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Political Science B.A.

17:1
Avg. student to faculty ratio
86%
Of CSU Grads Land Jobs Related to Their Career Plans
95%
Of Online Undergraduate Students Would Choose CSU Again
$52K
Average Starting Salary of Recent CSU Grads
Degree Overview Open Accordion

Learn to shape public policy, international agreements, and political organizations with a concern for others and current affairs.

Study how politics, policies, and political actions affect all areas of local, state, and national governments. Learn to:

  • Think critically about current political issues
  • Identify solutions to societal problems in the United States and around the world
  • Practice dialogue in simulated work settings

Curriculum includes coursework in:

  • Political Theory
  • Comparative Politics
  • American Politics and law
  • International relations
  • Public Policy

Coursework is complemented by a required support option, choose from:

  • Minor in another department
  • Interdisciplinary minor
  • Methods support option
  • Second major

As a student in this program:

  • Customize coursework with a specialization that aligns with your career goals.
  • Focus on environmental issues associated with water, climate, energy, and housing projects.
  • Learn from faculty that apply their research topics to the classroom for discussion.
  • Complete an internship locally or throughout the United States.

“I probably appreciated political science much more when I first ran for election. I was appointed to elective office and had to run in 1994, which was 16 years after I graduated from CSU. I had a great foundation in political science, and I got to experience political science at work. There really is a science to this. It’s a science that has to do with both the political side and the public policy side. I ran in an election four different times and political science helped me with that but even if I hadn’t been in elected office, understanding how the world functions in a democratic government was really important to me.”

- Governor Bill Ritter, CSU Political Science Bachelor’s Degree 1978
Explore Careers Open Accordion

Develop knowledge and skills to follow a variety of paths across a broad spectrum of employment in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. Gain success in career opportunities such as:

  • Federal, state, or local government
  • United Nations or other international governmental organizations
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign services
  • State department
  • Business and journalism
  • National Security Organization

Job titles may include:

  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Media Intern
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Junior Research Analyst
  • Staff Assistant
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Political Consultant
  • Paralegal (may need certification)
  • Lawyer
  • City Administrator
  • Campaign Specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Teacher
Faculty Open Accordion

Learn from faculty who conduct research to advance knowledge about government and politics. Faculty research helps to identify solutions to societal problems in the US and around the world.

Marni Berg

Pam Duncan

Eric Fattor

James Fielder

Peter Harris

Matt Hitt

Brad Macdonald

Requirements and Curriculum Open Accordion

Requirements to Graduate

A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

The number of courses needed for completion of the program depends on:

Curriculum

Effective Fall 2022

Political science majors must achieve a minimum grade of C (2.000) in each of the political science (POLS) courses counted toward meeting the requirement of the major.

Political Science, Upper-Division

At least 24 credits of upper-division political science courses must be completed for the major. The 24 credits include the senior capstone course, POLS 492, at least 3 credits of AUCC 4A and 4B in addition to POLS 492, and at least one upper-division course in each of the following five subfields:

  1. American Politics and Law
  2. Political Theory
  3. International Relations
  4. Comparative Politics
  5. Public Policy and Administration

Review all requirements and major completion map.

Degree Minors Open Accordion

Grow your knowledge and focus on a topic that interests you. A degree minor can help you discover new passions and talents, and further specialize your education so you become more marketable to employers. Relevant courses often apply to both major and minor requirements, so a minor can be added without greatly changing your degree plan.

Courses already taken can apply to a minor regardless of when the minor is added to your student record. All minor requirements must be completed prior to graduation.

Undergraduate Minors

Agricultural Business

Build knowledge of production management, financial management, marketing management, international development, and trade through an agricultural lens. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select any 15 credits from the following

Anthropology

Get a cross-cultural view of humanity and the broadly conceived dimensions of human behavior. You have the option to focus your anthropology studies on one or more sub-disciplinary divisions, including physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, or applied anthropology. To earn the minor, you must complete 22 credits from the following courses:

Business Administration

Computer Science

Add to your knowledge base and feel confident working with fields like computer programming, software development, cyber security, and more.

Required Lower Division Courses

Select one course from the following

Required Upper Division Courses

  • CS courses numbered 300 or above (12 cr.)

Program Total Credits: 24

Please note: Additional Math courses may be required depending on the 300/400 level courses that students choose.

Creative Writing

Explore creative writing in one or more of the following genres: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. In addition to broadening your writing repertoire, gain workshop experience at an advanced level. To earn this minor, you must complete a minimum of 21 credits in courses with E or CO subject codes, with at least 15 upper-division credits.

Required Courses

Select one group from the following

Fiction
Poetry
Nonfiction

Upper-Division Electives

Economics

Gain insight into current socioeconomic problems in the areas of resource allocation, inflation, unemployment, income distribution, environmental degradation, international trade, and monopoly power. This minor prepares you for careers in business management, teaching, government, banking, and public policy. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Gerontology

Prepare for a variety of careers in gerontology and develop an understanding of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of adult development and aging. This interdisciplinary minor prepares you to fill the need for well-trained professionals to support aging adults, and can be paired with any CSU major.

Required Courses

Electives (3-6 credits)

Global and Environmental Sustainability

Prepare to meet today's pressing environmental challenges with this interdisciplinary minor offered by The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES). Explore innovative research to understand how to solve problems that arise between humans and the environment. To earn your minor, you must complete 21 credits (12 upper-division credits) from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select one course from each group (A-D)

At least 3 credits must be upper-division (300-400 level). Courses may not satisfy two groups.

Group A: Society and Social Processes (select one)
Group B: Biological and Physical Processes (select one)
Group C: Economy and Profitability (select one)
Group D: Skills (select one)

Upper-Division Elective – select 3 upper-division credits from categories A-D with a subject code not previously taken (3 cr.)

