Catalog 2012-2013

Political Science


There are no prerequisites for political science courses, except as noted. Prior consultation with the instructor of any advanced course is invited. Students wishing to pursue a major or minor in political science are requested to declare the major or minor with the department chair as soon as possible.

36 semester hours

Required courses
16 semester hours

  • POLS 151, 301, 325, 499

Distributional requirement:
8 semester hours

  • One course from Group A and Group B
    • Group A: American Government and Public Policy
      • POLS 338, 345, 346, 353, 354, 361, 363, 364, 368, 371, 372, 373
    • Group B: International Relations and Comparative Government
      • POLS 331, 332, 347, 380, 381, 383, 384, 385, 386
  • Research and Writing Requirement
  • 4 semester hours

  • One 300-level course designated as an “intensive writing course” indicating that it has a substantial research/writing component. Courses that qualify in Group A are: POLS 345, 353, 354, 361, 372 and 373. Courses in Group B are: POLS 331, 332, 380, 384 and 385.
  • Electives
  • Minimum of 12 semester hours selected from the Political Science curriculum

Majors should plan their course of study in consultation with their departmental advisor. An internship (POLS 450, 458, 464 or 471) may be substituted for POLS 499 when its graded requirements include research and writing a substantive capstone report/project. Students must pre-plan this option with the appropriate faculty intern supervisor in consultation with the department chair.

Minimum of 20 semester hours including POLS 151.

Minor programs should be planned in consultation with the departmental chair or a designated adviser.

Concurrent Attainment

No more than 8 semester hours taken to satisfy other major or minor requirements may also be applied to the political science major. No more than 4 such semester hours may also be applied to the political science minor.


A minimum of 12 semester hours for the major and 8 semester hours for the minor must be taken in residence at PLU.

24 semester hours, including POLS 345 (required) and 20 hours from economics, political science, sociology, or statistics.

This minor offers an interdisciplinary study designed to support many major programs whose content has implications for public affairs and is particularly useful to students contemplating careers in public service or graduate study in public administration, public affairs, and related programs.

At least five additional courses from three of the following groups (courses which are taken as part of a major program may not also count toward the Public Affairs minor):

  • Political Science
    Minimum of 8 semester hours if this minor is selected
    • POLS 151: American Government
    • POLS 354: State and Local Government
    • POLS 363: Politics and the Media
    • POLS 364: The Legislative Process
  • Economics
    Minimum of 8 semester hours if this minor is selected
    • ECON 101, 102: Principles of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics (or ECON 111: Principles of Microeconomics: Global and Environmental)
    • ECON 321: Labor Economics
    • ECON 327: Public Finance
    • ECON 325: Industrial Organization and Public Policy
  • Sociology
    Minimum of 4 semester hours if this minor is selected
    • SOCI 240: Social Problems
    • SOCI 413: Crime and Society
  • Statistics
    Minimum of 4 semester hours if this minor is selected
    • STAT 231: Introductory Statistics

On approval by the Public Affairs advisor, up to 8 semester hours may be earned through participation in an internship program as a substitute for courses listed above (except POLS 345). Internship opportunities are offered through several departments, and through the Cooperative Education Program, and provide students with actual work experience in diverse public and private agencies. Students interested in internships are urged to consult with their academic advisors and with intern faculty advisors at an early date.

Students interested in the Public Affairs minor should declare the minor in the Department of Political Science and consult with the department’s Public Affairs advisor.

Requires 20 semester hours, including

POLS 331, 332; COMA 340, 441, and 4 elective hours from POLS 210 or COMA 304 or another course selected in consultation with the minor’s faculty coordinator.

For information, see Pre-Professional Programs section of this catalog.