As a student in the political science program, you’ll combine liberal arts with politics, while training for specific career paths. You’ll learn about state and local government, national institutions, public policy, political theory, global politics and international relations. You’ll gain cultural competency through valuable knowledge of international politics and global issues. Dedicated faculty members will assist you with securing internships throughout Michigan, the U.S. and international organizations. You can choose the general major or a concentration in public administration or international relations/comparative politics.
Points of Pride
CMU’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, won the Best Chapter Award for the 2013-2014 school year.
Put Your Degree to Work
Political science graduates find a variety of career opportunities including activist, advocate/organizer, attorney, campaign operative or manager, CIA analyst or agent, city or county manager, congressional office/committee staffer, foreign service officer, international agency officer, international research specialist, legislative assistant/coordinator, lobbyist, policy analyst, pollster, public affairs research analyst, public opinion analyst, and research analyst.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Political scientist||$102,000 per year||21% (1,400 more jobs)|
|Campaign fundraising manager||$95,450 per year||13% (8,000 more jobs)|
|Lawyer||$113,530 per year||10% (74,800 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Political Science Major: General Concentration
A political science major consists of 33 hours. A minimum of 15 hours of course work must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one course at the 400-500 level. PSC 405 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. Students must choose between the General Political Science Major, the Public Administration Concentration or the International Relations/Comparative Politics Concentration.
Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be counted toward political science majors or political science minors. Majors and minors in political science should enroll in PSC 105 as freshmen (see course description). Transfer students majoring in political science will be expected to take at least 15 hours of coursework in the department; transfer minors, 12 hours.
The student is required to take a minimum of three hours in four of the following five fields:
I. American National Political Institutions and Processes;
II. American State and Local Government, Public Administration and Policy;
III. International Relations;
IV. Comparative Politics;
V. Political Theory.
Note: Field II is not applicable to the International Relations/Comparative Politics Concentration.
It is recommended that all political science majors enroll in PSC 280 during their sophomore year.
PSC 398 and PSC 598 are Special Topics courses which may be used to fulfill the area requirements for majors and minors. Permission to do this is based on the substantive content of the course, and requires the consent of the student's major or minor advisor or the department chair. Any regular faculty member in the department can serve as the student's advisor on a major or minor.
Internships: The department has established an internship program where students are provided relevant firsthand work experience. The duration of an internship can vary depending on the number of credit hours (1-12) taken. Students majoring in political science with a concentration in public administration, as well as the minors in public administration and public affairs, are allowed to count three internship credit hours toward their major or minor.
Total: 33 semester hours
Note: A minimum of 15 hours of PSC course work must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one PSC course at the 400-500 level. PSC 405 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
Introduction to Political Science
An introduction to the historical and theoretical concepts and subject matter of political science, required for all political science majors and minors. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to American Government and Politics
Examines the formal institutions of government and how politics actually works in the United States: civil rights, civil liberties, elections, media, interest groups and more. This course may be offered in an online format. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to Empirical Methods of Political Research
Empirical political research techniques including the scientific method, measurement, descriptive and inferential statistics, literature reviews, data collection, computer assisted data analysis, and research reporting. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. Prerequisites: PSC 100 or PSC 105; one other political science course.
Select one 3-credit hour course in four of the following five fields:
Hours selected from the five fields listed above.