History

Expand the breadth of your knowledge by earning an undergraduate minor in history. Choose from a range of courses based on your interests. This minor may be particularly useful for students who plan to pursue careers in education, public service, government, museums and archives, law, and other professions that require skills in research, writing, and the analysis of information. To earn the history minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses. (Note: You must complete at least 12 upper-division credits and 9 lower-division credits).

Select any 9 credits from the following

Select any 12 credits from the following

Horticulture

Growing and managing plants requires you to understand the science and the business of cultivation, and this online bachelor's degree minor emphasizes both. To earn the horticulture minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses.

Required courses (14 credits):

Select two courses (for a minimum of 7 credits) from the following:

Interdisciplinary Global Studies

Develop an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and peoples with courses in international and global history, politics, languages and cultures, economics, and environmental issues. To earn this minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select four courses below

One course from each category, 12 credits total with at least 9 credits in upper-division (300-400) coursework.

History, Politics, and Society
Languages and Cultures
Economy and Environment

Interdisciplinary Information Science and Technology

This interdisciplinary minor is sponsored by departments in different colleges across CSU: Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, English and Journalism and Media Communication. The program is designed for students seeking a broad foundation in information technology, but not seeking to major in a specific information technology-related field. The program requires 21 credits and is open to students majoring in any field other than computer science, computer information systems, and electrical and computer engineering.

Required Course

Elective Courses

Select any 15 credits from the following

Program Total Credits: 21

Note: Nine credits must be from upper-division courses. A minimum of six credits must be completed from at least two subject codes.

Machine Learning

Media Studies

Understand the role and influence of mass media in American society and other cultures by studying media and film history, criticism, law, ethics, social effects, cultural consequences, and multicultural and international media issues. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select any 15 credits from the following

Political Science

Gain a foundation in political theory and prepare for careers in law, teaching in the social sciences, journalism, and public service. To earn the minor, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

Required Courses

Select six credits from the following

Select nine credits of upper division classes from the following

Science Communications

The minor in Science Communication is designed to educate highly qualified communicators who have interests in specialized academic disciplines and career fields. Because science often involves complicated research and processes, communicating the results of that work requires special skills. This program is designed to prepare students for a wide range of niche career opportunities in media, corporate communication, science-related industries, and scientific environments.

Required Courses

Select two courses from the following:

Sociology

How to Add a Minor

Please connect with your assigned advisor to request to add a minor. Note that you must apply and be admitted to the University for a bachelor's degree program before you can add a minor to your student record. Once you are admitted, one or more minors may be added to your student record.

Undergraduate Certificates

Spanish for Animal Health and Care

For students interested in working in animal science, veterinary medicine, or related fields, this certificate program teaches intermediate-level Spanish for use in agricultural and animal care settings. Learn to communicate in Spanish about livestock, equine, and small animal breeds, give directions for animal care and handling, issue instructions for safety and drug administration, and more.

Courses

Seed Science and Technology

Prepare for a career as a seed analyst with online courses in seed technology. These courses, led by Colorado State University and supported by three other major universities (Iowa State University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Kentucky) and the Crop Science Society of America, offer a comprehensive overview of seed analysis, a technical skill requiring patience, attention to detail, and a scientific understanding of seed biology. After completion, you will be prepared to complete the examinations to become a Registered Seed Technologist.

Courses

Note: Additional study and testing is required to become a Certified Seed Analyst or Registered Seed Technologist.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semesterAugust 1
Spring semesterJanuary 1
Summer semesterJune 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

Planning to transfer credits from another college or university? Please review our FAQ page, then complete a Tentative Transfer Evaluation Form to see how your prior credits may transfer.

1 Review Admission Requirements

  • Previous college credit may be transferred into this online bachelor's degree program, and minimum credits required can vary depending on previous coursework completed.
  • 2.0 cumulative GPA (2.5 cumulative GPA preferred) from all coursework previously completed*
  • Satisfy admission requirement in mathematics
  • High school graduation or equivalent

* A 2.0 cumulative GPA for all college work attempted is the threshold for consideration. Applicants who have a cumulative GPA below 2.5 should be prepared to demonstrate academic success in the form of an upward GPA trend and no D/F grades in their most recent terms.

Additional information may be required for international applicants. Please connect with a coach to learn more.

2 Talk with a Student Success Coach

Call or email our student success team to find out if the program is a good fit for your goals. Our coaches are available Monday-Friday to help you find the right program and navigate the application process.

Student Success Coach: Morgan Parsley
Phone: (970) 682-7251
Email: morgan.parsley@colostate.edu

Schedule Time to Talk

3 Complete Online Application

Complete Colorado State University's online undergraduate application and pay the $50 nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online) or waiver (if eligible).

  • Select "Political Science – online degree program " when choosing major.

Online applications must be submitted before 5 p.m. (Mountain Time) on the deadline date. If you miss the application deadline, you may still register for courses to begin your program of study as a non-degree student. Students seeking Federal financial aid must be admitted prior to enrolling.

4 Apply for Financial Aid (Optional)

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Use FAFSA code 001350. Additional financial aid information is also available.

5 Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and may take up to six weeks during high volume application periods.

Questions? Call (970) 682-7251 or email morgan.parsley@colostate.edu.

Questions?

We love learning about your goals and answering any questions to help you on your journey.

Morgan Parsley
Political Science B.A.
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

Courses
Credits
120
Tuition
$476 per credit
Degree Awarded
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Time Frame
2-4 years

Application Deadlines

Fall semester
August 1
Spring semester
January 1
Summer semester
June 1

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