analysis, advocacy, and coalition-building skills to develop and influence policy at the national and international levels
  • Conduct, analyze, and evaluate theoretical and empirical research for specific problems to affect domestic and international policy by applying political theory, systems, and processes in organizational environments
  • Apply knowledge of ethical principles and issues to public policy and politics

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Complete an in-depth country analysis with particular stress on political-economic issues to produce a white paper to assist governments or corporations in assessing political or economic risks
  • Develop a counterterrorism plan for a specific organization
  • Choose a policy-oriented organization and research an issue to present

Political Science Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

This program requires 30 credits of coursework in the major.

  • GVPT 100
  • GVPT 101
  • GVPT 170 or GVPT 200
  • GVPT 280
  • GVPT 306
  • GVPT 409 or any upper-level GVPT course
  • GVPT 403 or any upper-level GVPT course
  • GVPT 406
  • GVPT 457 or any upper-level GVPT course
  • GVPT 495

Electives

This program requires 49 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

This program requires 41 credits of general education coursework.

Research and Computing Literacy

  • PACE 111C or other PACE 111 course
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)
  • LIBS 150, CAPL 398A, or other general education elective
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the major

Communication

  • WRTG 111 or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Mathematics

  • MATH 105 or other approved math or statistics course

Arts and Humanities

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences

  • One of the following pairs of lecture and laboratory courses in the same session:
    • BIOL 101 and BIOL 102
    • NSCI 100 and NSCI 101
    • Other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
  • GEOL 100 or other science lecture course

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits.
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor.
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMGC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include at least half of the credits required for the major. The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum.
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework.

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions advisor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMGC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions advisor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you prepare for graduate study or careers in areas such as policy development for think tanks, research at intelligence agencies, and political campaign management, as well as other work with local and state governments or nonprofit organizations.

Student Clubs and Organizations

    Type: Honor society
    Available To: Undergraduate

    Pi Gamma Mu is the international honor society that recognizes outstanding scholarship in the social sciences at UMGC. Students interested in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, gerontology, history, political science, social psychology, sociology, and women's studies may qualify for membership. The society recently named UMGC's Maryland Theta chapter to its Roll of Distinction, the highest honor that the society grants.