Dr. Jennie Schulze prepares for a lecture with undergraduate students.

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Major or Minor in Political Science

Guide for Majors 2015-2016

Major in Political Science

The major in Political Science is comprised of 30 credits, including 15 credits of required courses, distributed among the four subfields: American National Government (105), Comparative Political Systems (208 or 209), International Relations (245), Western Political Thought I or Western Political Thought II (317 or 318) and Introduction to Political Analysis (298). Students may design their own course of study for the remaining 15 credits, in consultation with faculty advisors. No more than six credits taken at the 100 level can apply toward the major.

The Optional Law and Pollitics Concentration in Political Science.

Minor in Political Science

The minor in Political Science encompasses 15 credits and can involve specialization in one of the four subfields, or a broader program designed to reflect student interests. No more than three credits at the 100 level can apply toward the minor.

Double Major

Students in the College of Liberal Arts may double major and every year a number of Political Science majors take advantage of this opportunity. Work in almost any other discipline can complement the study of politics. Students may want to consider a double major in light of career goals, or simply to deepen and give greater coherence to their undergraduate educations

New Double Major
Double Major in Political Science and Communication & Rhetorical Studies

Approved by College Council April 14, 2015

Students may major in Political Science for 30 credits and in Communication & Rhetorical Studies for 24 credits.

For the Political Science major, students will take the following courses:

Both of these required courses (6 credits):
POSC 105: American National Government
POSC 245: International Relations

One of the following courses (3 credits):
POSC 208: Comparative Political Systems, Advanced Industrial States
POSC 209: Comparative Political Systems, Developing States

One of the following courses (3 credits):
POSC 317W: Western Political Thought I
POSC 318W: Western Political Thought II

One of the following courses (3 credits):
POSC 427W: Advanced Seminar
POSC 436: Quantitative Analysis

And 15 credits of POSC electives.

For the major in Communication & Rhetorical Studies, students will take the following courses:

Both of these required courses (6 credits):
COMM 301W: History of Communication
COMM 494W: Communication Ethics

One of the following courses, depending on the major selected (3 credits):
COMM 201: Human Communication in a Technological Age (Communication
COMM 206: Communication in the Marketplace (Integrated Marketing
COMM 304W: Persuasion (Rhetoric)
COMM 407: Intercultural Communication (Corporate Communication)

15 credits of COMM electives corresponding to Communication Studies, Integrated Marketing Communication, Rhetoric, or Corporate Communication (see advising sheets for these majors).

How the shared courses substitute for Communication and Rhetorical Studies' own courses: For students who are engaging in the double major option with the Political Science Department, such that a major in Communication & Rhetorical Studies consists of 24 credits (as the second major) and a major in Political Science counts as 30 credits (as the first major), the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies accepts the learning outcomes defined by any two courses (six credits) in Political Science as a sufficient approximation, in such cases, of learning outcomes defined by any two courses (six credits) that would otherwise be taken in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies to fulfill the minimum 30 credits required for the degree.

For Current Students:

Declaring Your Major in Political Science

Use this link to log into DORI and complete the Major/Minor Declaration Form.

(Log into DORI > index> Liberal Arts> Resources for Undergraduate Students >Major/Minor Declaration Form.)

Once you have submitted the Major/Minor Declaration Form, the form will be sent to the Department.

  • You will be notified by the Department that the form has been received.
  • You will need to make an appointment to meet with Dr. Dunham, the Chair of the Department, to declare your major officially.
  • You will then need to make an appointment with the Department's Administrative Assistant to take an assessment exam.
Five Year Program for Graduate Study

For students who wish to move quickly and efficiently into graduate strudy we offer a five-year program which leads to both a BA in Political Science and an MA in Social and Public Policy.  Qualifying students my apply in their third year for this program.  The fourth year curriculum overlaps the two programs as these courses count for both undergraduate and graduate credit.  The MA degree is then completed during the fifth year.  Leaving Duquesne with two degrees in social science can provide students with a significant advantage on the job market, or a rapid track toward a Ph.D.