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Political Science B.A.

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Degree Overview Open Accordion

Study how politics, policies, and political actions affect all areas of government in this flexible, fully online bachelor's program from CSU.

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

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:


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:

  • American Politics and Law
  • Political Theory
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • 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


    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

    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

    Select one course from the following not taken above

    Upper-Division Electives

    Design Thinking

    The Minor in Design Thinking provides students with an opportunity to develop creative methods and processes for solving societal problems. This human-centered approach engages users and stakeholders in interdisciplinary co-design processes and applies elementary or emerging technologies to develop prototypes that improve spaces, objects, services, problems and ideas benefitting daily experiences and overall quality of life. Students will gain an awareness of the impact of design thinking and its application – to their major, discipline, or profession. Nancy Richardson Design Center course offerings are available in a mix of online, hybrid, or face-to-face. For a full list of learning opportunities offered by the RDC, please visit the courses page.

    To earn the minor in Design Thinking online, you must complete 21 credits from the following courses:

    Required Courses

    Select any 12 credits from the following:

    Note: Some online courses are still in development.

    Disability and Neurodiversity

    The undergraduate certificate in Disability and Neurodiversity provides an interdisciplinary understanding of individuals across the lifespan with disabilities and is relevant to majors and careers in health, education, rehabilitation, and human service professions. Students will explore how disabilities interact with health, life outcomes, family, society, stigma, and the physical environment, and intersect with identities such as race and gender. This certificate consists of basic coursework as well as experiential learning through research or field experiences.

    Required Courses

    Select 6 credits from the following:

    Select a minimum of 3 credits directly related to disabilities from the following:

    Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites. Some elective courses are restricted to majors, minors, or honors students. Other related courses may be substituted upon approval of the certificate advisor. A maximum of 6 credits may double-count with the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor, the Certificate in Youth Mentoring, and the Minor in Human Development and Family Studies.


    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:

    Lower Division

    Upper Division


    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

    Select a minimum of 3 credits internship/field placement directly related to aging from the following:

    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.)


    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

    Take 12 Upper-division (300-400 level) courses in HIST


    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:

    Human Development and Family Studies

    The Human Development and Family Studies minor provides students across all majors with an opportunity to select course work relevant to their career goals. Students will learn about human development at various stages of the lifespan, within the context of diverse families and social identities. This minor offers students the opportunity to expand their thinking about how relationships, family, culture, biological make-up, and environmental factors influence outcomes related to thinking skills, physical health, and social-emotional well-being across the life cycle. Students will gain an awareness of how to optimize their own and other's development in their careers and personal lives. The HDFS department is committed to promoting the success and well-being of students from heterogeneous backgrounds and experiences.

    Effective Fall 2023

    Students must satisfactorily complete the total credits required for the minor. Minors and interdisciplinary minors require 12 or more upper-division (300- & 400-level) credits. Additional courses may be required due to prerequisites.

    Courses from this list may not double-count for the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor.

    A minimum grade of C (2.000) is required in each course used to satisfy the requirements of the Minor in Human Development and Family Studies. Courses used as substitutions also require a minimum grade of C (2.000).

    Required Course:


    Select a minimum of 18 credits from the following (a minimum of 12 credits must be 300-level or higher)

    Six credits of the following may count:

    Six credits of the following may count:

    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 18 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 Communication

    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:


    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

    Design Thinking Certificate

    Open to all undergraduate students, the Certificate in Design Thinking will improve not only the way students learn and find solutions to problems in their current coursework, but will also help make students more employable with sought-after marketable skills. Students will gain an awareness of the impact of design thinking and its application – regardless of discipline, profession, or major. Nancy Richardson Design Center course offerings are available in a mix of online, hybrid, or face-to-face. For a full list of learning opportunities offered by the RDC, please visit the courses page.

    To earn the certificate in Design Thinking online, you must complete 12 credits from the following courses:

    Required Course

    Select any 9 credits from the following:

    Note: Some online courses are still in development.

    Integrated Pest Management

    The undergraduate Certificate in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will equip students with in-depth knowledge of principles of integrated management of pest insects, weeds, and diseases associated with managed and natural landscapes. The students will learn about principles underlying integrated pest management, become familiar with key pests, and learn how to apply IPM in managed landscapes with a goal of minimizing environmental and economic impacts of pest control. This certificate is an excellent choice for students interested in entering the workforce immediately after graduation, as well as professionals that require certification in IPM. The certificate will prepare the students for careers in crop protection, pest management education and policy, among others.

    Required Courses:

    Select a minimum of 4 courses from the following:


    The Certificate in Macroeconomics will educate students in the key ideas, tools, and policies of macroeconomics. Major ideas include the causes and consequences of economic growth, unemployment, inflation, and the changing distribution of income, both in the U.S. and internationally. Students will develop both theoretical and analytical skills that are highly valued by employers.

    Required Courses

    Select a minimum of 6 credits from the following:

    Program Total Credits: 9

    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.


    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.


    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 semesterJune 1
    Spring semesterNovember 1
    Summer semesterMay 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

    Refer to for details about who we look for in our individual review process

    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: Kristina Reda
    Phone: (970) 491-1813
    Email: Kristina Reda

    Schedule Time to Talk

    3 Complete Online Application

    Complete Colorado State University's online undergraduate application and pay any associated 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.


    We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

    Kristina Reda
    Prospective Student Support Coach
    Schedule Time to Talk

    Program Details

    $476 per credit
    Same in-state tuition for all.
    Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
    Degree Awarded
    Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
    Time Frame
    2-4 years
    Admission Reqs.

    Application Dates

    Fall semester
    June 1*
    Spring semester
    November 1*
    Summer semester
    May 1*
    *Note: Application dates may vary depending on student status. Learn more.

    Request Information

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