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Political Science

Bachelor's of Arts Degree (B.A.) or Bachelor's of Science (B.S.)

The Political Science Discipline

Political Science is the study of how societies govern themselves and interact with one another. Courses of instruction in the Political Science Department are offered in the following subfields: American politics, comparative government, international relations, political philosophy, public law, and public administration. Areas of focus include analysis of government structures and processes, citizens, influence on government, policy content, philosophical concepts and traditions, political systems of other nations, and resolution of conflicts between nations.

Our goals are to help students better understand political processes, and to develop the critical thinking and analytic skills necessary for effective participation in the political process, successful careers in the public and private sectors, and further study in law, political science, and public administration.

Academic Programs

The Political Science Department offers both a B.A. and a B.S. in Political Science as well as four separate areas of concentration. Brief descriptions of the major and the areas of concentration are provided below. More detailed information can be found on the Advising page.

Majoring* in Political Science

A major in Political Science requires a total of 33 hours. Students must complete four Political Science gateway courses (listed below) as well as at least one Political Science seminar. Students are also required to complete STAT 2070, Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences (or an equivalent course), and 8 hours of a single foreign language or sign language (or receive equivalent credit by examination). Majors need to complete 18 hours of electives within the department, 9 of which must be upper-division (3000 or 4000 level) coursework. A maximum of 6 hours of internship credit may count toward the hour requirements. Finally, students must meet all requirements set forth by the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Wyoming including all University Studies Program requirements and the College of Arts and Sciences' Core Courses.

Political Science Gateway Courses:

  • POLS 1000: American & Wyoming Government
  • POLS 2310: Introduction to International Relations
  • POLS 1200: Non-Western Political Cultures
    OR
    POLS 1250: Introduction to Comparative Government
  • POLS 2460: Introduction to Political Philosophy
    OR
    POLS 3600: American Political Thought

For more information, particularly for students preparing for Advising Week, please visit the Advising page.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Bachelor's Degree in Political Science

Specific objectives of the Political Science undergraduate curriculum have been identified as the following learning outcomes. We continuously and actively assess our program to ensure that these learning outcomes are being met for each of our graduates. Student learning objectives/outcomes:

  1. Acquire a knowledge and understanding of the values, beliefs, and institutions that constitute governing processes.
  2. Acquire an understanding of the distinctions among the major subfields of the discipline including: American politic and law, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.
  3. Develop a knowledge and understanding of citizens' roles within governing processes.
  4. Acquire a knowledge of the theories and analytic skills necessary to evaluate conflicting arguments, assemble and present appropriate evidence, and make reasoned conclusions from the evidence available.
  5. Communicate effectively, both orally and in written form.

*Please note that the information above pertains to students that entered UW on or after the fall 2015 session. For all students with a catalog year prior to fall 2015, please visit the Advising page for information on older major requirements.*


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School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies

Arts & Science Building 208

Dept. 3197

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6484

Email: ppais@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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