Program Description

Want to gain a deeper understanding of the political landscape and help drive policy that will solve issues of public concern?

As a political science major at CMU, you'll explore both domestic politics, which examines the American political system, as well as international politics, which looks at how different countries can work together to address global issues. You'll explore who is excluded from these processes and how they can be made more inclusive, as well as what constitutes a just society, what equality is and what it means to be free.

Learning from professors who are experts in the field of political science, and with real-world internship and other secondary learning opportunities, a political science degree from CMU is your gateway to a wide range of meaningful career paths and engaging experiences.

​​​​​​Points of Pride

Prakash Adhikari, associate professor in the political science and public administration department, received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in 2016.

The Model United Nations Program has been recognized multiple times, including being awarded Distinguished Delegation, at the National Model United Nations in New York.

Put Your Degree to Work

As you master writing, communication, and analytical skills through this political science degree, you also will grow your critical and independent thinking skills.

Earning a degree in political science can qualify you for a variety of career paths in the private (for-profit and nonprofit organizations) and public sector. Our political science degree students have pursued careers in the following areas:

  • Law
  • State, local, and federal government
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Consulting
  • Journalism and communications
  • Polling and campaign management
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • International business and affairs
  • Teaching
  • Much more

Learn more about what your career with a political science degree could look like using the tool below.

For More Information

Visit the political science and public administration website​ or contact:

David Jesuit, Ph.D.
Political Science & Public Administration
Anspach Hall 247B
Phone: 989-774-2795

Program Overview

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

A political science major consists of 33 hours. A minimum of 15 hours of course work must be at the 300 level or above. Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be counted toward political science majors or political science minors, with the following exceptions: Internships (PSC 395), Practicums (PSC 393 & 394) and lab courses (PSC 355). In the case of these exceptions, no more than three credits total may be applied to the major or minor. 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. It is recommended that all political science majors enroll in PSC 280QR during their sophomore year. 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 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 and/or PAD course work must be at the 300 level or above.
Required Courses I
(15 hours)
PSC 100
Introduction to Political Science
PSC 105
Introduction to American Government and Politics
PSC 261
State and Local Government
PSC 275
Great Political Thinkers
Introduction to Empirical Methods of Political Research
Required Courses II
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
PSC 513
Citizen Engagement in Public Life
PSC 520
American National Government and Politics
PSC 590
Independent Study
Required Courses III
(15 hours)
Select 15 hours of PSC and/or PAD courses. OR Select one of the following certificates: Undergraduate Certificate - Citizen Engagement Undergraduate Certificate - Political Advocacy and Elections Undergraduate Certificate - Lawmaking and Legal Processes A student earning a certificate must choose courses different than those chosen to fulfill the major required courses. Up to 6 hours of course work from one certificate may be used to fulfill requirements in another certificate in the department. Although the major may be combined with any of the certificates, students pursuing the major in Political Science are advised to consider choosing one from among the list above.